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Nash Cox Studio & Art Gallery

February 2023

Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street is proud to feature one of our local contributing businesses in the monthly Small Business Spotlight.

This month, we met with Nash Cox of
 Nash Cox Studio & Art Gallery and got his take on being an artist, what it takes to run a small business, and why he chose Chariton for his studio and gallery.

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What is your job title and role?

I am an artist, or more accurately, an automotive fine artist. I am a member of the American Watercolor Society, Iowa Artists, and a Signature Member of the Iowa Watercolor Society.

How long have you been in business in Chariton?

I started painting 10 years ago and decided early on to pursue this as a career. I was in business almost from day one, but it took a few years before I could go full-time.

Describe your business

I have a studio and gallery - sort of my 'base of operations'- where I create realistic paintings of anything from derelict farm trucks to beautiful classic cars. I paint from my own reference photos, so I will occasionally go on scouting trips to find new subjects, but the magic happens in the studio.

Many of my paintings have won awards or been selected as some of the best watercolor paintings in the world.

At least half of what I paint this year will be paintings commissioned by car lovers.

Why do you do what you do?

When I was very young I knew I wanted to be a professional artist. I love being creative and working with my hands. After years of working at jobs that never made me happy, it only made sense to follow my dream. Nothing I've done has made me as happy as what I do now.

Was there a specific moment or realization where you made the decision to start your own business?

When I learned that a piece of equipment I was operating was causing serious damage to my eyes, I found myself at a crossroads. I was either going to continue on the same old path and throw away an old dream or I was going to take a leap of faith. I've never regretted my choice.

After a couple years of really pursuing art and developing my skill, I decided that if I didn't give this the same 40 plus hours a week that I would give any other job, it would never be more than a weekend hobby. That meant going into business and going full time.

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What inspires you to keep at it each day?

Knowing your business will fail if you don't work at it every day is great inspiration. Of course, when you really love what you're doing you don't need inspiration.

Why did you choose Chariton for your business?

Chariton is my home so by default it is the home of my business. People all over the world buy my paintings but I'm happy to have my studio right here in Chariton.

What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?

Advertising has probably been my biggest challenge. In order to stay profitable I have to reach a large audience, but I'm a lot more interested in painting than advertising.

What are your biggest rewards?

Not only do I absolutely love what I'm doing, I love meeting the people my art has connected me to. I've met TV stars, famous race car drivers, and amazing people who share my passion for vintage automobiles. I'm also connected to an amazing network of incredible artists, art collectors, and enthusiasts.

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What will people get from your business that they won't get anywhere else?

When you visit my gallery you will find unique, award-winning paintings and archival grade reproductions. If you are an art collector or fan of vintage automobiles, you'll not find a better place.

Learn more about Nash Cox Studio & Art Gallery at:

Visit Nash Cox Studio & Art Gallery at:

925 1/2 Braden Avenue, Chariton, IA 50049
Above the chiropractic office of Dr. Blong

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