Genoa’s Gallery on Main goes beyond showcasing local paintings and photography.
The studio is reviving the town’s artistic culture by collaborating handmade jewelry, decor, and pottery for purchase, and live music.
“We want people to see different things every time they come to the gallery,” said Peggy Wynne Borgman. “Mixing it up makes it more viable. If it were strictly fine art, it wouldn’t make much sense.”
The new, co-op business celebrated its grand opening during the Genoa Cowboy Festival April 28-30.
As part of Carson City’s Entrepreneur’s Assembly chapter and community curator at Adams Hub for Innovation on Proctor Street, Borgman gave a helping hand to owner Carrie Hardison to make her dream gallery come true within a few months.
Part of the process was made possible by attending EA meetings, held on the second Wednesday of each month at Adams Hub. There, local entrepreneurs, startups, and aspiring business owners gather after work to identify their key priorities and action items, and produce marching orders for next month’s meeting.
This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs, such as Hardison, to take a step closer to achieving their business goals.
“The collaboration has been effortless,” she said. “What I mean by that, is that it felt meant to be. It’s been a great experience.”
Other local business owners and artists jumped in to help reach Hardison’s goal to open Gallery on Main, including Maureen Conlin of Genoa’s Happy Notes and Genoa artist Buffy Wright Swetland.
Conlin will perform and host music classes at the gallery this summer, while Swetland creates Native American-inspired objects.
More local artists’ work are featured in the gallery, such as Carson City’s Fred Howland photography, and paintings from as early as the 1900s thanks to Peterson Williams Archive, LLC. Jewelry by Genoa’s own Southwest Designs brand is also for sale in the studio.
Also featured is Western artist Ray Freeman of Carson City; landscape painters Betty Chessin, Liz Cataldo and Borgman of Genoa; landscape artist Charles Meunsch of Gardnerville; paintings on silk by Louise Noel; and Nataliya Tyaglo, a plein air painter from Tahoe who also live-paints events and weddings.
The gallery will soon sell clothing from local textile artists.
“We created a basecamp for artists and activities,” Borgman said. “Many galleries around here shut down during and after the recession. But the galleries that are still in the area, such as Genoa and Carson City, are on the upswing.”
Prior to opening the gallery, Hardison focused on The Rock Garden of Genoa at 2292 Main St., a rock and mineral shop she still operates and owns to this day.
However, she had aspirations of expanding her shop with other elements of art and to include work inspired by a “cowboy anthropology” theme.
The Rock Garden converted into Gallery on Main, combining business art and mother nature.
“We looked at the space together but I didn’t want to be the one to run the shop,” Borgman said. “But I wanted to help. It all just fell together.”
As Genoa locals, Hardison and Borgman met during the holidays and leased space in the same building as the rock shop.
Now that The Rock Garden is a part of the gallery, the space is being transformed into a classroom.
The idea to open the gallery launched in February and only two months later, the shop held a soft opening April 1 for local artists to display their work — such as Borgman, a painter herself.
“Everyone has something to look at when they walk in,” she said. “There’s a strong interest in this area for minerals and crystals, and it creates an interest for those who normally wouldn’t walk into a gallery.”
As the gallery begins its journey and growth in Genoa, the owners are developing pop-up events for artists who are not part of the core collective of the gallery.
“You don’t have to be an artist to come into the gallery,” Borgman said. “Gallery on Main promotes to express yourself with what you collect or enjoy what you see in the shop.”
Community members who want to stay informed about parties, events, workshops and classes can subscribe to the newsletter, or follow Gallery on Main Genoa on Facebook.
Art galleries in the area also are invited to a special Entrepreneurs Assembly session, with Local Art Support & Sales (LASS), to address marketing art in the region and challenges specific to operating independent galleries.
Qualified businesses are invited at 1 p.m. Monday at the Adams Hub for Innovation, 111 W. Proctor Street.
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