New Galley West community art gallery opens in Orleans

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Calling all artists! There is a new community art gallery in town.

The Galley West Art Gallery, a new location on the Orléans campus of the Church of the Holy Spirit, is looking for online submissions from artists from Bas-Cap and the Outer Cape until Monday, September 20 for its second exhibition , titled “Holiday – Winter – Wonder,” scheduled from November 20 to December 23. Any physical, two-dimensional or three-dimensional art in any medium will be considered, including paintings, sculptures, wood, metal, ceramics, stained glass, jewelry, fiber arts, quilts and more.
The new gallery’s first open-themed exhibition, aptly titled ‘In the Beginning’, will open on Saturday, October 16 in the newly restored Galley West. The gallery will be a unique and welcoming destination for residents and visitors to appreciate and purchase works by local artists in a variety of media. All shows will be hosted by Cape Cod art professionals who will select the participating artists. The exhibition schedule and information on artistic entries are available at galleywestartgallery.com/call-for-art/.

Susan Sasso and Sharyn Laughton, the local artists behind the project, said Galley West will be a community gallery run by volunteers. Artists selected for exhibitions will pay an annual membership fee of $ 25, receive 75 percent of the sale price, and will be required to volunteer at the gallery.

Sasso said that since 1940 the Church of the Holy Spirit had maintained the Galley West Craft Shop, which was operated by the ladies of the church.
“Back then,” said Sasso, “in the episcopal church, women traditionally did not have full-time jobs, but they had full-time capacities to do things. The women formed guilds, got together and made beautiful things to sell in the craft store.

In the 1940s, proceeds from craft sales increased the minister’s annual salary by $ 400, Sasso said, and he also had a philanthropic purpose.
“Most of the money from the sales went to support families in need and local charities,” Sasso said. “They would also make a small pledge at church, because they didn’t pay rent. My generation that was working full time didn’t have time to make guilds and things like that so the guild got old and in 2019 there were only three or four ladies left trying to run the shop. . Finally, they said ‘uncle’.

Sasso said she approached church leaders, explaining that she had been an amateur potter for 30 years. She sold her pottery at the church bazaar and for a few years occupied one of the artists’ chalets on the market square in Orleans, but she did not want to turn her hobby into a job.

“Sharyn Loughton and I, along with another woman who has since taken a step back, said what if we turn Galley West into a community gallery where church members can sell their work?” We have quite a few artists in our parish, ”said Sasso. Over time, they decided to open the submission process to local artists from the Lower Cape and the Outer Cape. (Harwich, Brewster, Chatham, Orléans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown). They plan to hold two art shows this year at Galley West, with the ultimate goal of six completely original gallery shows per year. The next show, titled “Holiday – Winter – Wonder” is scheduled from November 20 to December 23, with a submission window from September 20 to October 20.

The new gallery consists of two small joined structures with fascinating and important local history. Around 1850, part of the Higgins Tavern and Inn (Thoreau once stopped there, according to his travel diary “Cape Cod “) was moved from Old Kings Road to the current location at 204 Monument Road. In 1894, when the occupants needed more space, they recovered the galley from the wrecked cargo ship of 1857. Orissaand attached it to the tavern – with the wrecked ship’s cook’s chopper still securely stowed in the ceiling – ultimately giving the structure its unique name. In the 1930s the house was used by the first rector of the church and his wife, Richard and Florence Kimball, who named it “Galley West”. Later it was a craft and gift shop for many years. Recognizing its historical significance, the Orléans Community Preservation Committee approved two grants to support the restoration of the building.

The Church of the Holy Spirit has a long association with the art and artists of Orleans. Famous painter and woodcarver Vernon Smith, founding member of the church and subject of a 2017 retrospective at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, painted a mural in the Galley West which has been carefully removed and is currently in progress restoration by Dennis Art Rescue. Smith’s grandson, Dan Joy, designed and manufactured the signs for the new gallery.
For more information about the gallery, to volunteer and / or to donate to the gallery’s mission of supporting local artists, future art programs and scholarships, visit galleywestartgallery.com.

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