In Charlotte, NC we sat down with Larry Elder of Elder Gallery to discuss the 15th anniversary of his gallery. Bringing together renowned artists from around the country, Elder Gallery has been enhancing collections and defining the visual arts for the past decade and a half.
For the past 15 years your gallery has grown to be one of the region’s leading art galleries. What brought you into this arena?
After a hard-charging career in internet technology I decided that I was ready for a significant change. My artistic passion for creating and collecting art led me to believe that I could help people understand what constitutes good art. After being snubbed and condescended by gallery personnel around the nation I felt that I could establish an art gallery wherein visitors would feel welcomed and appreciated for wanting to learn about and enjoy art.
What was your vision for the gallery?
There’s good art and not-so-good art. I’ve discovered that many people don’t understand what constitutes “good art” which generally results in them not buying anything or buying something that is safe and forgettable. My vision for Elder Gallery continues to be one wherein I provide high-quality art that is provocative, unique, and reasonably priced.
Define the art you choose to represent.
I require that the artwork represented through my gallery be unique and intriguing and of the highest quality. I strive to offer a broad selection of styles, techniques, and subject matter with which I can personally connect in hopes that the market will support my choices.
What has Elder Gallery brought to the Charlotte art scene?
Elder Gallery embraces the concept that conducting good business includes giving back to the community. In 2015 we hosted the fourth edition of Carolina’s Got Art!, the largest juried art competition for artists living and working exclusively in North and South Carolina. The ceramic component of Carolina’s Got Art! is the largest of its kind in the nation based upon monetary awards handed out to ceramic artisans. The competition has achieved national prominence and expresses our commitment to the visual arts in our two-state area. We curate gallery and museum exhibitions, present lectures, and serve as judge or juror for art competitions.
What’s next for Elder Gallery?
Our future plans revolve around promoting our consistent vision for the gallery, to continue our efforts to advocate for artists, and to educate the public. We believe that the arts can improve a child’s academic success, teach empathy and compassion, act as a stabilizer for failing neighborhoods, and increase tourism for our city. We do what we do because we know that the arts are the strongest, most immediate civilizing force in the world. It has been said that money can make us rich, love can make us brave, but art makes us human.
Elder Gallery, 1520 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28203, 704.370.6337. elderart.com