When Mo McKnight Howe opened Revelry Boutique Gallery in 2010, she had one mission in mind: to provide people with awesome and affordable local art. Back then, the small gallery was located on Barret Avenue, in close proximity to a then-thriving Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. Foot traffic and curious neighbors filled Revelry each week, and word got around that the store was a good place to find one-of-a-kind local art and regional knickknacks as well.
After Lynn’s closed its doors in 2013 and foot traffic dwindled, Howe had to do something quick in order to keep her business afloat. So she packed up her concept and relocated it to NuLu, where a larger space allows her to show even more art. In 2010, Revelry hosted its first show with 20 artists, and now, it boasts more than 200.
One of those original artists was Mike Maydak, who is happy to return Saturday, Aug. 22, to showcase his mix of portraiture, architecture and local imagery at Revelry’s official five-year anniversary party. His exhibit “Heritage” will provide the backdrop of the celebration. Howe encourages everyone to stop by from 7-10 p.m., and she promises sales, shenanigans and surprises.
Howe tells Insider that her favorite part of running the gallery is when she gets to call an artist to let him know his art has sold — especially if it’s an artist who is selling for the first time.
“They are usually thrilled, sometimes moved to tears, when someone loves what they are putting out into the world,” she says. “Some people don’t understand that when an artist creates something, they are exposing their heart and soul. It’s really a win-win. The customer gets an awesome piece for their home, and the artist gets the affirmation they deserve. I just get to witness it all and make the connection.”
One interesting tidbit you might not know: Mo is short for Maureen, which she rarely hears — “unless my mom is really mad at me,” she adds.
Before Howe hangs the streamers and blows up the balloons, she answered some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
Not sure if this is surprising to most who know me, but I want to be a mom. It’s a huge goal of mine, and I really hope to accomplish it, whilst continuing to have a successful business. Juggling the two has always been a fear of mine, so I am excited to conquer it.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
What poster wasn’t on my wall? Seriously, I covered my walls floor to ceiling with pages from Rolling Stone. The most memorable one was a poster of Jim Morrison that I got at Better Days. I had an obsession with The Doors when I was a pre-teen.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
Mayor Mo would give the key to my brother (and Forecastle Festival founder), J.K. McKnight. Some would call this nepotism, but a recent economic impact study of the city says that Forecastle brought in more than $14 million to Louisville. So for that reason and all he has done for our local music and arts culture, I would give it to him. Love you, bro!
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Spinach, cheese and sundried tomatoes.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
I would be 16 again — carefree, driving my ’84 Volvo down Bardstown Road looking for the next ska/punk show, and feeling sooooo cool. It wasn’t until later in life I realized I wasn’t that cool, and now I have all these responsibilities and bills. Being a grownup is hard! I remember not caring about anything but music and art and my summer tan.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Hayden Panettiere. I get it on a weekly basis. I guess we have the same face shape? Honestly I did not even know who she was until I Googled her. Apparently she was in a show called “Nashville” and “Heroes.”
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
My husband, Scotty Howe. We are both so busy that we don’t get to spend a lot of time together, so that would be nice forced bonding time. Also, I would be having an anxiety attack, and he’s the best at making me chill out.