an artistic en~sem~ble
Story by Audrey Hanes; photo by Amy Long
En~sem~ble, Jonesboro’s newest art gallery, has quickly become known for its wide array of beautiful and affordable art. Business partners Brenda Burrows and Jaime Eakle, who opened the gallery in April, set out to make En~sem~ble a fun, eclectic destination for a collection of local pieces by artists who might not have the ability to display their work otherwise. Combined with Burrows and Eakle’s own pieces, the ensemble of complimentary artwork is a great addition to Jonesboro’s thriving artistic community.
Burrows, who had always dreamed of opening an affordable art gallery, shared her idea with Eakle during a recent spring break trip to Florida. Eakle, who owns Body Indulgence Spa and Senses Spa by Body Indulgence, jumped at the opportunity to open the art gallery with Burrows, who also works at Body Indulgence. En~sem~ble is connected to Body Indulgence on Marketplace Drive, making it easy for the business partners to keep an eye on the art.
“My idea has always been to have a gallery of beautiful, affordable art,” said Burrows. “Most galleries are a pleasure to visit, but the general public can’t always afford to make a purchase. Most galleries do not accept all forms or art or art from unknown artists.”
En~sem~ble, on the other hand, is open to local artists and artwork of all different mediums and styles.
“I chose the name En~sem~ble for the gallery because of its meaning – (the gallery) is an assemblage of complementary parts put together that contribute to a single effect,” said Burrows. “We accept all forms of art for display. … Our true desire is to encourage the creative process and showcase talent that may otherwise not be recognized. The art is priced reasonably because the artists are interested in sharing the beauty of their talent to everyone of every budget.”
Eakle said their goal is for artists to actually be able to sell their art. Their theory is that if someone can afford the art, they will usually purchase it, which is why they even offer a layaway plan so that customers can make payments on a piece of art and take it home once it’s paid for.
The artwork at En~sem~ble is every bit as varied as the artists themselves. Local photography and oil and acrylic paintings are joined by jewelry, pottery, music albums, designed dinnerware, crocheted clothing and hand-designed shoes.
“En~sem~ble is a place where artists of all kinds can display their work,” said Eakle. “Most artists do not have means to have their work in a gallery because they must still maintain a job, so we have created a place where new artists, part-time artists, moms who are creative and students can display their artwork. … We are a cross between a gallery and a boutique, but everything at En~sem~ble must be hand-created.”
Eakle and Burrows worked alongside several of their friends to design and makeover the site of their gallery. From the chandelier to the stained floors to the paint on the ceiling, En~sem~ble reflects the vibrant personalities of both the artwork and the gallery’s owners.
“I love the look and feel of En~sem~ble,” said Eakle. “We have designed it to be very trendy yet very artistic. Everyone walks in and says, ‘Wow, it looks amazing in here.’”
Currently, Eakle and Burrows each have hand-crafted jewelry and acrylic paintings that are on display at the new gallery. Their work is joined by pieces from local artists like Jim Porterfield, Bryn Person, Kara Fowler, Karen Merryman, Tyna Merryman, Julie McMillon, Lauren Elliott, McKenzie Griffin, Judy Kemp, Mackenzie Williams, Jacob Gambill, Timothy Burns, Hannah Dolle, Johnny Parnell, Bridgette Cossey, Joni Hill, Wayne Flanigan, Brittany Casebier, Erica Castilaw, Brittany Jev and Starroy.
Both Burrows and Eakle enjoy the convenient location of their new endeavor.
“I love having the spa connected to the art gallery because our clients love to browse and look at all of our new art each time they visit,” said Eakle. “Both spa and art are very inspiring and relaxing.”
The business partners say that Jonesboro has welcomed their concept with open arms. They are proud of their contribution to the city’s thriving economy and its growing artistic community.
“Locally owned businesses in Jonesboro are what make our economy better, so any time that you can shop local, it is the best choice,” said Eakle. “I love being able to support these local artists through En~sem~ble.”
For more information about En~sem~ble, located at 1503 Marketplace Drive, call 275-7731 or visit facebook.com/EnsembleArtGallery. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with varied hours on weekends and evenings for special events and classes.