Franklin Art Association Gets a Gallery Meet Artists at Opening Reception June 23rd, 6-8 p.m. at Escape into Fiction
By J.D. O’Gara
For the first time ever, artists who belong to the Franklin Art Association (FAA) have a dedicated space to display their work. On June 23rd, from 6-8 p.m. in the back of Escape into Fiction bookstore at 12 Main Street, the nonprofit group will celebrate the opening of a new gallery. About 18 of the 52 FAA members will show their work. Artists who will be featured in the gallery opening include: Diane G. Bell, Diane Choquette, Jane Curran, Gail Eckberg, Dick Fotland, Jason Gluck, Tina Guarino, Kay Lock Kolp, Diana Maley, Margaret Munson, Lenora Palanzi, Ali Rheaume, Madeline Saggiamo, Marjorie Sardella, Susan Pratt Sheridan, Rebecca Skinner, Walter Spencer, Chris Blue Lamb Toubeau, and Brooke Jack Toubeau.
“This is a huge breakthrough, the first ever Art Association gallery,” says Sue Sheridan, member of the FAA, “We have never had a physical space where our member artists can show and sell their work. We’re pretty excited!”
The opening, says Sheridan, “will be an opportunity for folks to meet the artists and to see the work, which is really a wonderful collection, and to see this new space that we have. It’s in the bookstore, kind of in the back, and it’s great space, beautiful for an art gallery. We’re just thrilled we can be in that space within the Cultural District.”
Sheridan explains that over recent years, she’s had conversations with Lisa Piana, Executive Director of the Franklin Downtown Partnership, and a member of the art association.
We’d been talking and working over the years to find space for a cultural center in Franklin, and we have a long-standing relationship in support of arts and culture in Franklin,” says Sheridan. After Escape into Fiction moved into the space where the quilt shop had been, the two began talking.
“Escape into Fiction moved in there, and that’s a big space. They have the front room, and then there’s that back room,” says Sheridan. “It’s quite a large space, so I went and checked with April Rock, she and her husband Michael moved here from Ohio and opened that pop-up that was so well-received she thought it was a viable business opportunity. She was so supportive and open and forward-thinking. She said, ‘We can make that work; it would be wonderful to have that here.’ She’s been just wonderful to work with, very supportive, flexible, reasonable, and we can afford it – the Art Association is nonprofit. It’s been a really great arrangement so far, and so she’s excited about it, and we’re excited about it. It’s a win-win for the bookstore and for the Art Association.”
Sheridan is confident that membership in the Franklin Art Association, which currently has about 52 members, will increase. The group meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Franklin Senior Center from June to September, taking a hiatus each summer. Meetings always discuss Association business, followed by an artist demonstration.
“We have been off educational programming on fine art for over 50 years – continuously operating,” says Sheridan. “We’ve never not offered educational programming, so that’s a pretty good record, and it’s a pretty great organization.”
For more information about the Franklin Art Association, visit www.franklinart.org or find “Franklin Art Associaton” on Facebook.