Living Ind

Grand Reopening

by Mary Tutwiler

Jennifer Grand's contemporary art gallery returns.

Don't take Jennifer Grand for granted. Her affinity for contemporary art has been sorely tested over the past year, after losing her lease on the 3,000-square-foot flagship gallery in the Attakapas Ironworks building on Jefferson Street that she renovated with her family and partners. While the wrangle with her landlord left her gallery temporarily homeless, Grand has rebounded with a new sleek space downtown to view cutting-edge art in Lafayette. The Grand Contemporary Art Gallery has reopened its doors in a new location at 402 S. Buchanan St.

The new location has advantages Jennifer Grand didn't anticipate when she first looked at the unfinished space. The large building goes all the way through the block from Jefferson Street to Buchanan, with Tsunami Sushi and the recently opened wine bar, Lounge, facing Jefferson. Lounge was still under construction when owners Sean and Michele Ezell consulted with Grand on whether she would like bar customers to have access to the art gallery. The result is a pair of double doors that connect the two businesses and are ajar for Grand's openings. For events like ArtWalk, Grand has a built-in bar, and Lounge claims shared wall space with some of the hottest contemporary artists in the region. "I used to dread ArtWalk [at my previous location]," Grand says, remembering the earsplitting volume of the music from RAIN shaking the art off the walls and worrying about red wine stains on the unfinished hardwood floors. "Now I can sit at the bar, and the floors are polished concrete. When I have an opening, I can stay open until midnight. Now it's fun."

The Grand Contemporary's opening group show will feature regional artists represented by Grand Contemporary including George Marks, Yvette Owens, Lisa diStefano, Jill Hackney, Saliha Staib, Bradley Sabin, William Lewis, Bryan Lafaye, Michael Eble and Michelle Y. Williams. The show will be held in conjunction with Downtown Lafayette's ArtWalk, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., April 14, and runs through April 20. Call 235-5252 for more info.