Uptripping: A safari of art
Shannon and Jeremy Henn recently purchased the Uptripping gallery, formerly the Elk Horn Gallery, and are looking to create a dynamic environment where residents can gather to discuss art and hold events.
The new art gallery will open next week in Winter Park and feature pop art paintings, repurposed furniture and high-end painting supplies.
“I hope that we become an artistic space for people,” said Shannon Henn, who provides much of the artwork herself. “I can see people coming in here on a weekly basis to see what’s new, what’s come in and what people are working on.
“I think it’s going to be kind of a community space. I really want the gallery to be constantly evolving with artists bringing in new pieces.”
Henn paints bold and colorful pop art pieces, which are hung in the main showroom with the furniture pieces Uptripping sells. The furniture is primarily older, refurbished pieces or completely repurposed from an array of items including lobster traps and sleds.
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She uses a specialized kind of paint called chalk paint which requires no stripping, sanding or priming, and can help to reimagine the looks of old, unwanted furniture. On top of selling the furniture, the gallery will also sell the paint and teach patrons how to use it on their own pieces.
“We’re excited to show people everything this crazy paint can do, and see what people can come up with,” she said. “That’s the really fun part, the before and after in seeing what people come up with.”
The gallery also features more traditional artwork from local artists like Karen Vance and Stacey Peterson in a separate showroom.
The name Uptripping is an allusion to a safari company that Shannon and Jeremy ran in Tanzania. Before coming to Grand County the Henns lived in Africa where they worked as directors for Love Hope Strength, a “rock and roll” cancer foundation.
During their time with the foundation they worked with a children’s cancer center in Tanzania and brought mammography and radiation machines to Nepal. They then stepped down from Love Hope Strength and began their own charitable organization called the Impact Plan, while also running their Uptripping safari company.
“When we started Impact Plan it was sort of like opening up a Pandora’s Box, finding so many other programs that we could help with,” said Henn. “We wanted to keep it really broad in the sense that we wanted it to be able to help different programs based on immediate needs the programs have.”
The Impact Plan will be a big part of the Uptripping gallery as well. A portion of every purchase will be going to the Impact Plan, which will then be distributed to different charity organizations every month. Patrons will have the opportunity to choose where their money goes, between local or international charities which change every month.
The first month’s charities are the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Kenya and the Fraser Creative Learning Center.
“It’s a unique, fun way for us to continue with our charitable work without having to dive in too deep with one program,” said Henn.
The gallery is located at 78878 U.S. Highway 40 near the entrance to Winter Park. It opens next Thursday and will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with flexible hours for special events in the area.
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