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Robust response to Chester art gallery prompts expanded exhibits

CHESTERTOWN - The North Country Arts Center's new gallery on Main St. has expanded its plans due to a remarkable public response that has surpassed expectations, Gallery organizer Fred Holman told the membership of the North Warren Chamber of Commerce at a social event held Sept. 1.

Holman told the Chamber gathering that the number of people both visiting the gallery and purchasing the artwork this summer has been substantial, and the attendance at the Aug. 28 Family art Day was robust.

We've had excellent public response - it's been exciting," Holman said Monday, noting that artists have spread the word about the new venue to show their art, and more and more people are stopping in to see the growing collection. "It has been real positive for everybody."

While the gallery was launched with 25 artists exhibiting, a total of 46 were showing their work by the time the first exhibit was taken down last week, he said. Virtually all the gallery's available exhibit space was filled, he said.

Another exhibit will be going up soon showing a bumper crop of work from local artists, Arts Center President Linda Buerkley said Monday. Both this fall exhibit, and a holiday exhibit to follow, will feature more jewelry, pottery, and fabrics to boost the public's holiday shopping opportunities, she said.

The seven-week exhibit, the debut effort for the Art in Chestertown gallery, resulted in a large number of pieces being sold, she said.

"The gallery has energized the art community," she said. "Apparently the Arts Center has ignited a flame up north."

Through the gallery, artists in northern Warren County have emerged to not only have their work viewed by the public, but they've also networked, Holman said. Not only were artists connecting with other artists and prospective students, but the public was reaping rewards as well.

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