“We know all these artists and deal with them personally,” says Cockerill, whose degree is in business administration. “It’s fun to go out looking for art, and it’s fun to sell.”
Cockerill admits that retail is a wild ride in this economy, and her late husband Joe had to talk her into opening the gallery in 2002. She had owned a Cincinnati store called The Eye Opener in the 1970s and travelled internationally, three months at a time, to stock it with jewelry and other imported items. The Cockerills later worked together in advertising; Joe was a fine-art photographer and cinematographer who directed commercials. Their work prompted them to move, first to Miami and later to Richmond, Va., before resettling in Cincinnati.
Last year, the store Joe Cockerill had convinced his wife to open turned out to be an unexpected source of comfort to her. “I’ve met great people over the years who were so kind to me when Joe died,” she says. Now the gallery’s customers and artisans provide an outlet and a purpose—to find and collect beautiful things into an exquisitely curated collection.