Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Go Orange!

Okay! Many of us . . . perhaps even most of us in the greater CNY area, will be glued to our TVs on Saturday, cheering the Orange men and women in their respective NCAA Final Four games. By the end of the day we'll be exhausted.
There are countless ways to arrange a collection of spring images
So, though perhaps a bit crass,  I'm taking this opportunity to piggy-back on the great success of "our teams" (as though we have anything to do with their success). Rather than partying too much the day before the semi-final games, I'm suggesting that everyone take it a bit easy and rest-up for the challenge of being an enthusiastic cheerleader. 
Tom's images will be displayed throughout  Gallery 54
Tom's images will be displayed throughout Gallery 54
May I suggest spending Friday evening, April 1st, in Skaneateles.  Enjoy a relaxing dinner at one of the village's fine restaurants and (before or after dinner)  take a stroll to visit Gallery 54 for its Spring is springing show opening. Before dinner you can enjoy some light refreshments and after dinner maybe a light dessert along with some Anyela's wine . . . all while viewing a special presentation of Tom Dwyer's spring floral images.

Then, you'll be nourished and rested to take in the game.

Go Orange!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Lake Limo and Anyela's join us for Springing into Spring

Who ever stops to think that his or her creative juices might flow to the concrete benefit of others? That has certainly not been common in my experience. Oh sure. I've had the occasional request for the donation of an image to a fundraiser of one sort or another. That, I'm afraid, is common to anyone occupying a retail establishment of almost any sort.
Spring Blossoms and an old stone barn.
Spring Blossoms and an old stone barn.
But, in a week, I have the opportunity to benefit a whole community through the sale of my photography.
A couple months ago, with the painful recognition that my gallery sales were abysmal, I decided to try and do something about it. I totally understood that in shops such as ours at Gallery 54 in Skaneateles, traffic and therefore sales are typically poor from January through April and even May. So, I wasn't really beating-up on myself or anyone else. I just wanted to try for a better outcome . . . or maybe I should really say "a better income."
Rudbeckia speciosa
Rudbeckia speciosa
At any rate, with the support of my fellow owner/artists at Gallery 54 I targeted the month of April for an experiment. I had wondered to myself as well as to others if it was possible to get people interested in coming out before summer is upon us. April is often linked to the beginning of Spring (even though we all know the first full day of spring is March 21) so what better excuse to get people out . . . we'd plan a gala of sorts to help everyone Spring into Spring.
As it happened, the First Friday of April falls on April 1st this year . . . April Fools Day. How could we miss with this combo? But, rest assured. This is not a prank.
First signs of spring at my house are these backyard tulips, planted in the woods.
First signs of spring at my house are these backyard tulips, planted in the woods.
So, we agreed to host a Springing into Spring opening, featuring a special collection of my flower and garden photography.

"Let's take this a little further," I told myself. "let's offer something other than the standard fare, something other than photographs printed on paper and mounted in frames. The result has proven to be a labor of love. Right now, sitting on the counter in my office, are three boxes of images. Some are printed on canvas and wrapped around frames, others are printed and fused to plexiglass (wow!), some (panoramas) are printed on canvas and mounted/wrapped on slabs of wood, still others in printed traditionally (both color and black & white) but displayed in special wooden stands crafted by a fellow Gallery 54 owner, Fred Weisskopf. Nothing standard here.
This collection caught my interest in Manhattan.
This collection caught my interest in Manhattan.
As our target date grew closer, so did other ideas about how to make this event into a real celebration of spring. How could we make this meaningful to others beyond our Gallery 54 family? Immediately we agreed to use the April 1 opening to benefit a Skaneateles area charity. Quickly we settled on one, Laker Limo, whose transportation services benefit countless local people. It was agreed that 10% of all photo sales during the show would be donated to support Laker Limo's services to our community.
What else could we do? Well, normally, our fellow Skaneateles retail owners and operators are petty much tied to their stores on First Friday evenings (in Skaneateles the First Friday Art Trail begins in May and runs the first Friday of each month through December) so we decided to reach out via the Chamber of Commerce to invite these folks to join us for the fellowship the evening promises.
Then, Terry Askey-Cole, ceramicist and fellow Gallery 54 owner (who I think really does know everyone in Skaneateles . . . just saying) had the idea to invite Skaneateles' own, Anyela's Winery to join us. So, Anyela's will be serving their marvelous wines all evening.

Remember the date and make plans right now to join us:

Friday, April 1 from 5 to 8 pm

                                        Gallery 54, 54 Genesee St., Skaneateles

Thursday, March 24, 2016

And the winner is . . .

As you likely know if you read this blog regularly, this coming Saturday, March 26, is a big day for Gallery 54. Since between noon and 3 pm we will have the pleasure of hosting portrait artist John Fitzsimmons as he paints the portrait of one of our customers. For those who have seen John's portraits it's easy to understand why we are excited. For those who haven't why not join us Saturday afternoon?

A recent portrait by artist John Fitzsimmons
Well, someone else is probably excited by now, too. Since we announced, a few weeks back, that John would be painting a portrait at the gallery, we've been encouraging gallery visitors to enter a free drawing to be the subject for this portrait. Today, we drew the name of the lucky person who will be going home Saturday afternoon with a free portrait. We're happy to announce that the winner who will sit while John works his magic with a paint brush on Saturday is . . .   
               Danielle Bouchard, from Freeville, NY. 

While we cannot offer any more free sittings, we hope a lot of our friends will stop by on Saturday and congratulate Danielle while taking the opportunity to witness an accomplished artist at work. John will also have a number of his other paintings on display for the afternoon.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Waiting for “Real Spring”?

Even though winter was unusually mild for Central New York and the official start of spring will arrive on schedule, many of us cannot wait for spring to really arrive . . . Gallery 54 certainly isn’t waiting. 

Regardless what the weather channel might say, on April 1 it will be spring at the gallery and “that’s no April Fool’s Day prank,” says photographer Tom Dwyer, one of the eight artist/owners of the popular gallery. “From the moment you arrive you’ll find it difficult to not ‘Think Spring,’ ” he says.

Spring Crocus
Beaded spring by Judi Witkin
Dwyer has created a new, special collection of spring and spring floral images on canvas, mounted on plexiglass, and matted for framing.

From 5 to 8 pm on Friday, April 1 the gallery will host a special opening of the spring season which will last throughout the month of April. 

Dwyer’s spring images will be available with special pricing, included special collections that gallery customers will be able to create for themselves. “Whether for your home or business,” Dwyer notes, “we want you to be able to select images that say spring to you, so images will be available in a variety of sizes from 8”, 10” and 14” square canvas wraps to panoramic canvas, 8" x 10" matted prints up to 16” x 20” matted prints behind glass and ready for framing.”
Pink Lady on canvas

Ever wonder how many beads it takes to
a piece like this . . . Ask Judi April 1
Just the beginning

It’s not only photography that’s going to have the spring accent as several Gallery 54 artists are working hard to add spring to their collections as well. Bead jeweler Judi Witkin; Ceramic artist Terry Askey-Cole; Glass painter Nella Joseph; and Potter Sallie Thompson will all have unique, new work to share.

Special invitations bring special prices, too
Special invitations are going out to greater Central New York flower and garden clubs, nurseries, landscape architects, interior designers and home builders all of whom have a special interest in the arrival of spring. In addition, “members of the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce are also receiving special invites,” says Dwyer noting, “Typically, on the First Friday of each month beginning in May, Skaneateles businesses are preoccupied with their own businesses as the village hosts extended business hours for First Friday Art Nights. We’re extending special invitations to our fellow Skaneateles business people,” says Dwyer, “so they can enjoy their last free First Friday evening of 2016 . . . as the guests of Gallery 54.”  
Spring blossoms and an old stone barn

During the opening evening on April 1, those who bring their invitations with them (or a copy of this article) will receive a special 10 percent discount off the already special pricing set for Dwyer’s spring collection.

Gallery 54 is an upscale venue for Central New York artists that showcases and sells unique, inspired, and timeless art in a diversity of mediums.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Demos, more demos and . . . here comes spring

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

All of us at Gallery 54 are grateful for the support and interest in our gallery that our artists and customers alike demonstrate on a regular basis.

Already this year we have had three well attended demonstrations by artists whose work we love and are proud to share in the gallery - that of Elizabeth Andrews, David Owens and Linda Flynn.
Linda Flynn, demonstrates
alcohol painting

A David Owens Oil Painting
Each presented both our customers and our fellow artists with rare opportunities to witness first hand their creativity, their dedication and the effort that goes into producing their respective art.
Elizabeth actually brought a press into the gallery and encouraged visitors to try their hand at etching copper plates which she then inked and "printed" on the press.

David used his demonstration time to create an original oil painting while discussing his work and the process that he follows creating each painting.

An Elizabeth Andrews
Linda brought the brilliant colors of her alcohol painting to life and seemed to naturally fit into the gallery scene with the vibrant colors of Liz Micho's stained glass garden art as her background.

All expressed their gratitude for the interest in their art evident in the attention and questions from fellow Gallery 54 artists and gallery customers alike.

There's more to come . . .


If you've ever wanted a portrait painted by a master portrait artist, now's your chance. Noted local artist John Fitzsimmons will be the guest artist/demonstrator at Gallery 54 on Saturday, March 26h beginning at noon. If that's not exciting enough, one person will get the opportunity to have a portrait painted by John and to actually take the portrait home ... for free.

More Fitzsimmon art
will be on display and
for sale.
All you need to do is stop by Gallery 54, at 54 Genesee St., Skaneateles, NY before the 26th and sign-up for the free drawing. There are only two stipulations and one is pretty obvious. You need to be available to sit for the portrait on Saturday the 26th. And, you need to be able to sit for up to four hours while John works his magic with the paint brush.

Be sure to stop by the gallery soon to get entered into the drawing.

Still more coming our way . . .


A special collection of spring images will be featured at Gallery 54's
No ma'am. No sir. This is not an April Fools Day joke. But, it still promises to be a hoot. Not only do we promise it to be a lot of fun, but it will be an early season opportunity to brighten up your home, office or business with a special collection of spring photography by Gallery 54 photographer Tom Dwyer, To make it even more interesting, the gallery is getting a head-start on the next season with a special SPRINGING INTO SPRING/First Friday/Opening Reception all rolled into one. Mark your calendars for April 1 from 5 to 8 pm and spread the word to everyone you know.
Fleeting spring blossoms

Stunning close-up and macro
flower photography.
Tom searched his photo files for never before exhibited images that conjure a  sense of spring and has produced them on canvas, glass and GiclĂ©e archival prints. For the first time he'll offer handsome "canvas collections" as well as canvas panoramas and a variety of framed and unframed prints ready for display and your personal framing choice.

While all our customers are invited and encouraged to join us for this special evening, special invitations are also going out to Central New York garden/flower clubs, nurseries, interior designers, architects and landscape architects. So, make a evening of it, visit beautiful Skaneateles, enjoy a light refreshment at the gallery while perusing our special spring art before (or after) a relaxing dinner at one of the village's many fine restaurants.

To make this event even sweeter, many Gallery 54 artists will have special pieces with spring accents available to help usher in the new season. Spring art will  be featured throughout the month April.

Light refreshments will be served.