Jamie Foreman says she loves artists as much as she loves Canton. She’s marrying the two with the opening of Menagerie on Main, an eclectic mix of Cherokee and Cobb County artists’ works that celebrates stunning creativity.

“Art makes our lives much more interesting,” says Foreman, who opens Menagerie on Main with an open house from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, 351 W. Main St. in downtown Canton. The gallery’s regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with extended hours for special events.

“The gallery came from my strong belief that art enhances our lives and inspires us to see beyond what we think is possible,” says Foreman, 40, who relocated to Canton in 2001 from her hometown of Pittsburgh.

“When I say art, I mean it in the truest definition of the word: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Art is all the things you hang on your wall and place on your bookshelves — but it is so much more than that,” she said. “Art enhances our lives and inspires us to see beyond what we think is possible.”

Foreman’s passion for art comes naturally: her mother, Sue Foster, owns an art gallery in Honesdale, Pennsylvania and teaches art in her gallery space.

“I’ve grown up surrounded by creativity. Art can take the shape of paint on canvas or decisive and emotional moments captured by a camera,” she said.

“It can be ideas manifesting as sculpted clay, metal beaten, bent, and carefully constructed to create one-of-a-kind jewelry. Art is scraps of fabric combined to make beautiful accessories, found objects strategically layered, or discarded fragments of old buildings combined to make unique decor. I could go on and on because there truly are no limits to what is art,” she said.

Foreman’s gallery is located in a vintage house that is filled with character of its own.

“I wanted to create a space for artists who dream up and create these amazing works of art and enable them to share their works with the community. Any town I’ve seen where art is embraced, celebrated, and shared is a town that succeeds,” she said. “Art brings people together. It shares stories and experiences and passions — that is exactly how we connect. I’m big on connection. We don’t do nearly enough of it these days.”

To Foreman, Menagerie is more than an art shop. “Menagerie on Main is a vehicle for expression and connection in a city that is steadily progressing and growing. Canton is transforming, and I want artists and their art to have an integral role in its forward direction. Art helps to build vibrant communities, and we all benefit from that,” she said. “It seems fitting that we find our home in Canton, a town embracing growth and surrounded by natural beauty.”

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