New Art Gallery Opens in Great Barrington
Grand Opening Reception Oct 10
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass., Sept. 25, 2015 — The unofficial “arts district” of downtown Great Barrington, a hotbed of visual and performing arts, has given birth to a new subterranean gallery, the “Underground Salon.” Nestled in the basement at 15 Bridge Street, the new gallery, which is currently featuring the works of 11 regional artists, quietly sprang to life during the summer of 2015. A Grand Opening celebration of the Underground Salon will be held on Saturday, Oct 10 from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. The public is invited to come meet the artists and enjoy refreshments.
Upstairs from the Underground Salon is the new location for Christine’s Home Furnishings, which moved from Pittsfield earlier in the year. While Christine’s was reestablishing itself on the street level, the unique and rustic subterranean space was being thoroughly scrubbed and repurposed as a gallery.
Gerard and Christine Natale own and manage Christine’s, which specializes in new and estate furnishings as well as interior design consulting. But not many people know that Gerard is also a classically trained professional artist who had dreams of owning his own gallery; this became a reality when their business moved this past year from Tyler Street in Pittsfield to Great Barrington. “The basement space offered the perfect opportunity to have a gallery”, Gerard said. “The look and feel of it reminds me of some of the galleries in SOHO or MassMOCA. The different walls of brick and stone complement the many styles of art that we have perfectly”.
Visitors to the Underground Salon will be treated to an eclectic array of art — in a wide variety of styles, mediums and genres. Besides Gerard’s own paintings, the gallery features original art and photography by Karen Andrews, Pamela Berkeley, Marguerite Bride, Margaret Buchte , Joan Ciolfi, Dana Ehinger, Karen Jacobs, Bill Mund, Scott Taylor, and James Windram.
A tour through the gallery reveals a panoply of palettes and pictures. For example:
- Many of the artists paint in oil. Of them, Karen Jacobs, who recently moved to the Berkshires from the Boston area, thinks of her creations as metaphors for the “ephemeral emotional moments that occur in real time”, viewed in the form of abstracted, pared down, sometimes brooding “scapes” depicting skies full of movement, reflected light on water or land, and the moodiness of deep woods visions.
- Gerard Natale’s oil paintings capture the beauty of the Berkshires in all seasons in the rich Boston School style evoking the works of the great American Impressionists.
- Pamela Berkeley’s style, which she calls “magical realism”, is a combination of portraits of people and animals, landscapes and still life. Drawing in pastels and painting in oil on canvas or linen, her paintings range in size from a few inches to quite large, 6 feet by 8 feet.
- Joanie Ciolfi’s paintings are expressive oils infused with energy and texture. They push the seemingly realistic subject matter towards abstraction- an abandoned building, a summer storm, a red dress. Her work is vibrant and atmospheric and is often inspired by her Berkshire County surroundings.
- Margaret Buchte of Great Barrington, MA, is a self-taught artist who draws her inspiration from the beauty of the Berkshires and beyond. She has been painting in oils with passion and joy for over twenty years. Margaret is always striving to capture the essence and beauty of a scene under dramatic light.
- Of the watercolorists, Marguerite Bride is best known for her paintings of the Berkshires. Her medium includes watercolor on canvas as well as paper; her subjects and themes also include scenes of Ireland, Italy, busy market places, bucolic land and seascapes and custom house portraits.
- Karen Andrews, a photographer and watercolorist from West Stockbridge has shown her work in one-woman and group exhibitions throughout the Berkshires, New England and internationally. She refers to herself as a Magical Realist artist who shifts between a love of color and a fascination with movement.
- For Bill Mund painting has been a lifelong pursuit. These days he can be found on his way to visit his latest art teacher with coat pockets that might hold a set of tractor keys, maybe a chain saw file, some dogs treats. And a clutch of carefully wrapped and very small sable brushes that he uses to create paintings of what he knows best: landscapes, trees, hills, barns, wildlife. Using watercolors with thousands of small strokes produces a vignette that is a memory from time spent in the forests, rivers and meadows of the rustic New England countryside.
- James Windram is a classically trained artist with a Masters of Fine Art degree in Painting and Sculpture from Ohio University. A watercolorist, he sometimes refers to his style as “distemper”, stating, “My desire is to produce visual works that are familiar to the viewer but stimulate responses beyond the ordinary.”
- Scott Taylor, who has been making art most of his life, paints in vibrant, colorful acrylics. Old rustic barns so prevalent in New England have been a major inspiration as well as wooded pathways, garden flowers, and treed ridgelines. On occasion you will also see Taylor-created abstracts.
- Dana Ehinger is a “mixed media” artist attracted to 3D materials and expression, and works in any medium that will best delivers her intended theme. She also hand paints paper used as wall paper and unique lamp shade designs. At the Underground Salon, see her lampshades and paintings on paper mounted on canvas created using acrylic and gold leaf.
The Underground Salon, housed within Christine’s Home Furnishings at 15 Bridge Street in Great Barrington is open Monday – Saturday from 11am – 5 pm and 12-4 on Sunday’s. Visit their facebook page or call for (413) 528-8050 more information.