Main Street Gallery reimagines  exhibits, fundraising

Jodi Rusconi, Quilt Artist, and friends at September Art Cruise

A reimagined Main Street Gallery opened 11 years ago with a mission to support local artists. Support meant showcasing quality art and crafts by gallery members, providing a learning environment through workshops and instruction, while helping to promote the artistic and cultural development of the area. Today, the mission remains the same.

The gallery closed in mid-March for about 3½ months due to COVID-19. During that time, the Board of Directors added a new mission to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and become more resilient in the process. The gallery created virtual exhibits on social media to spotlight the artists that were unable to show at the gallery. Board member Melanie Hirdler noted “These wonderful artists lift the spirits of the community through their art.”

The gallery reopened in July, but business and life remained far from normal. A current challenge facing the gallery is a shortage of docents. Main Street Gallery depends entirely on its dedicated docent staff to keep the doors open. During the pandemic, having fewer docents required closing an additional day of the week. Gallery Manager Karen Hammer states “This would be a great time to call the gallery and volunteer.”

Another challenge during a pandemic is fundraising. These events are often also a social event, like a concert with tasty food and beverage, or a gathering of art lovers for an auction, games and comradery. The gallery counts on these events to remain viable. Since this kind of event is not possible now, the gallery will soon be hosting a silent auction of fabulous art. 

“These days we must enjoy the art from a frustrating distance,” Hirdler laments.

Main Street Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Tuesday at 590 Main St., Weaverville; 623-9259. Find them on Facebook at MainStreetGalleryWvl.

Business spotlight is a contribution from the Weaverville Chamber of Commerce as businesses rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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