Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for December 2015- Matrix Gallery
Lana Juarez majored in Fine Arts at Virginia Tech, and it did not take her long at all to fall in love with the town of Blacksburg, Virginia. She’s always loved small towns and always felt at home with the independently-owned shops and businesses here. With her degree in hand, she applied to any arts-related job in the area that she could find, although most were commercial arts oriented, and that was not her training. Thus, her first job out of college was scooping ice cream at Gillies Confectionery!
Ten Years after Graduating College
Lana made a living gypsy style, traveling the East Coast and Midwest doing juried craft fairs. She met an amazing family of fellow artists and craftspeople, and over the years she was exposed to an incredible variety of top of the line creations including jewelry, pottery, woodwork, blown glass, and leatherwork—in fact, most all of the things she carries in the gallery to this day. She used to wish and wish that someone would open a crafts gallery so she could work there. That never happened, so she did it herself!
A little space on Main Street became available, and although she had traveled to some Colorado ski towns and even considered the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the gallery, starting here at home made the most sense. Matrix Gallery started as a three person partnership (Lana, her talented ex, Gil Roberts, and the visionary local builder, Phil Louer). The doors never would have opened with out the hard work of each of them, and Lana is so grateful they made such a great team. Time marched on, and she ended up buying out each of her partners, and with nerves of steel and a great miniature staff (of one, occasionally one and a half), she continues to run Matrix Gallery.
Lana loves the little gallery now as much as she ever did and still gets excited when she finds new work, and she is so grateful for the support of this community. It has been such a pleasure for her to share her love of beautifully crafted, functional art to live with and art to use and enjoy every day. She has always loved the care and energy put into something that is made by hand, and it has always been important to her to support American artists who are brave and driven enough to continue this important tradition.