SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Sunlight from newly installed windows shines onto watercolor and oil paintings, leather handbags and wooden sculptures all made by Maine artists in the well-lit gallery at 322 Main Street.
David and Christine Wade have renovated the space located at the corner of Village Green Way and Main Street, which was previously occupied by Salty Dog Gallery. On Thursday, July 18, from 4-7 p.m., the pair will host an opening at what is now called the Cornerstone Gallery. Blake Rosso and Jim Coffman will provide live music.
“We focus on locals, all Maine artists [and] originals,” said Christine who has procured much of the art. “In Maine there are so many artists. We really wanted to support them.”
One of the artists featured on the wall, Erika Rosso, is a big reason the couple landed in Southwest Harbor and chose to start an art gallery. She is David’s daughter and has two children he is looking forward to seeing grow.
“My granddaughter goes to elementary school right there,” he said, pointing at Pemetic Elementary School across the street. “That was the icing on the cake.”
Now residents of Tremont, the couple moved to Mount Desert Island from Cape Hatteras, N.C. where David owned and ran a building business. They bought the corner building in the spring of 2018 and took the winter to decide what changes to make to the 1925 structure. With the help of some employees from his southern enterprise, David began working on the space in April.
Doors to the gallery opened on June 1 and are that way seven days a week, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wooden easels hold display paintings in the center of the room, leather bags hang on a rack and a display case features the jewelry of two different artists. All of which can be moved to create an art classroom or accommodate a yoga class or other events.
“We left it open so we can clear it out in the winter,” said David, after Christine explained plans to use it for art classes during the slower season.
“We wanted to have it be part of the community,” she said. “We’ve never been part of a town like this … It’s really gratifying to add something to this town.”
Christine has owned an organic market in Maryland for the last 25 years but has harbored a love for art since her youth when she studied it.
“We specialize in paintings,” said Christine. “I’ve been tracking artists for a long time … I travel pretty much anywhere to see a good artist.”
One sculptor was commissioned to make a cornerstone out of granite for the front of the building.
“We get that added benefit of some foot traffic in here,” said Christine. “We’ve had a positive response, so far.”
Contact 244-5918 or [email protected]