TRR photos by Ian Pugh

Gallery 35 can be found at 35 Lower Main St. in Callicoon.

Gallery 35 offers exploration for art lovers

CALLICOON, NY — Artistic voices run rampant in the Delaware River Valley region—one need only know where to find them. That search is a little easier now: Gallery 35, which opened its doors in Callicoon on Memorial Day, is a small, intimate space where patrons can appreciate all forms of art, and maybe even buy a piece or two to support their creators.

“The mission statement of the gallery is to show the beautiful works of the talented artists I know,” says Gallery 35 curator Johanna Spoerri. “I like artwork that, generally speaking, takes a lot of time to do. I find that the time that an artist invests in the work—it doesn’t have to be the individual piece, but the lifetime of work translating to them doing a piece—that’s something that I respond to. I respond to artwork that’s been done carefully. I respond to artwork that has a lot of effort put into it. I like artists who are very committed to what they’re doing.”

Among the constantly-rotating collection is a series of paintings by her mother, Margo Spoerri, a prolific landscape artist and past recipient of The River Reporter’s “Best Artist” award.

“Part of why I have the Gallery, how the Gallery started, was that my mother was very productive… Now she’s a little bit older, and so she had this big group of paintings, and suddenly it was for me to manage her work, and then I was going to maybe get a storage space… but the storage spaces themselves are very expensive, and they wouldn’t have enough room for me to catalogue her work, and get a handle on her life’s work. So then I heard about this gallery being open, so I jumped on it... And then friends of mine [got involved]—some of my friends are very talented people.” Among these friends are multimedia artist M. Henry Jones and photographer Joyce Baronio, whose works can be found in the gallery.

The gallery’s ambitions extend past the typical museum fare: Spoerri is currently working on an “animation event” to be held at the Callicoon Theatre on Friday, November 24, the day after Thanksgiving. The eclectic program lineup will include independent films, short commercials and station IDs, works by Johanna Spoerri herself, and that of animation director Greg Ford, whose cartoons include later-period “Looney Tunes” such as “Night of the Living Duck” (1988), “(Blooper) Bunny!” (1991) and “Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers” (1992). Following the show, Gallery 35 will showcase a collection of animation art for sale.

An active participant in local celebrations like Callicoon Day and the Callicoon Art Walk, Spoerri has been pleased by the response that her gallery inspires. “People seem to like our gallery,” she says. “I’m mostly open on the weekends, but I find that people seem to look at the work, they stay, they look at the pieces, then I see them discussing the pieces with their friends… and their faces would just burst into smiles. Then the guy grabs his friend, like, ‘Oh, you’ve got to look at this.’ When I see that, I’m very complimented, because I feel like I’m giving people something—even if they don’t buy anything—if people can come here and look and be transported, taken to another place, forget about their troubles…. You know what? I want to make people feel good.”

Gallery 35 is located at 35 Lower Main St. in Callicoon. For more information about the gallery and its upcoming events and attractions, visit its Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/y8eoc5hv.

 

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