This weekend, a local art business relocated to the Square and quadrupled its space.

This weekend, a local art business relocated to the Square and quadrupled its space.

Cherry’s Custom Framing & Art Gallery is moving to the former Emporium on the Square of the historic Ramsey Building on the Carthage Square. The owners of the Emporium (who are owners of Annie’s Emporium as well) Bob and Anne Carter, will continue Annie’s on the west side of the Square, but Cherry Babcock took possession of the Ramsey Building this weekend. She said the location will be open for the upcoming Art Walk, and hopes to have the whole building open by Aug. 1.

New and Improved Cherry’s

Newly named Cherry’s Art Emporium on the Square, the business will have many new features, events and continuations of what the Emporium offered the community.
Cherry’s framing part of her business will be downstairs with an open viewing area where visitors can watch the framing process in action.

There will be space for art gallery viewing, art workshops, gifts, art supplies and items appealing to Route 66 travelers. Cherry said the gallery has added several new artists’ work to display in addition to the continuing numerous local artists. She said one of the most treasured features of the new building will be the space where visitors can feel comfortable.

“Buying art is an emotional thing,” she said. “People who buy art connect with a piece for one reason or another, it makes them feel good, and they want to take it home.”

Cherry’s long list of featured artists include names like: Andy Thomas, Bob Tommey, Lowell Davis, April Davis, Randy Wright, Doug Hall, Jerry Ellis and Tricia Courtney. The new location will allow Cherry to display even larger pieces such as Rachel Wilson’s wooden horse sculptures.

Cherry’s new sign will be designed by Jack Davis, but she plans on keeping the original in her shop.

The Woodshed Lives On
The Woodshed, a live entertainment venue in the back of the store, will continue at Cherry’s, and the rest of this year’s scheduled bands will not be cancelled. Cherry’s sister, Debbie Braeckel, will oversee the Woodshed and is anxious to bring in new types of entertainment to the Square. Ideas for the Woodshed’s future include: a new dance floor for locals to enjoy polka, square dancing, jazz, Christian and perhaps some stand-up comedy.

Sentimental Move
For 11 years, Cherry’s has been on Howard Street just a block east of the Square. Her grandfather, Raymond Cantrell, purchased the building next to it in 1943 and operated Cantrell Seed House until 1984. In the early 1960s, the family purchased the building that became Cherry’s Custom Framing.

“It’s been in my family a long time but it’s too small,” she said. “As soon as we get the other building going we’ll sell this building.”

What just started as a framing shop grew into a gallery that attracted approximately 400 people last September for one event.

“People just kept circling through,” Cherry said. “It is very bitter-sweet, but the new building is going to be big enough to have any event I want – and I’m excited about that.”

Raymond’s Legacy
Cherry said moving the location of the shop / gallery will not change her ideals behind her business.

“We’re going to provide the same level of customer service we have always represented here,” she said. “My grandfather taught all of us if you treat customers well, they will continue to be your customer. And in our world now, where everything is digital, big and impersonal, I feel that’s a lost art. So I value it.

“We’ve grown into a great art gallery,” she said. “I’m not bragging, we have great art in our gallery.”

Cherry’s staff consists of her sons, Josh and Isaac LeMasters, sister, Debbie Braeckel, and local artists April Davis and Teresa Rankin, who will instruct children’s art workshops twice a month. There will also be adult art workshops called “Cocktails and Canvas,” where participants will receive art supplies, a couple glasses of wine and a few hours of artistic fun.

“If I didn’t pray about everything, from the beginning, I would not be here today,” Cherry said. “God has blessed this business.”