For local artist Anne Rule-Thompson, owning a gallery has been a long-time aspiration, and Rivers Studio & Gallery (1346 W. Washington St., Harpers Ferry), opening in April, is hers.
“I loved the idea of infusing the arts into our little town,” she explained. “The community is very receptive, and there have been several new businesses that have moved in recently. I’m feeling a real positive energy.”
The grand opening of the gallery is set for Saturday, April 29, at 6pm.
The Gallery will be the first of its kind in the Harpers Ferry area—part of a small, but thriving community in Bolivar. The studio will showcase three-dimensional works, primarily in ceramics, but also metalsmithing and wood pieces—both functional and sculptural.
The opening—Breaking the Surface (April 29 – June 11)—will consist of four local artists, Thompson being one of them. The work of these artists will be showcased throughout the next year, periodically welcoming new pieces. There will also be furniture pieces by a local antique restorer.
Thompson’s pieces will focus on sculpted landscapes and figurative ceramic sculptures using clay, metal, and glass, while Ceramic artist Lisa Kovatch will show pottery depicting images that mirror nature. Metalsmith Rose Mendez will feature pieces made with natural material and scaled metals. And Joy Birdy will provide warm wood-fired pottery and sculptural works reflecting rivers and woodlands. The furniture restoration pieces will be by John Mark Powers.
In addition to the first exhibit, the gallery will feature various local and regional artists about every two months. “Rivers looks for innovative contemporary artists with a consistent body of work,” noted Rule-Thompson.
Rivers Studio & Gallery will also offer classes. Rule-Thompson wants to be sure the space offers a place where the community can experience the arts on many levels, whether it’s learning how a ceramics studio functions and seeing works in progress, or taking classes. Each of the long-term exhibitors will teach classes or workshops—which will be focused on ceramics and jewelry metalsmithing.
“In addition, there will be mixed media nature-inspired classes for those looking for inspiration from our natural world—which is a theme that runs through most of the work exhibited in the gallery,” she said, adding that the space will also offer summer programs for children.By Lena Camilletti