Just around this time last year, the village of Saugerties saw the opening of Intima Gallery on Main St., an exhibition space for book arts, letterpress and photographic prints. The concept seemed a good counterpoint to the work shown at nearby Imogen Holloway Gallery on Partition St., a hub for Diane Dwyer’s well-curated shows of contemporary paintings and mixed-media works accompanied by conceptual window installations.
By the end of this month, both galleries will have closed their doors. But the village won’t be left without an art exhibition space for long: Cross Contemporary Art will open under the direction of Jen Dragon on Friday, Aug. 1 in the space at 81 Partition St. formerly occupied by Imogen Holloway.
Filling the void
“This has all been very new and fast for me,” said Dragon. “I just put the gallery business plan together two weeks ago when I heard Imogen Holloway was closing. The first thing I thought was, ‘Saugerties cannot lose its art galleries.’” The new gallerist is an artist herself and she’s curated shows for organizations that include the Kleinert and Woodstock Artists Association, but this will be her first permanent exhibition space.
The first show will open during First Friday festivities in the village with an opening reception from 4-9 p.m. “Collection,” which Dragon describes as “an exhibit that turns the attention back to the person who walks in the door of the gallery,” explores how a collector takes art back to their own environment and, in effect, creates a personal installation. Works in this first show will be by a diverse group of artists, from Albrecht Dürer to Judy Pfaff, Sir Terry Frost, Robert Mangold and Ford Crull. In September, symbolist painter Crull will have a show of his own in the space. In October, Cross Contemporary Art will exhibit the woodcuts of Richard Bosman.
Online and roving
The Imogen Holloway Gallery may have left its brick-and-mortar location on Partition St., but the concept will be reborn as “Imogen Holloway Plus” this fall. Diane Dwyer said she closed the gallery’s physical space to concentrate on «a more mobile, flexible and I think, exciting model.” Her plan is “to find beautiful and unusual spaces in the Hudson Valley in which to show paintings and installations, and host readings and performances.”
The gallery’s online presence will remain active through its website, Facebook and Instagram, she said, and she›ll use these formats occasionally to feature new work from the gallery artists and showcase new discoveries.
The first Imogen Holloway Plus event will be held in the fall in “a beautiful, old industrial space in the village.” The location will be announced later this summer.
“It’s been deeply gratifying to watch a lively community sprout up around the gallery and an absolute pleasure to show such great work,” Dwyer said. “And I’m thrilled that the Partition St. space will continue to be a gallery. That’s extremely important to the future of Saugerties, which is developing a vibrant cultural energy. When that happens, everyone benefits. Upstate towns are all vying for their spot in the sun and things have changed a bit; the old models don’t work as well. But there’s documented proof that living, breathing and growing communities depend on cultural offerings as part of their economy.”
Labor of love
Intima Gallery, the joint venture of Mindy Belloff and Steven Gentile, will close its doors at the end of July. Belloff said they’re proud of the six exhibits they held of “wonderful work by accomplished artists” in the almost-year they were open. Belloff will continue running Intima Press at its two locations in New York City, on 16th St. and at Union Square, where she offers custom letterpress printing, DIY classes and private tutorials in printing, bookbinding and book arts.
As a full-time resident of Saugerties, Gentile will continue to exhibit his photography in other venues regionally. “Intima Gallery was a very ambitious and worthy labor of love,” he said. “We did our very best to bring the artists we exhibited and the community together in the hopes of igniting a deeper conversation, and hope that this magic continues to spark a greater fire in the community long after our lights have darkened.”
He encourages the public, both visitors and residents, to support their local small businesses with shop visits and patronage. “We don›t always show how much we need these visits and purchases; how much we struggle. And you think these shops will always be there until you wake one day to find the shops you always wanted to visit are gone.”