CSC opens art gallery in downtown Rutland
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | March 09,2013
Gordon Dritschilo / Staff Photo
Sarah Karczmarczyk admires the work of painter Fabio Rossi at the Castleton Downtown Gallery on Friday. The newly opened gallery, run by Castleton State College, is located in the entry to Center Street Alley.
Rutland’s newest art gallery is hidden at the moment.
Director William Ramage said the entry to Castleton State College’s downtown gallery — officially named the Castleton Downtown Gallery — may not be obvious now, nestled behind a side door along the Center Street Alley, but he expects it to become much more prominent when the renovation project in the alley takes place.
“We’ll be right at the entry,” Ramage said. “If they build this park, I think it won’t be such a hidden place. I think there’ll be more traffic. I’m betting on it.”
It was quiet at the gallery Friday. The inaugural show, consisting of works by the faculty of the CSC art department, opened Feb. 27.
“It’s been pretty slow,” said Sarah Karczmarczyk, assistant director at the gallery. “There hasn’t been a lot of advertising done yet. There are still posters that need to be put up, (to) get the word out. We have had a few (visitors), though.”
The works on display ranged from sculpture to a Peter Huntoon landscape to a series of mundane but compelling photos of school buildings to colorful abstract works defying description.
Most of the works on display are for sale, with prices ranging from $200 to $8,000.
“We have one (gallery) at the college,” Ramage said, referring to the lobby of the campus theater. “Now we have two. ... I think it’s good to kind of outreach the activities of the college into the community.”
Ramage also said CSC President David Wolk wants to strengthen the connection between the college and the city.
“I think it’s because he’s a Rutland boy, he has a real interest in the college having a presence in Rutland,” he said. “He likes investing in Rutland and this is one more way for him to do it.”
The Chaffee Art Center has opened a temporary — though the center may make it permanent — space downtown as well. Ramage said the two organizations are working together, co-sponsoring a series of artist talks in the coming weeks.
“One of the things I’m interested in is highlighting and making visual art more accessible,” he said. “The visual arts have the capacity to have a very positive effect on any community. Look what it did for Brandon.”
Ramage previously placed a “photo sculpture” in an adjoining space, and that installation is scheduled to remain until summer. The current show at the main gallery is slated to remain through May 11. After that, Ramage said, the gallery will draw “from all over.”
“There’s an awful lot of very good artists in Vermont and that would be a source I would look to tap first,” he said. “This seems to be a migration location, like the swallows with Capistrano.”
The gallery will have a grand opening reception, free and open to the public, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 15.
“I hope people come to it,” Ramage said. “We’re the new kid on the block.”