Art gallery opens


First Posted: 12/4/2014

BLUFFTON — When people enter Gallery 323, owner Gregg Luginbuhl wants them to think of it as a little jewel box.

“I just hope that they like what they see and see lots of potential for different things,” he said.

The gallery, located at 323 N. Main St., opens today and features pottery, sculptures, jewelry and paintings from $5 to $500.

The shop’s interior features shelves of Luginbuhl’s functional pottery — cups, bowls and baking dishes. There are also candle holders, snack plates, watering cans and fish scultures.

Luginbuhl, 65, is a retired Bluffton University art professor and has been planning to open the gallery for several years. After his retirement in July, he got serious about it.

He renovated the shop, making the first room the gallery and the second room his studio, which will soon have a pottery wheel so he can work.

He displays just a few other vendors in the small gallery: a painter from Lima, an artist from Findlay and his daughter, who makes jewelry.

It’s art to “wear, to use and just have in your environment to enjoy,” Luginbuhl said. “I hope people will buy it because they love it.”

Luginbuhl grew up in Bluffton, studied at Bluffton University, and taught there.

“It’s where I live, it’s my town, it’s where I choose to work,” he said.

His life in the village plays into why he wanted to open his gallery in Bluffton, but so does the kind of community it is, he said.

“It’s the type of community that could take off as an art community … or an interesting destination,” he said. “I just feel like Bluffton is the kind of community that can support this kind of business.”