A Nebraska City destination for artistic expression, The Grove—A Gallery, features new ownership, and, just in time for the town’s annual fall festival, AppleJack, on the weekend of Sept. 20-22.
Honey Lynn Self, an artist and a true Nebraska Citian, is the inspired owner of the gallery space at 713 Central Ave., just next to the Keeping Room.
Self took official control of the business at the start of the month and says she has been having nothing but fun since then.
Of course, the start of the month wasn’t Self’s start with the business.
The experienced painter has been an exhibiting artist from the start of the business back in February.
Steve and Teri Grove were the original owners and were extremely excited to show the work of many artists from near and far. Life got in the way a bit in the months that followed. Out of state business interests took Steve’s focus away from the gallery and raised his concern that he might not be giving the business all it needed.
In light of those concerns, Steve approached Honey Self with what Self described as a fair offer to take over ownership of the business.
This had been a dream opportunity for Self. There were some concerns and she tried to talk herself out of it, but it ended up being too sweet an opportunity to deny.
The swing vote might have been cast by Self’s 14-year-old daughter, Alivia, who reminded her mom that this had been her dream, that it was right up her alley and that she should definitely go for it.
Self said the gallery has two features that she identifies with very personally. She loves being in sales and interacting with the public and she also loves to paint.
“It’s perfect for me,” said Self.
As she takes over the gallery, Self wants the public to know that the gallery might be more than what they think.
Does the gallery’s art appeal more to women than men? Not so says Self. In addition to a multitude of mediums, artisan inspiration has something to attract the attention of anyone.
Maybe the cost is too high? Also, not so. Self says there are price points from a handful of dollars to a higher dollar figure. It all depends on what the person wants.
To find out what the gallery has, you have to drop by and see it for yourself.
From stained glass to clocks and jewelry and pottery. There’s something for the outdoor minded, sports minded and curiosity inspired.
“There is something for everyone, honest to goodness, there is,” said Self.
Looking for the Huskers?
The gallery features a painting of a statue by Self that was commissioned to honor a photo taken by retired Husker photographer and former Nebraska Citian Richard Voges.
There’s also a fantastic painting of Husker legend and Heisman trophy winner Eric Crouch.
For the outdoor minded? How about a hand-crafted knife created by Nebraska City’s H. “Sid” Suedmeier? The gallery has six on hand right now with more likely to arrive.
“Anybody in this town knows how rare those are to purchase,” said Self.
Curiosities abound as well. How about a picture made via scalpel? You can find it at the gallery. The artist uses a scalpel to cut out images and layers them to create a final piece.
In addition to purchasing art, gallery customers can meet and get to the know the artists. Each artist is featured on the gallery’s web site at the thegrovegallery.com, but the artists make appearances at the gallery to visit with customers. So you can get to know the person, the story and the method behind the one-of-a-kind art work that you plan to feature at home.
“I have met and learned so much from so many of the artists,” Self said.
In total, there are 30 artists currently showing at the gallery. Included are a bronze artist from the Columbus area, a jewelry artist from the Hastings-Grand Island area, and a photographer from Australia whose United States displays are exclusive to the Nebraska City gallery.
What’s the future of the gallery?
Self said she wants to build a reputation that makes the gallery a prime reason for visiting the city.
Currently, Self said people come from all over to visit the Keeping Room and says she is honored to be located right next door. Now she wants to return the favor. By drawing even more people, the gallery benefits, as does the Keeping Room and the rest of Nebraska City.
Besides being a draw, Self said she wants the gallery to be that dependable resource for those seeking to find the perfect gift for their loved one—something unique and hand made by an artisan.
Some of the offerings coming up at the gallery include paining classes and the ever-popular wine and canvas parties. Self said she had wine and canvas parties at her home in the past and is looking forward to having them at the gallery.
Another event will be each month, a little soiree which Self called, “the Third Thirsty Thursday.”
On AppleJack weekend, Self said the gallery will offer extended hours and an opportunity to see a demonstration by the gallery’s bronze artist.
The gallery’s regular hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Monday and Tuesday, but will open by appointment. For more information, and for a listing of events and background information on artists, visit the gallery website at thegrovegallery.com or call the gallery phone number, 402-209-0463.
Honey Lynn Self moved to Nebraska City with her family in 1986 and graduated from NCHS before joining her father in his car business, the 30-plus year local business leader, Larson Motors. She lived in Lincoln and Omaha before moving back to Nebraska City with her husband, Steve, to raise her family. Prior to her ownership of the gallery, Honey had a day care business. She stepped away from that interest five years ago to focus more on her family. Steve and Honey have two children, Alivia, a sophomore at NCHS and Skyler, a May graduate of NCHS. Honey said she remembers the 1986 move and how she was welcomed in by the Nebraska City community. She never forgot that connection and is happy to live and work here.
“It’s home,” she said. “And that’s where I like to be.”