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Main Street Gallery Enters New Phase

The team of artist directors/owners in front of the Main Street Gallery. Front row, left to right: Pam Yearout, Marge Heilman, Barbara Bailey. Back row, left to right: Evelyn Mercer Ward, Karen Hammer, Gay Butler, Elizabeth Watson, Colleen O’Sullivan, Doris Hein, Beth Bauer

Main Street Gallery Enters New Phase

Thanks to the efforts of ten talented, dedicated artists, one of Weaverville’s art galleries will not just remain open after a recent possibility of closure. It is scheduled to show the work of top-notch, internationally known artists along with the work of local artists.

The Trinity County Arts Council (TCAC) formerly managed Main Street Art Gallery, located in the historical downtown district of Weaverville next door to Mamma Llama Coffeehouse. According to spokesperson Evelyn Mercer Ward, TCAC experienced financial issues that “made it problematic (for TCAC) to continue operating the gallery.”

A committee of TCAC members formed to discuss solutions, Ward said, and eventually a plan emerged for ten local artists to take ownership of the gallery, which occurred on July 1. A pledge drive was facilitated, where the community was invited to become members of the gallery and donate money. “In a month and a half, we had more than enough (in donations),” Ward said.

A local nonprofit facilitated by Kim Stokely offered to “umbrella” the new gallery, and many lengthy steps were carried out. Some of these involved refurbishing the gallery, creating bylaws, drawing up a budget, buying new furniture, inviting artists and crafters, and writing policies and procedures. “We all, amazingly, work well together!” Ward said of herself and her nine fellow artists. “It’s a great group of artists that not only works well together, but is very task-oriented and efficient.”

Ward said the re-opened gallery will not only host art shows, but will offer talks and workshops by featured artists. “We want the gallery to be a quality arts and crafts gallery and also support community artists and have an educational focus.”

The gallery owners have created a format for running the gallery where “everybody would be responsible,” Ward said. Thus, they have ten committees, and each of the ten artists is a committee chair for one of the committees.

Ward said the gallery’s goal is to show not only local artists, but to invite “name” artists—nationally and internationally known artists—to show their work. For their August show, nationally known artist Ry Smith will show his work in oil and acrylics.

Ward said the re-opening of the gallery under new management could not have been possible without the generous support of the community. “This community is a very generous community,” she said. “People in the community make it happen, and it’s very heart-warming that they do so.”

Story by Shannon Rooney, Aug. 9, http://weavervilleonline.net

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2 Responses »

  1. This is wonderful! It is so exciting to see so many come together and accomplish a single goal! It is a very good feeling to so so many people care about Art and to make it happen! :)
    I would love to be considered as a guest Artist sometime, how could I go about submitting my information?
    LitaV

  2. Lita, thank you for your enquiry. The person to contact would be Evelyn Mercer Ward, Show Chair by calling Main Street Gallery 530 623-9259 and leaving your contact information. Again, thank your cor your comment and your interest in our Gallery on Main Street.

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