After 22 years the Valley Green Gallery closed on November 22, 2014. The Gallery had been a unique community asset for all those years. The closure was sudden. Those who displayed their work at the gallery were surprised and saddened. I, for one, also was at a loss as to where I might be able to hang and show my work. The gallery was just ten minutes away from my home. Right before the closing I was at the gallery talking about this with a couple of other artists about the same problem. They asked me if I heard of anyone who might be opening a gallery to let them know.
When I arose that morning I never dreamed that by the end of the day I would have committed to opening a gallery at the Rockfish Valley Community Center. Before that day it had never occurred to me to open an art gallery. However, I had not the slightest doubt that this was the right thing for me to do. The space at the Community Center was not quite a third of the Valley Green Gallery’s space but nevertheless the whole package was quite good and the room just what I wanted. I did loose several former Valley Green Gallery artists because of the signage problem at Rt. 151 and Rockfish School Lane, namely that the many retail stores and the services offered at the Community Center could not be shown on the signage ultimately allowed. This is as a result of a Nelson County Zoning Ordinance Section 2 regarding and defining Community Centers. I felt confident that the Rockfish River Gallery could be sufficiently promoted otherwise and that promotion could bring in ample traffic to keep this gallery going and prospering.
1. Holly W. Allen--designer and seamstress
2.Lynn and Don Bailey--wood work, tiny to medium vases, mirrors, boxes and more 3.Kathy Bonham--extreme photographer and cards
4. Georganne Booth--spun yarn
5.Rudy Burnett--wood carver of birds 6.Angie Boyd--beaded jewelry 7.Wayne Drumheller--photographer and author
8. Russ Fisher--water color painter and cards
9. Charles Hall--Blown glass
10. Rita Johnson--water color paintings and cards
11. Richard Johnson--wood Carver and unique magnets
12. Priscilla Kulp--jewelry
13. Carol Lemons--painter oil and author
14. Nancy Lauler--painter oil
15. Sally Rose Monnes--singer and musician and band leader
16. Kim Murphy--Author of novels, fiction and non-fiction
17.Arne Olsen--carved wooden plates
18. Becky Olsen--dolls and fairies
19. Viesturs Osvalds--glass and stained glass
21. Dave Polce--potter
22. Melissa B. Rooney--author
23. K. RobinsSilver--synbolic jewelry
24. Pattie Siehein--soaps, pottery, jewely and watercolor prints
25. Aquilina Smareglia--handmade rag dolls
26.Susan Salomon--knitted felt hats, toddler’s’ and infants’ sweaters and hats 27.Charles Strauss--wood carver
28. Phillip Straus--potter
29.Ron Salomon--woven scarves and rugs
30. Elizabeth Sumner wafler--author
31.Linda Lee Wilkes--pure film photography 32.RobertWilkes--wooden toys 33.Tom Wilkinson--mixed media painter
34. John White--piano recordings
Remodeling of the Community Center Space, including building a wall and installing the front door in that wall and painting, trimming, putting up slat wall, refurbishing our three counter displays and various other work began about January 2oth and is 99% completed now. All of the Wonderful Remodeling was done by Ally Home Services consisting of Steve Ally and Jimmy Harrell at 5403779990. I mention them because they did beautiful work.
These are the kinds of arrangements for artists and artisans to choose for displaying their work. There are two types of members: 1. Those who pay a monthly fee of $35.00 a month and allow the gallery to take 5% of their net sales monthly and spend one day a week at the Gallery as clerk. 2. The next type of member pays $50.00 a week and the gallery takes 5% of their net sales. Being a member means that they participate in jurying any new work that is offered to be displayed in the gallery and they have a voice in operating the gallery. 3. The last way to display in the gallery is via consignment. The gallery takes %25 of the net sales monthly.
My personal mission for the gallery is:
To tastefully display very well crafted three dimensional work and beautiful and well done two dimensional work.
My very personal mission for myself is:
To find ways to help individuals discover and express their creative energy and find ways to display their work outside of the gallery or in it if appropriate.
Great art should never be kept under the proverbial basket. True creative expression should be seen and experienced by as many others as possible.
Creative expression is a vital part of being human. I think that all of us have large reservoirs of creative energy within us. It has most often been covered with the dos and don’ts of our immediate culture and our culture at large. Creative expression is often considered non-productive for teaching for the test. Our school system, in my observations, seldom operates in a way that encourages the expression of creative energy. On the contrary, it, like society at large, seems to deem the expression of creative energy mostly insignificant and frivolous. My thought is that we are all born with great amounts of creative energy and with a profound desire to express it. The cultivating of creative energetic expression is vital, in my opinion, to helping resolve the great and thorny issues of our time. It could be compared to learning to think way, way, outside the box.