Monday, March 10, 2014

March 2014 Newsletter. To Everything There Is A Season........

“To everything there is a season …..….” so goes the well-known song. Finally, spring has arrived and brought not only a change in the weather, but also a change for our gallery as well. My partner and his wife have relocated from South Carolina to Belfast, Maine, and will live on the second and third floors of our gallery building. The first floor will continue to be the home of Raven’s Nest Gallery operated by Maine artist and antique collector, Jude Nickerson. Our gallery’s physical presence will be replaced by its virtual presence.

My partner, Louis Masciovecchio, and I have owned and operated an art gallery in Belfast, Maine, since 1999 and now it is time to slow down and paint. Now that we are both retired and he is back in Maine, we hope to be able to paint together again without the responsibilities of the business getting in the way.

I would like to share the history of our gallery, taken directly from our website.

Three Maine artists, Louis Masciovecchio, Celene Farris and Dianne Horton, established The Working Art Gallery in January 1999 on Front Street at the Belfast waterfront. The name was chosen because the three artists maintained their studios at the gallery. Visitors were encouraged to watch and ask questions. Celene also offered art classes at the gallery. The three artists helped to establish The Belfast Arts Association, working closely with the other galleries to create a vibrant art community in Belfast.

In September of 2003, the gallery moved to its own building at 65 Main Street in historic downtown Belfast. (The William Crosby Building, 1857). The gallery expanded to two floors and added a visiting artists’ gallery giving new, up and coming artists the opportunity to display their work in a gallery setting. A classroom on the second floor was now used for Celene's expanded oil painting classes. Louis and his wife used the third floor apartment when they visited Maine.

The gallery continued to grow, representing over 30 local artists. In November 2006, Maine artist, Sheryl Tripp, became the gallery’s new manager and added The Aina Moja Shop, a project of Expanding Opportunities, a non-profit organization supporting native African artists in Kenya and other Kenyan charities.

When the local newspaper began its “Best of the Best” People’s Choice Awards Competition in 2007, the gallery was voted the top art gallery in Waldo County. The gallery continued to receive recognition each subsequent year.

At the close of 2011, after thirteen busy years, Celene and Louis decided it was time to downsize the gallery and give themselves more free time to paint. They moved their gallery to the second floor and featured the work of Louis Masciovecchio, Sheryl Tripp and Celene Farris.

On the first floor, noted Maine artist and antique collector, Jude Nickerson, opened her new signature gallery, Raven’s Nest Gallery, featuring an exciting mix of Maine art and Maine antiques. And she agreed to oversee the smaller gallery on the second floor.”

It has been great fun and lots of work operating an art gallery. I won’t miss the paperwork and the long hours, but I will miss all the wonderful people I have met along the way. We have worked with so many talented artists, both local and from away. It has been a privilege to be part of their art community and I have devoted two pages on our website showing their work and contact information. I will continue to update our gallery’s website presence. I will also miss all our wonderful customers. We have had so much fun and enjoyed ourselves immensely, but it has taken a great deal of the time that we will now be able to use for painting – both plein air and in our studios.

Lou and Mary’s furniture has arrived and all the artwork on the second floor will be removed so they can use the wonderful space as their home. They have an awesome view from their living room and new back deck overlooking the water and the new boatyard. From their front windows, they can look out across the bay. Belfast is a charming community and they are pleased to be back. You can visit The Working Art Gallery here.

I will be shipping some of my paintings to my new gallery in McKinney, Texas. Some I will add to my Ebay page. I have had good luck with Ebay. It’s an easy way to sell and I am developing a customer base with repeat sales. I also have a few local venues that will accept more work, such as our local hospital and The Fireside Inn’s Ocean Edge Gallery on Route One in Belfast. I will continue to teach at my home studio. I have two small classes that I really enjoy. And, of course, there is my new venture into social media. I do enjoy writing my blog and newsletters and have met many new friends. Our new puppy has kept me busy, but she is growing up and requires less supervision. She is currently sleeping across my feet as I work at the computer.

Happy spring, everyone.


PS. I'd like to invite you all to visit my Blog. I have written more than 50 blog posts and will continue to add more on a regular basis. I hope you will enjoy reading my thoughts as an artist and teacher.

If you wish to automatically receive my new blog posts through your email, there is a sign up link on the right hand column of my blog page. You can opt out at any time, but I hope you will enjoy these visits to my studio. And I would enjoy hearing from you. Thank you.

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