From Ink to Art: Ambient Inks takes art gallery into full swing

Broc Seigneurie, photos by Taylor Smith

NOW HANGING. Ambient Inks’ gallery space hopes to shed light on up-and-coming local visual artists of all media and backgrounds. The gallery is booked out through the rest of the year and some of 2019.
NOW HANGING. Ambient Inks’ gallery space hopes to shed light on up-and-coming local visual artists of all media and backgrounds. The gallery is booked out through the rest of the year and some of 2019.

Ten years ago, friends Tim Brunner and Aaron Brice start a screen printing company in their garage. They grew that business into what is now Ambient Inks on Water Street in Eau Claire.Specializing in posters and t-shirts for musicians, businesses, and clients around the globe, the company is now focusing on a new area of interest: showcasing local art.

"Our main goal is help foster new local artists who are just starting. We also want to make sure the artist aligns with our company values of creativity." – Lindsey Cherek, Ambient Inks

Using the free space at the front of their shop, Ambient Inks fashioned an art gallery to exhibit the works of local creators.

“All of our employees are creative people,” said Lindsey Cherek, who curates the gallery. “We realized we had the space for it and saw the opportunity to use our platform for artists to show their work.”

The reception has been a hit with the student audience and each new showing brings in bigger crowds. Ambient Inks drops postcards off at coffee shops and small businesses to advertise when a new show opens, along with promoting events on social media.

Since the first show, Ambient Inks has had an influx of interest from other artists who are curious about displaying their artwork in the new gallery. The company has tentatively booked out the remainder of the year for showings and is now looking ahead to 2019. They are also working on a submission form for their website, which will give interested parties an accessible place to apply for shows. Applicants will be asked to provide a portfolio or samples of their work, a description of their artistic process, and a personal statement describing themselves.

“Our main goal is to help foster new local artists who are just starting,” Cherek said when asked about how Ambient decides who to select for the gallery. “We also want to make sure the artist aligns with our company values of creativity.”

When speaking about the future of the gallery, Cherek was optimistic. “We plan to keep hosting as many showcases as possible,” she commented. “As for the gallery itself, the growth of Ambient Inks as a whole will determine what our next steps will be.”

In early September, Ambient Inks welcomed local artist Claire Kayser into the gallery. Kayser, a UW-Stout graduate, titled her exhibition “Swallow,” and it highlights her print and sculptural work. Her collection will be available to view during business hours for the coming month.

Ambient Inks is located at 524 Water St., Eau Claire. Business hours are weekdays 9am-5pm. More information is available at ambientinks.com.