Week Fifty Two

Heller Art Images to Close

Posted in Art news, general interest by sarahbakerhansen on 22 January 2009

heller

I heard through the grapevine late yesterday afternoon that Rockbrook Village’s Heller Art Images – open in Omaha for more than 20 years – will close Feb. 6.

Bob and Dee Heller opened the space close to 22 years ago. Their daughter Kate, via email, told me some history about how it hapened. Bob Heller, she said, worked for Enron and when his position got eliminated, in the late 1980s, he was 52 and not ready to retire. Two of the Hellers’ five children still lived at home and the family needed income. Dee Heller, an artist, had been showing work since the children were young, and so the Hellers decided to open an art gallery.

The original Heller Art Images opened at 114th and Dodge streets in the Miracle Hills Shopping Center, and it moved to Rockbrook Village about five years ago, Kate Heller said. Though the atmosphere of Rockbrook did much for the Gallery, the current economic crisis is forcing the space to close for good.

Stephanie Heller-Durr and her husband, John Durr, run the gallery now. Kate said her parents – at 72 – aren’t able to work full time in the space any more but still enjoy helping out. With the gallery closing, both her parents and her sister are losing their income, Kate said.

“It is truly a family business,” she said. “I think we have all worked there at some point in our lives.”

Heller Art Images, 11015 Elm St., will be open through Feb. 6. For information, call (402) 496-9988.

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