Artifact: A gallery, a studio, and a haven for locally made art

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Your home is your castle, and they say the artwork you display represents who you are.

If you want to shop for art and support a local business, then Artifact in Cold Spring is your kind of place. It is an art gallery with a wide variety of home décor items created by local artists.

Matt Meyung owns the business. His interest in art began when he was a child. Meyung submitted artwork to art shows in elementary school and high school. He took every available art class, including ceramics, photography, painting, and jewelry.

After high school, Meyung worked in construction, framing, finished carpentry, and home renovations. He learned woodworking on the job and improved his art skills by watching google videos and doing online research. When Meyung renovated homes, he removed wood from old homes and made furniture and art out of them.

Matt Meyung owns and operates Artifact. Photo by Charles Infosino | LINK nky

Art runs in Meyung’s family. His 21-year-old daughter, Jada Reynolds, is a tattoo artist at Wicked Dragon in Cold Spring.

In 2016, Meyung opened Artifact on East 8th Street in Newport. Five years later, in 2021, he relocated the business to Newport on the Levee for six months. In April 2022, Meyung moved Artifact to its current location at 355 Crossroad Boulevard in Cold Spring.

Why did he name the business artifact?

“An artifact is an object made by a human being — typically an item of cultural or historic interest. It doesn’t necessarily pertain to art but it could. It could be an antique piece of artwork,” Meyung said. “That was the play on the word ‘Artifact.’ It’s a simple name but it’s kind of cool.”

Artifact sells artworks from 40 local artists – including Meyung. The gallery vends antiques, backpacks, bottle openers, ceramics, clothes, coasters, cutting boards, homemade soaps, jewelry, key chains, paintings, photography, portraits, prints, purses, sweaters, tables, t-shirts, woodwork, and more.

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Artifact sells a wide variety of art forms. Photo by Charles Infosino | LINK nky

The gallery offers prints, portraits, and other forms of Star Wars art.

“I normally stock Star Wars art. Star Wars stuff sells really well,” Meyung said.

Three local artists, Meyung, Adam Lusso, and Mike Maydak, create Star Wars art. Meyung’s Star Wars art includes depictions of Darth Vader and Boba Fett. He also does engravings and electric burn scenes. Lusso’s works include portraits of Darth Vader, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia Organa. Maydak’s products include prints of Star Wars characters from “The Mandalorian” and others.

Three local artists produce Star Wars-inspired art. Photo by Charles Infosino | LINK nky

Artifact’s horror prints include Aquaman with Jaws, Count Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein, Mike Meyers, Pennywise the Dancing Clown from It, Tales from the Crypt, and the Bride of Frankenstein.

Some of Artifact’s prints are unusual, such as this one that depicts Jaws approaching Aquaman. Photo by Charles Infosino | LINK nky

The gallery sells Marvel art prints such as Deadpool, Dr. Doom, Iron Man, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine. It also offers Doctor Who, Edward Scissorhands, and other themed prints.

Anisha Sanghani creates portraits of Frida Kahlo. Adam Lusso produces portraits of Marilyn Monroe. There are many other themed artworks, too, such as “Adventure Time,” Godzilla, Jerry Garcia, “Rick and Morty,” The Beatles, the Cincinnati Bengals, “The Jetsons,” “The Muppets,” the Cincinnati Reds, and the University of Kentucky.

Some of Artifact’s offerings feature pop icons, such as Frida Kahlo and Marilyn Monroe. Photo by Charles Infosino | LINK nky

Artifact offers Native American items such as arrowheads and dream catchers. It also sells Native American-inspired art such as portraits featuring deer, foxes, owls, wolves, and themes such as a Native American on a horse.

“I always had a fascination with Native American and Southwestern cultures,” Meyung said.

Meyung creates artwork, furniture, and custom signs. He has an onsite workshop at Artifact with storage and a CNC router mill to make custom signs. He also welds, frames, paints, and makes furniture. Meyung sells bourbon barrels and makes bourbon barrel furniture, such as tables.

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Patrons can purchase bourbon barrels and order custom-made furniture made out of bourbon barrels at Artifact. Photo by Charles Infosino | LINK nky

In addition to Artifact, Meyung has made bars and tables for several different breweries in Cincinnati – and did the woodwork remodeling for Kung Food Amerasia in Covington. Meyung also promotes music and arranges vendors and artists for events.

He also sells his products at several events, ranging from music festivals to local craft markets, throughout the year. Some of his biggest shows include Kentucky Wool Festival and Healing Appalachia Music Festival.

“My passion is artwork and woodwork. Artifact was created not only as a studio and gallery for my work but a unique gallery to share local art in general. I allow any artists to submit work to be sold,” Meyung said. “With over 40 local artists, we have something unique for everyone. Whether you’re into a custom or family portrait, one of our artists can work with your vision.”

If you go:

355 Crossroad Boulevard, Cold Spring
Hours: They are open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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