Opposites' Attraction 

A unique gallery concept fused in differences

Irene Deely, owner and titular artist of the Woman of Steel Gallery, and Daniel Georget, artists' rep and gallery expert, have forged a new partnership. Since 2003, Deely has been the single proprietor of Woman of Steel, and her metal fabrications have taken center stage. Last spring, Deely brought Georget in as the gallery's director, and now they have split the previously single space into two distinct galleries. One gallery will remain Woman of Steel and will be filled with Deely's amazing metal sculpture. The newly created adjoining exhibit space, Georget's realm, will be called Rive Gauche Art Gallery.

click to enlarge Irene Deely and Daniel Georget. - PHOTO BY DENISE "JAKE" FREEMAN.
  • Photo by Denise "Jake" Freeman.
  • Irene Deely and Daniel Georget.

The Chinden location in Garden City doesn't conjure images of galleries and fine art. The area's dusty patchwork of retail, commercial/industrial and residential zoning seems an unlikely oasis for purveyors of creativity. Woman of Steel and Rive Gauche stand apart from the surrounding areas and, in some ways, from each other. "Rive Gauche" is both a geographical and metaphorical reference, according to Deely. The galleries are on the left bank of the Boise River, apart from the mainstream Boise downtown art scene.

There are distinct differences between the two partners and the spaces they will occupy. Deely is third-generation Norwegian and Georget just arrived from France. Their backgrounds and methods of approach are diverse but symbiotic. What matters to both is the care and cultivation of the artistic experience for the observer, and the exposure of talented artists to supporters and the public.

Deely, in sooty-looking coveralls, enters the room for the BW interview smiling and rubbing her hands on her pants. Although she is dressed for sculpting metal, she looks smashing. She gives a tour of her workshop and explains the history of WOS and the plans she shares with Georget to bring their dreams to fruition. Deely's gallery features a cathedral-esque wine bar, which she has fashioned from metal, and a cozy cigar lounge on the upper level, former living quarters for the family whose Chinese restaurant preceded the gallery.

Georget is a smartly dressed, energetic man who lives his love of art. He has been working with the French artist Rene Peyrou for more than 20 years. Now that he has launched his career with Peyrou in the United States, other artists have sought Georget for representation in America and across the world. Georget's Rive Gauche gallery will grant him the freedom to promote his belief that art should be about beauty and emotion. In fact, when he says the word "art," his breathy French accent often turns the sound into "heart." His heart is in his work with gifted artists like Deely and Peyrou.

Rive Gauche has its own entrance from the outside, but once inside, there are portals to WOS. When Georget's gallery is completed, demountable partition walls will display a growing selection of artwork. It is interesting to look into WOS from Rive Gauche, then into Rive Gauche from the other side. Somehow, it seems perfectly reasonable to have these contrasts joined easily together.

Georget perceives a growing public disappointment in art and the intention of artists. With Rive Gauche; he hopes to re-inspire the joy of experiencing things of exquisite color and composition. Artists who favor shocking or lewd imagery offend and hurt the nature of art, which Georget claims should be about spirit, beauty and sensitivity. About the business of selling art, he says, "Art is not just a consumer good ... it is something that is supported." He believes collectors should purchase and support living artists and not wait until the artist is gone for the value of their creations to be considered significant.

Georget represents Deely and is her partner in nurturing the vision of their joint enterprise. His presence in Rive Gauche and WOS also allows Deely more time to create. Carol Sue Byers will assume greater responsibility for WOS fabrication, so that Deely may focus on original bronze sculptures and functional metal pieces. These works will be exhibited in Rive Gauche, along with pieces by other artists and in other media. Woman of Steel will keep its sophisticated yet funky ambiance, Deely says, and almost everything in both galleries is for sale.

Deely and Georget's efforts to capture gallery ambiance goes beyond the art alone. Saying, "Every Friday is First Thursday at WOS," Deely reveals that Georget plans to host Friday evening soirees at the gallery, introducing French wines from regions well-known to him. Other top-rated wines will be served as well, all kept cool behind an imposing red metal door which once opened into the restaurant's cool room.

With the addition of Georget as director and the expansion of the gallery--now galleries--in scope, it is heartening that the galleries, wine bar and cigar lounge will be open more often and for longer durations, granting the public more access and a glimpse of art beyond the downtown scene. The Woman of Steel and Rive Gauche galleries should be seen, felt and enjoyed.

New gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays. The galleries are located at 3640 W. Chinden Blvd. in Garden City.

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