Stone House Art Gallery Charlotte is a space where creativity is inclusively curated. Stone House Art Gallery, or SHAG, was brought to life in recent years by Kilee Price and Brock Oakley Ailes. Both graduates of Columbus College of Art & Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art, Price and Ailes found their shared love of visual arts as their first step towards opening their own gallery together. SHAG is not located in a glittering skyscraper. Instead, it’s in a modest, modern, renovated garage. It offers what few other galleries in Charlotte do–a unique, personal, and genuine experience.
SHAG’s garage-turned-studio is located on the Price Estate, which has been in Kilee’s family since 1986. “I’ve always enjoyed making and looking at art, and knew it was going to be a large part of my life,” says Price.
Although she has loved art since an early age, specifically visual art, Price says that she did not discover her passion for the administrative side of art until she was in graduate school. “I began thinking more critically about art and writing reviews for my peers, which forces you to really investigate the way another person thinks. Curating is similar that way,” says Price. “You really have to know your subject in order to make it make sense in a gallery space. Currently, that’s what I really love about art.”
For Brock, co-founding an art gallery was not always in the cards. “If I’m being honest I wasn’t super interested in visual art until my early twenties,” he says. Growing up, his mother was a musician and a creative woman. She would often take random items and turn them into something else.
“We really want to curate shows that make us think and inspire us to create.”
Before SHAG, Ailes worked in galleries and museums. He even keeps his own studio, focusing on sculpture art and image work.
A Different Kind of Gallery
Stone House Art Gallery may be modest in size, but every carefully curated piece of art packs an eclectic punch. “Very rarely will we keep things traditional,” says Price. For the duo, this is what sets them apart from the larger galleries currently guiding Charlotte’s art scene.
“You see so many spaces whose sole intent is to sell works right off the wall. And that’s great, selling work is great for everyone. But I didn’t want that to be the focus of SHAG’s mission,” says Price. “We wanted to provide a place that is thought-provoking and intimate, with the ability for artists to use space and experimentation to their advantage.”
For Price and Ailes, they finally have a chance with Stone House Art Gallery Charlotte to break through the typical expectations of an art gallery. Last year, SHAG had a show that featured only one single painting, which is very unique. “I can’t really imagine any of the places I’ve worked before being willing to take a chance on a solo show that was a single painting,” says Ailes.
In their upcoming shows, SHAG plans to shake up the Charlotte art scene even more. “SHAG is for everyone,” say both Price and Ailes. “We want the space to feel accessible, inclusive, and equitable for anyone who shows or views art online or in person,” says Price. “We want the space to feel different every single time we show something new.”
SHAG has upcoming shows in November and December of 2022, and will soon be releasing their 2023 program. To stay updated on future shows, be sure to follow SHAG on social media. Pieces that have been curated at Studio House Art Gallery can be viewed by appointment. For appointment inquiries, please DM the gallery on Instagram, or reach out to the company via email.