Art Discovered fills niche in local art community |

Art Discovered fills niche in local art community

Art Discovered is an appropriate name for the new gallery at 156 Mill St. Owned and operated by Melanie Steinberg, 31, and Matt Wells, 34, the clean, brightly lit space displays a range of vivid, evocative fine art.

The duo traveled extensively before meeting and after, but neither of them considered opening a gallery as part of life’s mission.

“It wasn’t until we went to Asia and saw the potential of what we could bring to Grass Valley and the Nevada County area that wasn’t really being done but was being done in other areas like here,” said Steinberg.

Absorbing other philosophies about art’s role in daily life really inspired the couple to consider how it could bring some fresh blood into downtown Grass Valley.

“There was a need for something different, there is a lot of different expression here, and the local artist community is very passionate about art. We just felt there was a need to bring something else to the table,” said Steinberg.

Nevada County is accumulating more resident artists who are showing in reputable galleries in Los Angeles and New York. Many of them are moving from the Bay Area, and it is clear what the advantages are: reduced rent, more space to work and store art, a new community and access to the infinite inspiration of nature, they said.

Until recently, there were not many options in the downtown area that could display this new, youthful influx of work. Art Discovered hopes to expand beyond the traditional to offer some new styles and provide a platform for emerging creativity.

Steinberg and Wells have no formal training in the art business, but they say that their inexperience works in their favor. They view local camaraderie and support of up-and-coming creatives as their primary objective. Steinberg and Wells want Art Discovered to invite everyone one to enter and take a look at what is going on in their community. They have put an enormous amount of work into making the gallery a success since it opened in May 2012.

“This first year was tough because we were doing it all,” said Wells.

They have since hired Ursula X Young, local artist and muralist, as their curator. Young is entrusted with building a healthy balance between local contributors and more established artists from out of town. A new exhibit opens Saturday entitled “The Secret of Birds,” which is a celebration of nascent spring. It will feature artists from Nevada County as well as Sonoma, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. In April, iconic spiritual artist Alex Grey will be signing his new book, “Net of Being.”

Nevada County is an area that prides itself on its distinct culture; for a small town, there is a considerable quantity and quality of creative people, the gallery owners said.

Art Discovered is a bold experiment in taking local culture to the next level.

“The possibilities are really exciting,” says Wells.

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