Business Profile: Gallery Citrine

by May 18, 2020Across the Cape Fear, Business, North Brunswick, Wilmington

The WOW Effect: Make Your NEST shine with Local Art

Home ownership comes with all kinds of new challenges, but interior decorating doesn’t have to be one of them. Wilmington has a thriving art scene and offers access to many local artists and artisans who can help make one’s home truly shine. According to Realtor Liz McKinley, of Nest Realty, “Homeowners can team up with local artists to create custom spaces that are unique and truly special.” Gallery Citrine, located in downtown Wilmington, is one place where homeowners can go to purchase works by local artists like Donna Launey, who also owns Gallery Citrine.

Launey spent her career as a physician before she and her husband, Patrick Tester, retired and moved from Portland, Oregon, to Wilmington in 2015. But within a year of retiring, Launey quickly immersed herself into acrylic painting classes, focusing on still lifes and landscapes in an expressionism style, which led to a second career: art gallery owner.

Launey and Tester purchased the building at 17 S. 2nd Street in downtown Wilmington and got busy creating a unique addition to the Wilmington arts scene. Called Gallery Citrine, the artist’s co-op opened on August 4, 2019. Much more than an art gallery, Gallery Citrine is a trifecta for the art community.


“I saw a need for a place that combined studios for working artists but was open to the public for workshops and classes, and a gallery where people could appreciate, learn about and buy art,” Launey says.

The co-op is home to 11 local talented and established resident artists, including Launey, who focus on a variety of mediums, including acrylics, oils and mixed media. Besides the resident artists, the gallery showcases works from six to 15 additional exhibiting artists. The space also boasts a separate pottery studio and retail shop for local potters to work and sell their products.

Many of the pieces on display at Gallery Citrine are one-of-a-kind and homeowners can also commission artists to create custom work. McKinley recommends homeowners “integrate local art to create an interior design that is not only beautiful but also tells a story.”

Gallery Citrine is meant to appeal to a wide range of patrons, including those who might not be familiar with art or specific mediums but would like to learn. “Some people don’t visit art galleries because they feel intimidated if they don’t know a lot about art,” Launey says. “As a working gallery, the general public can come in, watch our artists at work and ask them questions in the process.”


Above all, it’s a relaxing, friendly and inviting experience that Gallery Citrine strives to create for both its artists and the public. Launey created a space that is bright and colorful and embodies “a vibe that is joy, light and creativity.”

Gallery Citrine is open to the public Friday through Sunday or by appointment and is part of the 4th Friday Gallery Walk.

Liz McKinley, Nest Realty
990 Inspiration Drive, Wilmington

Gallery Citrine 
17 S. 2nd Street, Wilmington