Like a blanket of sunshine on a chilly day, Jana’s RedRoom owner Jana Lynch is the epitome warmth and hospitality. Everyone is lovingly referred to as “honey,” and she boasts about the artists in her gallery like a proud mom at a soccer tournament.
So when Lynch pressed send on an email last week, announcing that she would be moving to New Mexico and that her gallery would be entering a new chapter without her, she felt mixed emotions.
“At first I was just shocked,” Lynch wrote in her statement, but that shock soon turned to excitement. Her husband had received a job offer in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and she had a feeling a concept like Jana’s RedRoom was needed there, too.
“I’m so looking forward to see what we build there,” Lynch said over the phone on Sunday. The Las Vegas gallery will become Mix It Up, with new owners Cindy Dean and Jennifer Dougherty Gabaldon overseeing operations.
Artists have come and gone since Lynch opened Jana’s RedRoom in 2012, using the space as a launch pad before spreading their wings and moving on to larger galleries. That’s the way Lynch always envisioned it. Since returning to art school, she knew that amateur artists needed an affordable place to build their confidence and show their work.
And while she waxes fondly about the artists who have left the nest—“there are so many of them, I just can’t list ’em,”—Lynch won’t take credit for their successes. “I know the most talented people in the world,” she said, holding back tears. “I’ve never dictated how an artist should create, I just told ’em, ‘Keep going.’ I just simply loved them.”