Gallery 1930 is an urban art bar unseen within Southern charm. Bold lines and shapes take over each work, some geometric and some blended and flowing. Abstract and landscape paintings add pops of color among neutrals. Black and white palettes fill the space and defend the modern feel of the gallery. Each piece is selected by mother-daughter pair Kathryn Keith and Laura Vogtle to fit both this style and the home interiors where they will later find their homes.

But the gallery’s story started with a third family member, Kathryn’s youngest daughter and Laura’s sister Meredith Keith. “She always had a creative way of looking at things,” Kathryn says of Meredith, a self-taught artist most known for her Birmingham street scenes. Her paintings depict a hazy view of Magic City landmarks with precise architectural detail. When the family was looking for a space for one of Meredith’s art shows seven years ago, this old English Village building came to mind.

“I used to almost wreck going past here because it’s so well done,” Kathryn says. The building’s modern white walls and hard, clean edges stand in the place of what was originally a gas station, then a Mercedes repair shop. In the heart of Mountain Brook with blank walls for Meredith’s work, it was the perfect place to host a one-month pop-up show.



Gallery 1930 was home to Meredith’s art exclusively for the first two years after that sellout month in 2010. But something about it attracted other local artists to the space. “Artists kept coming to us and asking if we’d be interested in showing their work. For a while we really were hesitant,” Kathryn explains. After all, she and Laura had experience in retail after opening and selling their boutique Laura Kathryn in Crestline, but they didn’t know the ins and outs of the art world. “Eventually we thought, ‘Let’s take this challenge and let them in.’” The gallery space easily blended with Vino for a restaurant and gallery pair unique to the area.

Together, Meredith’s artistic vision and Kathryn and Laura’s business background created the Gallery 1930 that now shows more than 50 artists, mostly from Alabama and around the Southeast. Along with adding artists, they have also honed a focus on what their clientele is shopping for. “A lot of people look for that local art for their house,” gallery manager Sara Claire Ballard says. “That’s usually the first question when people come in. We take pride in our Alabama artists.” Gallery 1930 also takes pride in their design skills, matching a piece of art with its new home.

“We strive to have what people want,” Kathryn says. “We have tried to build up a stable of artists that could satisfy the good taste and style that our clients have.” The gallery prioritizes the individual within their business, and they know how influential art can be in someone’s life. “Art really transforms a room,” Sara Claire says. She, Kathryn and Laura all have an eye for what works to brighten up a plain-Jane room. With overnight approvals and their wide selection of styles and mediums, they do everything they can to find the perfect piece of art for whoever’s looking. And lots of people are.

In the past few years they have really seen the art community taking off, Sara Claire says. With clients across the country, the gallery connects people to art with local shows as well as social media and website sales. When they hosted an art show for Alabama artist Arthur Price, hotel entrepreneur Richard Kessler immediately bought a diptych for his personal collection in the Grand Bohemian Hotel. “He loves, admires and respects art,” Sara Claire says. They were stunned by his quick purchase and appreciation of original work.

There’s a contemporary flavor to their art, yes. But the gallery’s one main goal is to find the art people want in their homes. It’s a simple goal they built the business on, allowing two owners unfamiliar with the art world to prosper. They’re always circulating the art on their walls and bringing in new artists. “Art is personal,” Sara Claire says. “It’s going to speak to you, and you’ll know it when you see it.”

It might take time to find a piece or even to commission a specific subject and size, but the gallery wants to do everything they can to match you with a painting. “Sometimes you hang a painting and it just looks like it was painted for that spot,” Kathryn says. “It’s perfect.”

Gallery 1930 is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. To learn more, call 205-870-1930 or visit artgallery1930.com.

New Gallery, Same Visionaries

To enhance Gallery 1930’s vision of artwork making a house a home, its owners opened Design Supply this past November in Pepper Place. Exchanging the white wall gallery design for floor-to-ceiling art hung on exposed brick, it’s bringing a piece of Mountain Brook downtown to share with new viewers. Design Supply also sells furniture, lighting and antiques to set each piece like it’s in a home. “It encourages people to buy art and include it in their design,” Kathryn says. Visit Design Supply in Pepper Place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or Saturday 9-4 p.m.

The Artists of Gallery 1930

  • Adele Yonchak
  • Alan Taylor Jeffries
  • Amy Stone
  • Angie Renfroe
  • Arden Ward Upton
  • Arthur Price
  • Bethany Brooke
  • Brad Robertson
  • Caroline Boykin
  • Carolyn Goldsmith
  • Casey Matthews
  • Catie Radney
  • Cecily Hill Lowe
  • Celeste Pfau
  • Craig Greene
  • Dan Bynum
  • David Diodate
  • David Kidd
  • Dennis McCann
  • Ellie Ali
  • Emily Farish
  • Eric Johnson
  • George Marks
  • Holly Addi
  • Jennifer Gibbs
  • Karly Martin
  • Katie Robinson
  • Kim Fonder
  • Kristin Blakeney
  • Linda Cooper
  • Lindsey J. Porter
  • Lisa DiStefano
  • Liz Barber
  • Lynn Sanders
  • Maggie Grier
  • Maralyn Wilson
  • McKenzie Dove
  • Meredith Keith
  • Michelle Armas
  • Nall
  • Pat Snyder
  • Patricia Seggebruch
  • Peter Kutner
  • Randy Gachet
  • Rebecca Tully Fulmer
  • Richard Bowers
  • Sally Threlkeld
  • Sarah Heath
  • Scott Kerr
  • Vesela Baker
  • Wellon Bridgers
  • Whitney Stoddard
  • William McLure