One of the idiosyncrasies that so charmed us when we moved to Maine was that many–if not most–of the art galleries were housed in actual houses. They are the ultimate live/work spaces and pop-up galleries with the artists portioning off a piece of their home to hang and show art in summer and then reclaim the space as their porch or living room or even their entire house by moving back into it by Columbus Day when the tourists have retreated to From Away.
My first “gallery” in Stonington was on our porch. The next year we remade the garage into Scott’s conception of a Maine fishing shack with buoys and tools hung from the exterior and rustic barn boards inside with a bit of drywall for hanging art. When the roof began leaking, we put a billboard tarp over it. My studio-gallery always had that “Hey kids! Let’s put on a show!” attitude. Scott said it was part of the adventure for tourists wandering the island looking for something to do. We always enjoyed the look of pleasure on people’s faces when they entered and found out there was actually something worthwhile to see inside the dilapidated structure.
Last year, the insurance company required that I put a new roof on the shack if I wanted to keep this outbuilding insured. If you live in Maine, you know that *any* kind of shed or extra building is a desirable thing. So of course I had the new roof installed. The rest of the building’s shabbiness suddenly bothered me. Adding to my displeasure with my studio’s humbleness, this summer there has been an influx of new jewelry galleries on the island that are raising the bar for the rest of us. With fancy store fronts and high end merchandise, these shops represent a more serious approach to selling arts and crafts. The other difference is these galleries could be located in Nantucket or the Hamptons. The message? Stonington and Deer Isle are changing. And Art By Katy has always followed the trends.
So, my friends, after a hiatus of a summer (or four, but who’s counting?) I am pleased to let you know that Art By Katy has a more inviting new look and a hopeful new vision for Summer 2018. I’ve just completed Phase I, which is the freshly painted facade of the old shack. I’ve enhanced the feng shui with my glossy red front door entry. I’ve rearranged the interior so the counter no longer bisects the room into two separate areas. Phase II? I’m currently painting new work and will revamp my website this winter. I’m also coming up with an ambitious calendar of exhibiting guest artists, fun and unusual events such as dream circles, smoothie nights, tarot readings…I hope my friends and clients will support my new incarnation.
There will be a relaunch party to kick off the season next year. Stay tuned also for Phase III: the eventual addition of airbnb experiences and lodging within my artsy haus. One step at a time.