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Colorful new art gallery opens in unexpected neighborhood |

Colorful new art gallery opens in unexpected neighborhood

Alexander’s Art House, near Clarendon School in Canton, is eclectic and welcoming.

CANTON News of an art gallery opening on Fourth Street NW is not so unusual, as Fourth Street is one of the main arteries of the downtown Canton Arts District.

But Alexander’s Art House, which opens today, is on a different stretch of Fourth Street, next to Clarendon School, well west of the district.

The gallery and studio, at 2433 Fourth St. NW, stands as a bright and lively accent to an older, largely residential neighborhood. Large windows let in plenty of light, and it feels airy and spacious. There’s even a disco ball hanging from the ceiling.

“I’m not afraid of color,” said Alex Minturn, whose vibrant acrylic paintings on canvas line the walls.

With furniture, a small kitchen area and vintage accessories (many for sale) accompanying Minturn’s paintings, the Art House feels homier than some formal galleries, which was the goal.

“Some galleries are so high-end that you feel out of place,” said Minturn, who recently relocated to Canton from Mount Vernon. “I’m not that full of myself to have that type of place.”

Minturn’s paintings are in a variety of styles and color schemes. Some are abstract, some have patterns, some are mid-century modern in feel. One new series, titled “Tree of Life,” was inspired by the ’70s singer Melanie, whom he recently saw in concert.

“I don’t like to be blocked in,” Minturn said about his diverse paintings. They are priced from $45 to $300, mostly on the lower end. “I would much rather it get a new home, have a new life and take a journey.”

There also are some doll-like sculptures and block-printed T-shirts ($25), which he said reflect his punk-rock roots. (A bulletin board in the back of the gallery includes vintage pictures of Blondie and the B-52s.) Industrial-style kilts (yes, kilts!) are on the way. Minturn is not presently seeking out other artists to display at the gallery.

“I’d eventually like to offer children’s art classes,” Minturn said. In the months leading up to the gallery’s opening, he observed Clarendon students walking by and peering into the space with its fanciful and regularly changing window displays.

Born and raised in Columbus, Minturn is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art Design, where he studied everything from ceramics to photography, 3D design to screen-printing. He previously owned an antique shop in Mount Vernon.

The brick building that houses Alexander’s Art House — its occupants over many years have included a grocery store and Blecker TV Appliances — was purchased by David DiChiara, Minturn’s partner, in 2012 and has undergone extensive renovation.

DiChiara uncovered boarded-up display windows. The hardwood floors have been refinished and made gleaming. A drop ceiling was removed to expose an 11-foot, pressed-tin ceiling. A bathroom with 1970s paneling has been restored to its vintage luster. DiChiara has dedicated the building to his mother, Elena.

Hours for Alexander’s Art House are noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Reach Dan at 330-580-8306 or

On Twitter: @dKaneREP

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