Sharon, Jessica, and Heather in 2012. courtesy photo
B3 Bussert Gallery Makes a Move
by Cindy Steele
B3 Bussert Gallery, offering functional and fine art made in Indiana, is moving from its upstairs location in the Artists Colony Shops to another upstairs spot in Nashville’s Village Green Building on West Main Street, formerly occupied by Ferrer Gallery. Owners Sharon Bussert, Jessica Bussert, and Heather Bussert Strantz (the three Bs) are excited about continuing the artful tradition of that space. The new location provides more than four times the amount of display space, rooms for studios, and a classroom area for teaching and demonstration.
Heather handles the gallery’s day-to-day operations and greets the customers. Sharon promotes the business and oversees the financial recordkeeping. Jessica is a full partner, although she spends time away from Brown County as a traveling emergency room nurse in short term stays at hospitals in different cities.
When Heather moved back to Indiana after living in California for a while, she needed something to do for a living. Making jewelry was her hobby and she was hoping for a way to get her goods out beyond friends and family. Sharon and Jessica displayed their photography in a few locations but were open to the idea of having an art venue in Brown County to sell their images. The Busserts learned of a vacated shop in the Artists Colony complex and made a quick decision to lease it.
B3 Gallery represented six artists when the doors first opened in June of 2012. The number grew to more than twenty in just a few months.
Sharon had been managing the By Hand Gallery in Bloomington (in business for thirty years) before starting up B3. She was familiar with many of the area’s artists and was able to recruit some interested in the downtown Nashville exposure. The Busserts attended many art shows and approached people whose work they liked. After a while, artists began to approach them about getting into the gallery.
It didn’t take long for the B3 to outgrow the 600 square foot shop. It was jam-packed with goods just a few months after opening. There was so much stuff there they had to stack things along walls and make vertical floor displays. When Sharon heard about Ferrer Gallery leaving in December, she talked with Heather about the possibility of moving the gallery. And the timing seemed right.
About 30 artists will be represented in the new location. B3 hopes to grow even more with the increased floor space. Several of the current artists plan to display some of their bigger pieces now that there is more room. A woodworker will be able to display rockers and cabinets in the new building.
As you enter the gallery you will see a collection of the type of artwork available and, at the back of the store, you will be able to see a larger selection of each artist’s work.
It is a treat to see the mixture of texture, color, and form offered at the gallery. You will find a variety of functional pieces in addition to fine art. Artwork includes: woodwork, handmade kitchenware, ceramics, photography, glass, fiber art, fun hats, stitched paper art, watercolors, mosaics, geo motion designs, and jewelry. The Busserts try hard to promote artists that do not show their work in other local galleries. About 75% of the goods are made in Brown, or the surrounding counties, and all are made in Indiana.
Heather, Sharon, and Jessica will use sections of the gallery as their studios. Another jeweler also plans to use studio space. The shop can accommodate at least one more studio. Interested artists should contact the gallery.
The teaching and demonstration room will be available for artists to use. Many artists do not have enough space in their own studios to teach more than a couple of students.
During Nashville’s Art Walk months (May–November) B3 displays the work of a featured artist and has a reception. About half of those shows have been for artists that have never shown their work before. It is an opportunity for emerging artists to get their work out. Several of those artists stayed with the gallery. Anyone interested in having their work considered for a show should contact B3.
B3 Bussert Gallery is now located in Nashville’s Village Green Building at 61 West Main Street. Their phone number is (812) 988-6675.