“I spent so much of my childhood feeling like I didn’t have any opportunities to grow creatively, because I lived in a small town, and wanted to leave. Moving away and then ending up back in Hillsboro when my plans didn’t pan out helped me to realize that I can pursue my dreams no matter where I am,” said Taylor Meyers, owner of the Taylor Kay Art Gallery, located at 419 South Main Street in Hillsboro.
Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce will welcome Taylor Kay Art Gallery (TKAG) with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, as part of the gallery’s grand opening. Meyers gave the public a sneak peak of her gallery during the soft opening she held late last year, Monday, Dec. 21.
Meyers started actively working toward her dream of opening an art gallery in the spring of 2020, building a client base by offering free art classes online.
“I began toying with the idea of opening my own gallery around two years ago, but I kept suppressing the thought as a ‘fun idea’ that just wasn’t going to happen. It really wasn’t until I started offering Zoom classes, as a creative distraction during the pandemic, that I realized there was such a large desire for art and creative outlets in the area. That was when I began getting serious and talking to local business owners about how to start,” Meyers explained.
One of the local business owners Meyers turned to was her step-father, Shawn Huber, the owner and operator of Emmanuel’s Labor and assistant pastor of the World Harvest Church in Hillsboro. Huber plans to remain hands-on, guiding Meyers through the business aspects of running the gallery.
Meyers’ immediate vision for Taylor Kay Art Gallery is to showcase and sell both her own work and pieces by local artists, as well as art supplies, home decor, handmade greeting cards and gift certificates that may be redeemed toward future classes or a commissioned piece, among other items. When the need for social distancing lessens, Meyers plans to hold in-person classes at the gallery.
For the time being, Meyers will continue to offer online classes, through the Zoom platform. The introductory art classes focus on the basics of drawing and painting, her preferred mediums. As she gains her bearings, she plans to expand into offering intermediate and advanced level classes, exploring a variety of different mediums. Information regarding the virtual classes is regularly updated online at www.facebook.com/taylorkayart.
TKAG will also serve as a studio for Meyers to take commissions out of. Meyers regularly sells pieces on commission and her work is showcased locally at The Lakehouse by Red Rooster Inn.
She hopes that Taylor Kay Art Gallery will become a venue for fellow artists to teach classes and showcase their talents as well. In the future, Meyers plans to host workshops and special events, such as bridal showers and children’s hours. Providing creative avenues for local youth is one of the driving factors in Meyers’ desire to bring TKAG to fruition.
“I have a very vivid memory of the first time I realized that I loved art. I was around six years old and watching a PBS show, where they were talking about color mixing. I got my watercolor set out and started painting along with them, learning color mixing, and it was in that moment that I was hooked,” Meyers explained. “As a little girl, I used to set up a table in the front doorway of my Grandma’s house and sell art pieces for 25 cents. I refused to let anyone into the house until they bought a piece of art. So, when I finally told my mom (Lisa Huber) that I was going to open my own art studio, she laughed and said, ‘I don’t know why you are shocked, you have been doing this since you were five.’”
Meyers is a 2012 graduate of Hillsboro High School, where she was president of the Rembrandt Society. She graduated from Greenville University in 2017 with a bachelors in communication with an emphasis in theater and a minor in art. Half-way through her studies the university cut their theater program, forcing students to pursue independent studies to earn the credits they needed to graduate. This led to Meyers completing a semester of film school in Los Angeles, CA. Though much of her college years were spent in the pursuit of theatrical ambitions on bigger stages, it was returning home that led Meyers back to her love of creating art.
“We all look at books, or listen to music, or watch television and while our preferences differ, the arts are something that every single person connects with on some level,” Meyers stated. “Creativity is something that brings everyone together and my mission is for Taylor Kay Art Gallery to be a safe space for self-expression, creativity and growth. I think this is something that our area, especially the children like me, need in our community. Being able to bring my dream (TKAG) to fruition here, in the place that I spent so many years feeling stifled, is beyond meaningful to me.”
Following the grand opening on Saturday, Jan. 30, Taylor Kay Art Gallery will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a..m. to 6 p.m. Hours of operation will be regularly updated online at the Taylor Kay Art Gallery page on Facebook. Local artists interested in displaying pieces are instructed to contact Meyers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.