March 11th, 2018

This is the first installment of Stories from Ten Years: blogs about special paintings, collectors, and unexpected situations. We will start with 2018, the year that we opened.

Opening Day for Gallery MAR was the last Friday of May, for the gallery stroll. We had taken great labors to create our first space, in just 900 square feet at 580 Main Street, and we felt ready to honor the artwork that we were exhibiting by 20 artists.

Later that weekend, a couple stopped in who were concerned with the Fung Shui of the space. Huh?

I wasn’t familiar with the tenants of this Chinese metaphysical system — that seeks to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. The couple reflected that I needed several things: something green in the back right-hand corner of the gallery (preferably a “money tree” — what was that?) and a crystal hanging over the entryway to being in positive energy to the space.

They were so earnest, so sweet, and family friends. I couldn’t help but entertain them and purchased the crystal and plant.

I thought, “why not? What could be the harm?”

The day that followed, a new collector (let’s be honest, they were all new at the time!) came into the gallery and selected the largest, most elaborate, and most expensive painting in the gallery. “Symbols: Things We Worship” by Ginger Bowen has a rich purple background and was filled with objects that we covet or collect. I was filled with gratitude.

I couldn’t believe my luck! Or… was it the Fung Shui?

Either way, we still have the crystal hanging in the gallery’s entryway, and a tree in the back, far corner.

Just for kicks, here are a few photos of gallery set-up, back in 2008.