"Grand Haven is not unlike that coastal town so dear to my child's spirit." - Gloria Kirk-Hanna
Words & Photos by: Paul & April Jendrasiak
A few weeks ago, Paul and I were wandering around downtown looking for a wood-fired pizza place that I had heard about. As it turns out, we didn't find pizza at all but instead stumbled upon a cute little art gallery called Dave n' Dofe's at 222 Franklin. I turned to Paul, pointed and said, "Hey, that's the gallery I keep telling you about! Let's go check it out!" We wandered over on a cold dark night and sought warmth within the walls of this charming little Art Gallery/Fiber Studio owned by Gloria Kirk-Hanna, fiber artist and recent Grand Haven transplant. Gloria's shy yet vibrant personality and love of the arts kept us there for well over an hour. I quickly took notice to her Fiber Art and to the hand-painted leather clutches on display by another artist showing in the gallery. Paul found himself wandering into the next room reading a breathtaking, thought provoking piece of poetry wrapped around the walls of the room. Gloria also took me into her own space to show me her long-arm sewing machine where she creates gorgeous quilts and other pieces made of woven fabrics. Gloria's kindness made us feel special and we know she makes whomever stops by Dave n' Dofe's feel the same.
As we walked out of Dave n' Dofe's that night, I turned to Paul and said, "Grand Haven needs more places like this." He agreed and no sooner than those words left my mouth we bumped into our friends Magda and Kirsten and we immediately encouraged them to drop in and check it out as well.
So please do yourself a favor and stop into Dave n' Dofe's. Gloria is an incredible talent herself and her gallery brings a new and unique flair to our community. Show your support and make her feel welcome!
Why did you open Dave n' Dofe's? And more curiously, why did you open Dave n' Dofe's in Grand Haven?
Dave n' Dofe's was opened for a multitude of reasons: Studio space is always a high commodity and I have had the luxury of having large spaces to work as my machine is 15 feet by 4 feet. A love of fiber, a love of being around things that move the spirit, a soft place for new and old artists to land, start over, or emerge. But most important, I wanted to turn my father's passing into something good. He saw through others to the core and ignited the sparks he saw hidden. I looked at the topics that fired me up stirred passion. The importance of art in schools, teaching students and emerging artists the journey on how to sustain their creative side in all situations by hopefully starting a mentor program between working artist and students.
Dave n' Dofe's has a show space to help experimental works and give a free venue to show. As to why in Grand Haven....I moved here from the Grand Rapids area a year ago, my son started Kindergarten at Walden Green Montessori (a Charter Montessori School) and it seemed like a wonderful time to start a gift to the community I live in.
Tell us a little bit about Dave n' Dofe's... what type of work do you represent?
Dave n' Dofe's collects a more conservative form of contemporary or eclectic works that range from raw to elegant. It is more about the passion the piece evokes than about a certain style. I will admit fiber color and textiles are high on the inventory list as those are my loves.
What makes your gallery attractive to artists who are looking to show and sell their work?
I think Dave n' Dofe's is attractive to artists who are looking to sell their works because we are pretty flexible. We like to think artists are coming to another nest/home. In fact, one artist mentioned it was like coming home. We are open to all types of work and enjoy open dialog. We are a great place to show new works that push their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses. We are interested in helping artist grow and evolve, I hope that is evident when folks walk through the door. We are willing to show just about anything that lights an artists internal fire, gives them a platform for the extension of themselves and their belief system.
"Buying original work fuels an artist to create, allows an artist to get more supplies, feed their family, and better their lives." -Gloria Kirk-Hanna
Why should people go to Dave n' Dofe's?
The arts are important....people should go to ANY gallery as galleries help support a creative entrepreneur who just needs a place to show/sell, so they have more time and energy to create and evolve their own work.
Why should people consider buying an original piece of art over a reproduction piece for their home or as a gift?
Originals should evoke or stir emotion. If a piece moves an emotion it is important to one's life as that piece has lessons to teach the buyer, and those lessons shift as learned. Buying original work fuels an artist to create, allows an artist to get more supplies, feed their family, and better their lives. Its a personal interaction that will be experienced by both the connoisseur and the artists.....that concept branches out to friends and family. You never know for sure how your purchase supports....but you can always be sure you are extending support and enriching not just your own life, but that artist's. Share a smile, buy original art.
Some people have stayed away from galleries because they feel they can't afford gallery prices for a piece of art. What is the price of the items you have featured in your gallery and are most items affordable?
Dave n' Dofe's has tried very hard to give our patrons a wide range of prices...from $12 to thousands. We can do this because we have emerging artists, artists who believe art should be affordable by everyone, and seasoned artists who have worked within their field and have the confidence in knowing their worth. We love them all and would not have it any other way!
I have been in fiber since I was a little... in my Grandma's lap sewing doll dresses out of seersucker polyester by hand. - Gloria Kirk-Hanna
You are an artist yourself, what is your medium, how long have you been creating with this medium and where can people find your work?
Hahahaha! You are sneaky April!
I am uncomfortable in talking about my work as Dave n' Dofe's is not strictly about me.
YES, I do create works. I have been in fiber since I was a little... in my Grandma's lap sewing doll dresses out of seersucker polyester by hand. Art is about texture, and color for me...my medium is usually anything double sided in color, and fiber'ish cotton batiks, silks, roving, and yummy variegated cotton threads. I have been creating see through walls, wearable art since 2008, piece work/ teaching since 1993, and long arm professional quilting since 2007. I have work currently at Carlyn and Company in Grand Haven as well as at Dave n Dofe's. I will be showing at Studio 206 for Wine About Winter, at the Holland Arts Council in December of 2017 for an installation piece, and I am showing up in the Traverse City area.
You recently moved to Grand Haven from Grand Rapids and have lived a few other places... tell us what you love about Grand Haven.
I grew up in Oregon right along the Pacific Ocean.....we couldn't host track meets because it was less then 50 feet from the sea and thus too windy. I would run along the jetty road, and end most runs sitting on driftwood. The power, color, and smells cradled me, and reset my spirit. I spent four years in Alaska where the ocean offered sustenance to my heart. Then to Jersey where I longed to make the 3 hour drive to the shore in order to reset. Grand Haven is not unlike that coastal town so dear to my child's spirit, and while it is not the salt water I am used to with jutting rocks from the black sand I grew up with it does reset the soul.