A King’s Art
Zionsville Artist Ann King Reflects On 18 Years of Success For Her Studio & Gallery
Photographer: Brandy Hornback
After 18 years, A King’s Art Studio & Gallery is still going strong.
Change today is happening so fast, it can make your head spin. We have seen titans of industry tumble and fall, yet many small businesses have been riding the waves and making it look easy.
A King’s Art owner, Ann W. King, knows a thing or two about continuous reinvention and figuring it out, no matter what comes her way.
“It is important to me that my studio and gallery has lasted for 18 years, even through the recession,” she says. “Many others did not.”
King is not your traditional artist. Yes, she has great artistic talent that is evident when you enter her studio. Each piece has been crafted with heartfelt emotion and a lifetime of perspective. And for Ann, each of her pieces – whether acrylic, watercolor, fine handmade jewelry or mixed media – is very much a labor of love.
King did not begin her career as an artist. She doesn’t come from a family of artists. In fact, in middle school, King shares, “My art teacher told me I couldn’t draw a straight line if I tried.”
That comment cut deeply, and because of that initial feedback, she didn’t show her art to anyone for many years.
While attending Ball State for a business degree, a friend who was an art major saw one of King’s drawings. King says that friend told her, “If art makes you happy, even for a few hours and even if you never show anyone, please don’t ever stop.”
She took that advice to heart.
For many years, King worked her way up in retail businesses, holding positions such as Sales Manager and Personnel Director. She got married and started a family and eventually became involved in politics, running political campaigns for Steve Goldsmith, Otis Bowen, Sue Ann Gilroy and J. Murray Clark.
“My last big job was president and CEO of Brebeuf Jesuit High School,” King says.
Though only Jesuit priests have held this position before and since, and she was not an educator, King was voted in and trusted to run the school for almost two years in between two priests. This was pretty remarkable, King says, “because I am both a woman and a Methodist.”
King didn’t begin art lessons or showing people her art until much later than most. After leaving Brebeuf, she knew she wanted to do something with her art. She started painting and creating at home, first taking over the laundry room and then her son’s room when he went to college.
“But then he came home for Christmas,” Ann says, and she realized she didn’t want to put all her things away in a cupboard.
After searching all over the city of Indianapolis and surrounding areas for a suitable place, Ann first opened A King’s Art Gallery and Studio in Zionsville at age 57.
“When I first opened my studio, it was too big,” she says.
But her husband was very supportive and told her he knew she could make it work.
And so it made sense that part of how she made it work was by representing up to 12 other juried artists for several years.
King now represents three juried artists, who’s artwork can also be seen at her studio. And she is now an award-winning artist specializing in gold and silver jewelry and painting in acrylic, pastel, watercolor, pen and pencil. Her jewelry and artwork have won awards at juried shows throughout the state. She has received Best of Show in Metalsmithing and Honorable Mention in acrylic and watercolor multiple times.
“It has been very exciting to have my art accepted by people, by jurors, art galleries and museums, and to have people buy them,” King says. “I’m so grateful to people that like what I do.”
Because of her previous career and supportive family, King says that she “did not have to sell a painting in order to eat, as many artists do.” That gave her the freedom and space to be able to explore multiple mediums, and her joy of exploration comes through in her varied pieces.
“I could paint what I wanted to,” King says. “I felt like pinching myself, I felt so lucky and still do.
“I try to represent the positive and negative pull in everything I create,” King says of her art.
Her philosophy incorporates both sides, she says, so she can let the viewer choose what he or she sees in the work.
To learn more, or to view the beautiful, unique works of art and jewelry, visit A King’s Art Studio & Gallery at 60 East Cedar Street in Zionsville.