DeKalb resident R. Gregory Christie gravitated toward art as a child. He said it gave him the opportunity to express himself to others since he was shy.
At Gregarious Art Statements, owned by Christie, children and adults have the opportunity to sit down and express themselves through art. The gallery is designed to be a place where someone can come and appreciate art but also create something on their own. It is also a bookstore, but not a typical one.
“This is not just an art gallery or bookstore,” Christie said. “It is a place to come and express yourself and to get back to things that are tangible.”
Christie wants to capture history and show how different cultures came together. He wants to place that history in the hands of children with tangible books instead of the drift towards electronic readers.
The gallery is meant to be a place where people can find balance — it is a bookstore with a twist. Christie said he has the gallery and works on these books to give children what he wished he had as a child. Also, he wants to bring pride to cultural history and bridge the gap between cultures.
“I tell parents that you would not have your child touch a teddy bear through a screen,” Christie said. “There is something about holding the real thing. I know when I draw these pictures I am not just drawing for the child, but the parent also.”
One of his favorite books in the store is “Bad News for Outlaws.” This book tells the story of the first black Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, but also goes into the history of Oklahoma.
The gallery offers a variety of classes from drawing to book binding. Each Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m., Christie offers drop-in art classes for $5.
To learn more, or find a class visit www.gas-art.com or call (404) 801-4926.