GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Charles R. Wood Theater is a well-known home for music and theater in downtown Glens Falls. More recently, the walls of its theater space have been used as an art gallery by the growing number of local artists who call the city home. On Wednesday, those walls were getting populated with vistas, bodies, and more – a collection of art heralding more to come.
Artists prepared on Wednesday for the Wood Theater’s first-ever Rock Gallery, a one-day exhibit event open this Saturday, March 11. Works by four artists will be joined by rock music from a trio of area bands. While the music plays, the local artists will do more than show off their works – they’ll be painting, live for an audience.
“Really, the talent is here,” said Rock Gallery organizer and local artist Anthony Richichi. “I play in a band as well, so I see both sides of the spectrum. It’s great to see how they merge in a venue like this that has a stage, has wall space – it’s terrific.”
Richichi spoke on Wednesday while standing in front of some of his own artwork – paintings of Adirondack scenes, surreal images, and even a Van Gogh likeness. He was joined by fellow artist Shelley Fairbanks, whose drawings of human, insect, and plant life hang on the same wall. Artists Sarah Calzada and Hannah Williams will have collections of their own works hung on the adjoining wall.
On Saturday, visitors will have the opportunity to watch the artists paint live while the music plays. Richichi and Fairbanks have both done live art before – and for both, talking to arts appreciators is a gift, not a challenge.
“It’s invasive – in a good way,” said Fairbanks. “It’s kind of nice when people come up and talk, because I do feel like it takes off the pressure in a way – rather than people just standing there and staring at you.”
Richichi’s band, the diverse rock group LOCK 9, is one of three bands playing the Wood Theater stage during the show. Others include Capital Zen and Seize Atlantis, both also local to the area. The gallery will be open free of charge from noon to 5, with Seize Atlantis starting off the music at 7:30 p.m.
Fairbanks, too, has another connection within the Rock Gallery – as the box office manager for the Wood Theater. Fairbanks is one of just three full-time employees who keep the shows running all year long – and the venue is excited to host her art, her peers, and a type and intensity of music that doesn’t often come through the theater’s Glen Street doors.
“This is a type of event that shows how dynamic our space is, and how many types of events we can have here,” said Wood Theater Executive Director Emily Murphy. “Having artists right here in the gallery (itself a concessions area) is a totally different use of the space, and it’s already inspired us to talk about different ways we can use the space – maybe having regular galleries.”
The gallery space hosted art last fall, during the Adirondack Film Festival. Richichi has been a close collaborator with the theater as it branches out. The artist also serves as the artistic director of GEM Fest at the Glens Falls Shirt Factory.
The Rock Gallery will also feature a market where more area artists will be selling their work. Tickets are priced at $20, and available through the Wood Theater box office.