Edgewater Couple opens Art Hub Chicago, selling the work they created during the pandemic
EDGEWATER – An Edgewater couple turned a pandemic hobby into a business, making them the owners of the area’s newest art gallery.
Art Hub Chicago opened in early November at 1227 W. Devon Ave., a few blocks from the Edgewater home of owners Ozgun Danaci and Sarah Sutphin. The gallery is an offshoot of the business they started at home during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was at this point that Sutphin was taken on leave from her job as a preschool teacher. Sutphin resumed painting, returning to a hobby she had attended school for but had given up in favor of her career.
âAfter I was put on leave I wasn’t doing much,â said Sutphin. “I had all the supplies so I started painting again.”
Sutphin started selling paintings on Etsy, where she racked up hundreds of sales in the first year. With the help of Danaci, his partner, the two began selling Sutphin’s art at summer street fairs.
After this early success, Sutphin and Danaci decided to open an art gallery in time for the holidays.
âI’ve always wanted to start my own business,â said Danaci, who works as a project manager in the renewable energy sector. “Etsy was so successful, and we had enough paintings to say ‘We should open a gallery.'”
Art Hub Gallery sells Sutphin’s work, as well as prints, ornaments, candles made by Danaci, ceramics and other gifts.
Sutphin is the main artist represented in the gallery, with his colorful depictions of celebrities, landscapes and city scenes visible from the street. Danaci runs the store while Sutphin paints in space.
Art Hub Gallery also sells works by other artists, including Jeremy Rosen, based in Germany, and Teddy Sutphin, Sarah’s father.
Teddy Sutphin has a background in fine arts and helped spark his daughter’s love for this art form. As a professional chef, Teddy Sutphin also found himself with more free time during the pandemic. His daughter convinced him to return to painting, and now his work can be found in Art Hub Gallery.
Most of Teddy Sutphin’s contributions to the gallery are paintings from Dayton, Ohio, where Sarah grew up.
âI’ve always loved doing it, getting lost in painting,â said Teddy Sutphin, who was in Chicago from his Kentucky home for an artist residency at the Art Hub Gallery. Sarah Sutphin “said,” You have taught me so much about art. Why don’t you continue to paint? “
After the online store’s success, Danaci knew he wanted to open a gallery in the couple’s home neighborhood, he said. While walking, he found a storefront at the corner of Devon and Magnolia avenues that was vacant and decided to rent the space.
âWith the holidays approaching, I thought it was a good time to try something in the neighborhood,â Danaci said.
Art Hub Gallery seeks to differentiate itself from other North Side art dealers by being inviting and affordable, the owners said. The gift items displayed in the display case offer something for people who do not collect art. And Art Hub Gallery offers painting for $ 35 to $ 750, with many works costing under $ 200.
âWe don’t want to make it feel like a museum,â Sutphin said. âWe want to be accessible to everyone.
The couple signed a one-year lease for the gallery. They will also continue to sell in markets, including the Edgewater Holiday Pop-Up Market on Bryn Mawr Avenue. If there is enough community support, the gallery will stay longer, they said. So far the support from the community has been good.
“We are trying to see where this takes us,” Danaci said.
The Art Hub gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, click here.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501 (c) (3) newsroom run by reporters. Every penny we report on Chicago neighborhoods.
Listen to âIt’s All Right: A Podcast from Block Club Chicagoâ here: