What do you get when you put a group of artists together? A team effort. Link Cowen, owner of Broadway Arts Gallery & Studio, has done just that, and the result is an exhibit room with a wide range of experience, perspective and media.

Note: This is one in a series of articles that focuses on local, one-of-a-kind businesses –– who they are, what they offer, and how they help Shawnee stand out as a unique and thriving city where families interact, invest their time and talent, and work together as a community.

What do you get when you put a group of artists together? A team effort.

Link Cowen, one of the owners in a co-op running Broadway Arts Gallery & Studio, has done just that, and the result is an exhibit room with a wide range of experience, perspective and media.

Cowen said, “Some of the artists are hobbyists and others are professionals. But we all do it because we enjoy art and the company,” he said. “We’re learning, and trying to teach, as well.”

Cowen said he and his friends talked about starting the gallery for a couple years before its actual opening about 18 months ago.

“Some of us finally committed to doing it,” Cowen said. “We have a great group of people and we get along well.”

There’s been a big surge in interest over the past couple years, he said.

The local artists just expanded the gallery space for working on projects and teaching classes.

“We were spending as much time moving things out of the way as were getting to work on our craft,” Cowen said.

Pottery, sculpture, oils, pastels, watercolors and jewelry are some of the exhibit highlights.

“We try to not only have very well known artists, but help give new, aspiring artists a startup, as well.”

Midwest City artist John Wolfe was the featured guest in September. Wolfe also offered a couple morning workshops, demonstrating his work and teaching about his craft.

Cowen said last month was the first show for artists Dani Guess and Bridget Moore.

Others regularly showcasing artwork in the exhibits are painters Cody Deem, Rich Roberts and Misty Thompson –– who also does pastels and sculpture, and Cowen –– a self-proclaimed hobbyist –– who works in sculpture, acrylics and pastels.

Cowen said several members of the group teach workshops in their areas of expertise.

Professional artist Bill Denney works in pastels, while professional artist Gene Beavers teaches watercolor painting.

Artist Mary Ellen Lackey’s focus is on oil painting.

Cowen said the gallery currently has a painting class every other Tuesday morning taught by Oklahoma Sculpture Society President Glenn Thomas, from Oklahoma City.

Cowen said his group of friends gets together weekly to work on projects.

Workshops typically are held on weekends and/or evenings, he said.

“Most of us still have something else that we do professionally, so classes work around schedules,” Cowen said.

He said even though Broadway Arts isn’t located downtown, his gallery participates in Shawnee’s Third Friday event each month.

During the block parties, Cowen said the gallery offers wine tasting, food and live music.

“We typically have a pretty good crowd,” he said. “We rotate some of our stuff and have a guest artist each month, so there are always new things to see.”

Cowen said, “It’s not just about art, it’s also about community.”

He said, “We want all the galleries to succeed. The more of us that are around, the more people we can expose to art, and the better it is for all of us.”

Last year, the gallery held a “Muses in Fur” show. Proceeds were donated to Saving Pets at Risk (SPAR), according to the gallery’s website.

For more information, visit broadwayartsgallery.com.

Tell me about your local, one-of-a-kind business. You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.