Art in the neighborhood

By Nancy Elliott, The Herald Bulletin 

ANDERSON — Photographer Eliot Reed is well-accustomed to framing and capturing images with his camera. Now, the 32-year-old Anderson man is focused on a larger picture. After months of planning and work, Reed is opening the doors of Park Place Arts in Anderson.

Looking through Reed’s lens, you see his new space as an art center for the Park Place community and beyond. This is where Reed creates a home for his photography and the work of other artists on the walls of his galleries. He runs his professional frame shop and photography studio here as well. It’s a place where art classes are offered. After Reed’s thoughtful remodeling of the space, it makes a posh and intimate venue for events, too.

Reed sees it all as part of building a healthy community and creating an enriching experience.

“I see myself more as a facilitator,” said Reed.

Reed’s venture is driven by his love for community and the arts. The man is deeply rooted in all things Anderson, but he draws on experiences from travels much further afield.

“I’ve always been interested in art,” said Reed. “This is kind of a conglomeration of my interests and abilities.”

Reed spent the last seven months rehabilitating the structure at 515 E. Eighth St., just east of the bridge. The clapboard house is now fresh white with bright yellow awnings, and a royal blue door. Reed said he believes the structure dates to 1889, but don’t look for a vintage look on the inside. Visitors will find the space coolly open and modern.

The walls of the gallery rooms are painted with a soft gray under a corrugated tin ceiling 10 feet up. Track lighting illuminates the professionally hung works. Wood floors add warmth to the calm gallery space. Nearby is Reed’s framing studio. His office holds a vast table, where artworks can be laid out. The table is made from left-over acacia wood flooring with solid maple banding, and legs of cedar.

Like pretty much everything else, Reed did the work himself with help from his dad, Willard, as well as friend and artist Jason Knapp. “It’s been quite a transformation,” said Reed.