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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

MCLA Opens Downtown “Gallery 51”

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Friday, July 22, 2005

Gallery 51 showcases artwork
North Adams – A new art gallery featuring the work of eight local artists opened today [July 22] at 51 Main St., and hopes are high for the success of “Gallery 51.”

Staffed and operated by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students Kara Perry and Kate Augustine, the gallery is a collaborative effort between area business and community leaders, the City of North Adams, and MCLA. The gallery location and diversity of artists and their work could bring a fresh wave of downtown traffic and forges a link between the college, the downtown, and the art community, said MCLA Special Program Coordinator Jonathan Secor.

“I am delighted with the gallery,” Secor said during a July 22 interview. “We are hoping to bring traffic to the downtown and support local artists. I think it is wonderful to have MCLA working with artists and the downtown. These are things that can be together and should be together.”

The artist roster is rich with dimension; artists Ben Voisey, Laura Christiensen, Deborah Coombs, Henry Klein, Greg Scheckler, Daniel O'Connor [Danny O], Amelia Wood, Kate Bae, and Samuel Adams are exhibiting their work at the gallery. Most artists are showing several examples of their work, said Secor.


“We tried to give real space to each artist,” he said.

Visitors should forget about any preconceived ideas about the artists work; Secor said that Deborah Coombs, who is noted for her stained-glass pieces, has assembled a 13-piece artwork that comes together as one piece.

“For this exhibit, she has created some gorgeous drawings,” Secor said.

Scheckler is a professor at MCLA and Wood is a MCLA student. Scheckler’s exhibit hosts landscapes, while Wood is showing collage designs, Secor said.


Klein is showing “these great, very modernistic pieces made from insulation and backed with vibrant color,” Secor said.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wed.-Sun.. A celebratory opening event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thurs., July 28, and visitors are welcome to tour the gallery beginning today and continuing through the weekend during gallery hours.

“We’d love to have folks come in and see the gallery,” Secor said. “Everything [being exhibited] is for sale. We hope not to have static space.”

Contemporary Artists Center acting Director Heather “Hezzie” Phillips provided significant assistance with gallery development, said Secor.

Former Everything Art location now houses artwork

“She is very experienced at gallery openings,” Secor said. “She was wonderful to work with.”

The gallery launch was fully supported by contributions. Supporters include the City of North Adams, Berkshire Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Legacy Banks, Hoosac Bank, Box Car Media, TD BankNorth, Meehan and Co, and Scarafoni Realty, the entity which provided the gallery space.

MCLA President Mary K. Grant expressed thanks to gallery supporters.

“This wonderful collaboration provides another bright spot on Main Street in North Adams at a great time of year, allowing visitors to view the work of talented artists within our community while providing the college with some great visibility,” she said in a written statement. “I truly appreciate all the hard work, imagination, and dedication involved in making this exciting initiative possible.”

Voisey noted appreciation for the endeavor.


“Since culture and art are playing such a major role in the restructuring of the area’s economy, it’s important to have a space downtown, which features artists from the area,” he said. “I’m very grateful to MCLA, the Contemporary Artists Center, and all the people involved in making Gallery 51 happen.”

“As a local artist, I am honored to be represented by Gallery 51,” said Christiensen. “The space offers an opportunity for me to share my work with fellow locals and visitors alike, right downtown!”

Additional information about Gallery 51 is available by calling the MCLA Office of Lifelong Learning at 413-662-5543 or Gallery 51 during business hours at 413-652-4620.

Susan Bush may be reached by e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or at 802-823-9367.
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