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After three and a half years sharing space with Robert Rentz Interiors, the curators of Rentz Gallery are striking out on their own.
BJ Kocen and his wife, Jennifer Glave Kocen, are planning to close their gallery at Rentz at the end of June and launch Glave Kocen Gallery Sept. 7.
An enthusiastic BJ Kocen says a solo gallery was "a no-brainer" when they discovered the opportunity to buy the building about a block east at 1620 W. Main St. It will double their square footage and give them access to a parking lot, he says.
Robert Rentz Interiors will continue. And there is no bad blood, Kocen says, as Robert Rentz will continue to support the gallery through his clients. "Our relationship with him is not changing, but our partnership is dissolving," Kocen says. "This will be our gallery."
Staying on Main Street was a main concern. "I can't imagine the gallery being anywhere else," Kocen says. "It's where we established our business."
Kocen, who is also a local musician, handles promotions for the gallery and heads the Main Idea, a coalition of Main Street businesses organizing to become a destination a la Carytown. His wife has nearly 20 years of experience in the arts field and more than a decade working with galleries.
Their new 3,300-square-foot gallery will showcase contemporary artwork and meditative pieces. The Kocens maintain a philosophy that art is for everyone, not just an exclusive group of people. "Our focus is to make sure the space is warm and inviting," Kocen says. S
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