Antique Gallery in Delano to open in former Delano Antique Mall

UPDATED — A new antique mall is opening in the former Delano Antique Mall, which closed late last year, at 1642 W. Douglas. That’s about six blocks west of Seneca.

“It’s going to be a little more upscale than before,” Lee Tippen says of the new Antique Gallery in Delano.

Tippen previously co-owned Paradise Antiques, which he says he closed when he sold the property.

At 13,000 square feet, the Delano space is three times the size Paradise was.

“We’ve totally rehabbed it,” Tippen says. “I think we’ve put about 55 gallons of paint inside.”

So far, he says he has about 60 percent of the space filled with new vendors.

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Artist Central expands with residential living

WICHITA — Artist Central, the artist work space and gallery on Central just east of Oliver, is expanding again in a rather unusual way.

Clifton Square owner Jo Zakas, who started Artist Central in 2011, has purchased the two four-plex apartments next to the artist space and is going to expand her concept to include residential living for artists.

There are eight one-bedroom apartments, each of which is furnished and has a carport, that will lease for $375 a month.

“And they’re cute,” Zakas says.

Though she’s open to renting to anyone, Zakas says she especially hopes to attract artists of all kinds.

“Now they can have a place to paint, they can have a place to live, they can have a place to show, they can have a place to sell … all in that one little area.”

They can take classes, too, she says.

“We still are needing more artists, and we need more students for the classes,” Zakas says.

Artist Central has evolved beyond the vision she initially had for it.

“I was taking a class with a few other people, and we decided we needed a place to paint,” Zakas says. “The next thing we knew, we were doing Final Friday.”

Then the gallery and work space grew. Zakas says she thinks residential makes sense for the latest expansion.

“I just think it’s a smart move.”

OT Media to move to part of Artist Central’s former gallery space

UPDATED — The 2-year-old Artist Central at 5014 E. Central is going to reduce in size to make way for a new business.

OT Media is a portrait photography and videography business that Nick Thomas has been running from his home.

“This will be our first …office,” he says. “Our team’s gotten bigger, and so we need a space.”

He now has three employees. Thomas says he offers portraits and “kind of like lifetime event videography,” such as weddings and graduations.

The OT in OT Media stands for Thomas’ middle name, Owen, and his last name.

The space his business will be in used to be Artist Central’s gallery space.

“We’re basically splitting Artist Central,” Thomas says. “So they’re going to have half the area now.”

Jo Zakas, the Clifton Square owner who started Artist Central, says Artist Central still will have 2,500 square feet.

“We felt that this was such a great addition to Artist Central,” she says of OT Media. “They’re artists. … They’re young, and they’re enthusiastic, so we think they’re just going to add a really bright spot to us.”

Zakas has news coming soon about artists’ residences at Artist Central.

“We really want to make Central Canyon Road,” she says, referring to the famed gallery row in Santa Fe, N.M.

Thomas will debut his new space at next week’s Final Friday.

Visual Fusion to expand, move to Delano

Visual Fusion’s Zarah Daniels (from left), Michelle Adams, Naama Marcos and Astyn Jeys, standing in part of the studio’s future Delano home.

WICHITA — A little more than a decade after opening Visual Fusion, owner Naama Marcos is moving the graphic design studio to a building she’s purchased in Delano.

“It made sense,” Marcos says of purchasing the 4,400 square feet at 623 W. Douglas.

She says that’s where Don Cary of All Things Barbecue once planned to move his business.

“He outgrew that place before he was able to move in there.”

Marcos and a partner, who moved out of state last year, opened Visual Fusion 11 years ago in 750 square feet at Eaton Place downtown.

“We really love the location,” she says. “We outgrew the space.”

Around the time the partner left, Marcos says she hired an intern who had been working for her. Since then, she’s added two more designers.

“We’re really growing, and we’re just kind of sitting on top of one another,” she says.

“We needed a bigger facility to not only have enough room for all the designers and the growth, but also we added a photography studio,” Marcos says. “We take a lot of photos, and that’s something we wanted to do in house.”

Visual Fusion’s designers “do print and Web, which is not necessarily always the case,” Marcos says.

They’re all Wichita State University graduates.

“It’s like a proud little thing we like to share,” Marcos says. She says WSU and its educators “really produce quality designers.”

WSU is a client of Visual Fusion as well.

Marcos says her company also has national and international clients, but she says the work Visual Fusion does is done “in a very personal, face-to-face kind of manner.”

“Really, our specialty is good customer service and attention to details.”

At the new space, which Visual Fusion will move into in December, the designers will have a quiet area to work on the second floor, and there will be a separate conference room along with the photo studio.

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Trove Total Body Studio to move to Renfro

WICHITA — A year after opening at the Finn Lofts, Janelle Robertson has decided to move her Trove Total Body Studio to the new Renfro at 612 E. Douglas.

“I am on the move,” she says.

Robertson is the first commercial tenant in the building, and she’s taking one of the live-work spaces but will use both areas for her business instead of living there.

Developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey, in collaboration with Farha Construction, recently finished converting the former Victoria Park Apartments into the Renfro.

The building, which is named for a hotel that was once there, has 20 apartments, including several live-work units.

Robertson says she thinks her expanded space at the Renfro will be ideal.

“Just the configuration for me and what I’ve been doing here so far just fit better,” she says.

Trove offers facials, massage, chemical peels, body treatments and micro dermabrasion.

“Really just about everything you’d want in a spa,” Robertson says.

On the second floor of her studio — what typically would be the bedroom in the live-work arrangement — Robertson will have massages and facials.

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Renfro apartments ready to debut

UPDATED — There will be more than art on display downtown for the Oct. 26 Final Friday.

Developers Robert Eyster and Michael Ramsey, in collaboration with Farha Construction, also are introducing their new Renfro apartments, including some gallery space in the first floor hallway of the historic building.

The property was built at 612 E. Douglas in 1908 and once was home to the Renfro hotel. Most recently, it was Victoria Park Apartments.

“It’s a building that needed a lot of love,” Ramsey says.

He applied for the building to be on the National Register of Historic Places and was able to use historic tax credits in renovating it.

“We love being part of giving a building another 100 years of life,” says contractor Ted Farha. “There’s something pretty special about that.

“When it comes to sustainability or green building, really, I don’t think there’s anything greener than taking an existing building and bringing it up to date.”

There are 20 units, including a few live-work units with metal spiral staircases between the work and living spaces. There also are two commercial spaces in the front of the building. Those spaces are still available. Four of the apartments, including one live-work space, are leased.

There are unique touches throughout the building, such as original ceiling tins in some apartments, a garage door in one back unit and glass brick where another garage door once was.

Ramsey says he, Eyster and Farha Construction incorporated a lot of what they learned from renovating the Zelman Lofts building just down the street.

“The things that worked we tried to keep,” he says.

That includes open areas and ambient light.

“People will put up with smaller living space if we give them lots of storage, lots of shared light, lots of open area … and we give them nice kitchens and nice bathrooms.”

They found substantial savings by having Farha build cabinets in each of the units instead of buying them.

There are further savings for renters with high efficiency heating and air and LED lighting.

“We employed all the current technology that’s available to make this building as green as possible without going through . . . all the LEED Certification stuff,” Farha says. “It’s really satisfying to be able to do that. To create great living spaces for people.”

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Cake Face Bake Shop adds truck, sandwiches to business

WICHITA — Another new food truck is going to debut this weekend.

Summer Schoenhals already owns Cake Face Bake Shop, which she runs from a licensed kitchen in her home, and now she’s going to start selling baked goods and other items from a truck, too.

For a long time, Schoenhals says she “piddled around” making cakes and cupcakes for friends and family.

“Everybody kept telling me to start a business,” she says.

In January, she started one in the kitchen of her home. The business grew so quickly, she had to add a commercial kitchen.

In March, Schoenhals says she was approached about selling out of Absolute Vintage Boutique on Maple across from Target.

Saturday at the Automobilia car show, she’ll debut the truck, from which she’ll sell cakes, cookies, cupcakes, novelty baked items and a line of gourmet sandwiches using Big Rick’s barbecue sauce.

Big Rick’s is located at 400 S. Commerce St., and Schoenhals says she’s going to be able to use the company’s parking lot to sell from the truck during Final Friday and before events at the nearby Intrust Bank Arena.

Schoenhals also is a nurse, but she’s going to cut back to one day a week to help her Cake Face business grow. She says she’s also going to pursue corporate and event catering.

Schoenhals’ husband, David, recently was laid off, so he’s going to work with Cake Face, too.

“The timing was actually great,” Schoenhals says. “This is going to be our new source of income, so we’re pretty excited to get going on it.”

Delano Gallery of Fine Arts opens in June

WICHITA — Brent Miller is planning the new Delano Gallery of Fine Arts at the Delano Bed & Breakfast he and his wife, Becky, opened last year.

Miller previously owned Evo Gallery in Old Town in the 1990s and has the distinction of naming Final Friday years ago. He plans to use the gallery crawl for public openings. In fact, the gallery will open on Final Friday in June. Otherwise, it’s by appointment only except for an occasional special event.

“I’m really kind of narrowing it down to focusing in on buyers, and the way you do that is limit access,” Miller says. “Really in a town of this size if you restrict the access, you actually increase the interest.”

On the ground floor, Miller will showcase more traditional landscape art. Upstairs, he’ll feature more contemporary art.

Miller says he wants visitors to see the art with furniture so they can visualize what it would look like in their own homes.

He says he’s doing the gallery “to represent artists locally and sell the work.” He’ll feature some regional artists as well.

Showcasing the bed and breakfast is a nice side benefit, too, Miller says.

“That is definitely a component of it.”

Rebecca’s owner has shot at being Project Runway contestant

WICHITA — Most people who have “Project Runway” parties simply are watching the popular Lifetime show with friends.

That’s not why Rebecca Simpson is throwing one during Final Friday.

The casting director of the program, which is a reality show that pits designers against each other, has invited Simpson to try out for the next season. Part of her audition includes making a short video, which she’ll do at Rebecca’s, her Old Town Square shop next to Caffe Moderne.

“It’s going to be packed in here,” Simpson says.

She also has to fill out a 25-page application and may be called for an interview.

“He already asked me where I wanted to interview at,” Simpson says.

The casting director found her through a mutual friend.

“I still haven’t seen a whole episode through,” Simpson says.

She plans to study, though.

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Arts Council teams with city and Wichita Downtown Development Corp. to create new Final Friday campaign to boost art sales

WICHITA — Final Friday is a popular monthly art crawl for some, but the Arts Council wants to make sure it makes business sense, too.

Final Friday attracts about 4,000 people monthly, which the Council says boosts area restaurants and retail shops, but that doesn’t always translate to support for artists.

“We know there’s already a lot of attention out there for Final Friday, but we want to take it to the next step up,” says Ann Keefer, who sits on the Council’s board and is vice president of marketing for the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.

The Council, the WDDC and the city are teaming for a new campaign to help increase art sales.

“One of the things we see as far as helping to develop downtown … has been the creative industry,” Keefer says. “It actually is an economic driver in some respects.”

If people only tour galleries and don’t buy art, though, artists won’t be able to stay, Keefer says.

“We don’t want that to happen. We want them to stay and flourish.”

The campaign will be led by a new logo that Sonia Greteman agreed to have the Greteman Group create pro bono.

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