Photo by William Colgin
by Jane Clair Tyner
Almost Circle Gallery opened in the Vieux Marche district of downtown Biloxi in July last year. The gallery’s inaugural show, “M4: Mark Makers Making Marks,” encouraged area artists to spend a day in the space creating. Over the course of a week, all work was completed and business partners, Brandy Waltman and Julia Reyes, hung the show and invited enthusiast and collectors to the gallery’s opening. Since that time, the business partners have hosted a variety of regional artists and curated shows drawn from the inherent inspiration of the surrounding geography and community.
According to Almost Circle Gallery’s website, “The name Almost Circle started as a drawing group intended to bring creative people together through the act of drawing while in public spaces. New friends were made through the activation of some of these often forgotten spaces. By calling it an ‘almost circle’, we hoped to celebrate the thought of something that is open and leaving room for growth.”
Brandy and Julia have provided an inviting space which is as comfortable as it is enticing to spectators and artists alike. While most gallery owners go through arduous lengths to heighten a sense of self-aggrandisement at the expense of alienating the audience, this Biloxi duo has created an atmosphere of accessibility. Almost Circle Gallery is host not only to an effulgent collection of multimedia work, but also a congregation of players connecting generations through the engagements and civilities of a creating community. Meet Julia and Brandy…
Name: Julia Reyes
Birthday: August 6, 1988
Job title/description: Co-Owner | Creative Director
How, where, when did you meet Brandy? We met while working at Negrotto’s Gallery in Summer of 2015
How does Brandy unwind? She often calls out to the neighborhood cats around the gallery.
What is Brandy’s greatest strength? Persistence!
What do you bring to the partnership? I think I help bring creative vision to the partnership.
If Brandy were an ice cream flavor, which would she be? Neopolitan
What is Brandy’s biggest pet peeve? Bad driving
When curating work for the gallery, what are your top three considerations of an artist’s work? I try to look for original, interesting and quality work.
If you and Brandy were to become roommates, what’s your one habit (or mannerism) that would most drive her mad? Probably the fact that I’m constantly moving stuff around.
If Brandy really wants to rock out, she’ll play which band/musician? I’m going to say Lindsey Stirling or Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Is Brandy a good dancer? Probably — if good dancing means you are having a great time!
Name: Brandy Ann Waltman
Birthday: July 13, 1981
Job title/description: Co-Owner | Business Manager
How, where, when did you meet Julia? Negrotto’s Gallery where we both worked
How does Julia unwind? With an IPA
What is Julia’s greatest strength? Being positive and always looking at the bright side. WWJD (What Would Julia Do)
What do you bring to the partnership? Organization and keeping a schedule
If Julia were an ice cream flavor, which would she be? Neapolitan — All the Flavors
What is Julia biggest pet peeve? When artists don’t put wiring on the back of their artwork for a show
If you and Julia were to become roommates, what’s your one habit (or mannerism) that would most drive her mad? I hate holes in the wall!!
If Julia really wants to rock out, she’ll play which band, musician? “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill
Is Julia a good dancer? She can bust a move!