State Street restaurant opens art gallery for local artists

MADISON, Wis. — A state street tavern is transforming the building next door into an art gallery for local, young artists.

107 State Street, an upscale pub in downtown Madison, is expanding their space.

Instead of serving their regular burgers and cocktails, the building will be used to display art made by local creators.

“As we continued to go through with working for more community outreach, we decided that a gallery of some sort would be good for the space and good for the community as well,” said Nathan Mergen, chef owner of 107 State.

In the second half of 2020, more than 30 businesses on State Street closed down due to the pandemic. ‘Shoo’, a shoe store located at 109 State Street, is one of those 30 businesses.

Now, 109 State will be used as the public space to showcase exhibits and art work.

Artists say it has been hard finding a place to show their work.

“It’s nice to finally have a gallery space where we can all collab and out our artwork on display,” said art curator, Adam Villegas.

The two-story building will be home to both solo and collaborative work.

The gallery is currently displaying the exhibit “The Burden of Reality” done by Paulina Eguino and Tony Torres.

“This is very personal work for us and we hope to be able to share our stories of struggle with other people so they can relate,” said Eguino.

The gallery hosted a reception earlier tonight, with prints and other work for sale.

When one door closes, another one opens.

“Art means a lot to me, especially creativity, expressing feelings and emotions that other people can connect with,” said Villegas.