Metanoia Gallery A Metamorphosis In Fenton

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June 2013       Issue 3.1

Metanoia Gallery A Metamorphosis In Fenton

Samuel Luna 
Inspired by a painting that sparked an emotional reaction, Samuel Luna began an amazing journey to share his love of fine art. Samuel says “Metanoia is a Greek word which means metamorphosis and where we get the word transformation.” Samuel’s metamorphosis began when he saw a painting by the artist Valentin Acosta hanging on a wall. The painting was titled FACE OF NO ONE, and it’s effect on Samuel stirred great emotions that have ultimately transformed his life. The memory of that painting lingered in his memory. Each time he saw the artwork the emotions always returned. Finally, Samuel purchased the painting and felt connected to the art and the artist whenever he gazed at the piece hanging on his office wall. “I suddenly realized that art is not just color, it is also language, message and action,” Samuel said.

Transfixed by the impact the face in the painting had on nearly everyone who saw it, he decided to learn how to paint and to promote wonderful art. He felt an overwhelming desire to support and protect artists by helping them sell their creations. Samuel Luna became part of an artistic movement in the Dominican Republic called MWVA. “The primary mission of the movement is to promote good art and creations which transform communities to break the cycle of poverty”, Luna says. “ I firmly believe that art raises the intellectual, spiritual and social level of people. Art is also therapeutic for persons going through illnesses like cancer or depression.” While Metanoia is strong in the Dominican Republic, Samuel believed that art should not be bound by languages or borders, and wanted to create new artistic spaces to share his vision. He started his first gallery in his own home, but his wife didn’t share his enthusiasm. Samuel then moved the paintings to his mother’s house, but her lack of privacy led him to rent a space in the small community of The Dominican Republic called Jarbacoa. Samuel however, had a greater vision, he wanted to open art galleries in different locations around the United States.

Samuel’s wife is originally from Michigan and Samuel had thought about opening a gallery in Grand Blanc after celebrating Easter there in April. But something drew him to Fenton, even though he had never actually visited the town and knew very little about it. As fate would have it, he decided to travel to Fenton on a cold and extremely windy Sunday where the only businesses that appeared open were The Laundry restaurant and a bookstore. He decided to visit the bookstore and met Karen Piacentini, the owner of Fenton’s Open Book. Samuel felt as if he already knew her with their surprisingly comfortable and relaxed conversation. When he mentioned his quest to find a home for his gallery, Karen said, “ Would you like to share this space with us?” Karen then called her husband Mike who joined them at the bookstore. After a truly positive conversation with the couple, “Metanoia Gallery” was born. Samuel was surprised and thrilled that his very first gallery in the United States would open in downtown Fenton Michigan. He is excited about the positive transformations the gallery can bring to Fenton. As he reminds us, "A town without an art gallery is like a park without people.” Samuel believes Fenton’s beautiful infrastructure and growing economics are the perfect compliment to the Metanoia Gallery. He hopes the gallery will bring a new diversity to Fenton, with people visiting the area who are seeking beautiful artwork.

With the “Metanoia Gallery” plans well underway, Samuel’s job is to find paintings from global and regional artists that are selected with a very specific criteria. All the artists featured will be well recognized for their art and in their nation or state. The artists also need to possess a particularly strong commitment to the transformation of their communities. His first exhibit will include artists from Michigan, Guatemala, North Carolina, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Samuel’s hope is that the gallery's offerings will leave a lasting impact on all that step inside.

In addition to the art in the gallery, Samuel hopes to engage visitors in discussions about culture and jazz as well as details about the exhibiting artists, over a cup of coffee. In the near future, they plan to offer musical events about once a month. He hopes to include the local Fenton Community businesses and schools so that Fenton will become a central place for art. He would like to create an extremely human environment that also nurtures his passion for the arts. “Take note, when we watch television, we don’t talk. That doesn’t happen with art; it is beautiful and very motivational to see works of art and to be able to share with others what we see, feel and understand...” Samuel says.

Metanoia Gallery is located in Fenton’s Open Book

105 W. Shiawassee Fenton, Michigan 48430 Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm Visit their Facebook page for more information.
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