First Friday – Marti’s On Main Art Gallery

I have been back home for almost four years, now, and I still keep finding all these wonderful treasures in and around little ole Albion, NY! I have to confess – this is one I have been meaning to stop in to see for quite some time and just kept forgetting to attend when there is a First Friday event! Definitely my loss and a big loss for anyone else who hasn’t made the time to check it out!

Marti’s On Main is an art gallery owned and operated by Kim Martillotta Muscarella – life long Albion resident with deep family roots in the Albion community – her father and uncles owned the elegant Marti’s restaurant and night club back in Albion’s hay day, her brother, Joe, renovated the old Club 469 into the beautiful Crooked Door restaurant, and her son, Jeremiah, showcases his amazing wood working in his shop on Main St, Knight’s Pride. Kim has the soul of a true artist – she opened the art gallery to showcase her own art and that of other local artists and is a founding member of the Art Circle – a group of local artists.

Friday, July 3rd was July’s First Friday event. I stopped in to snap some photos for an interview I am working on with Kim for the Albion High School Alumni Foundation Blog and decided that the evening was enough of an adventure to include on this blog! So, here are the photos I took last night of Kim, her gallery, and the featured artists of the night!

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The gallery is open on the First Friday of every month from May to December plus a few other special event showings during the month. But, you can visit the gallery any time – just call Kim at 585-589-6715 to be sure she’s going to be home and she’s more than happy to open up the gallery to show you around! My sister-in-law, Lylace, and I stopped by to see her on Thursday to show Kim some of Lylace’s paintings and we had a wonderful time talking and touring the gallery! Kim said she is always happy to meet new local artists!

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The gallery is located at 229 North Main Street in Albion – just north of the canal lift bridge on Main St. Her home is a beautiful duplex with loads of charm – perfect for an art gallery!

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The sign on Friday announced the featured artists for the evening – Laurie Kemler and Jen Scott. It also reminds attendees that they can also view art on display by local artists in the Art Circle Group and Kim’s own signature pieces.

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I asked Kim to pick a favorite piece of her own work to stand by for a photo. She chose this piece – one she loves dearly, but said that she finds many people don’t seem to take to it as well as she had hoped. I’m not sure why – I think it is stunning – the colors reach right out and grab you – this photo does not do it justice at all! But…..as they say, art is a very personal thing and what one person falls in love with, another might walk right by without much notice.

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Kim also does collage work and sculptures – mostly using odd items she recycles into art, including many sentimental items from family members. In this photo, Kim is standing by a piece she has hanging at the top of the stairs – the first thing you see when you head upstairs to view her work and the work of other local artists. The first time I went up the stairs, I was really taken with this piece – I instantly pictured it hanging on the wall in the beautiful log home that one of my dearest friends built and currently lives in!

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This is Jen Scott – one of the event’s featured artists. Jen teaches Art in Medina High School and had several stunning pieces on display. Following are photos of just some of Jen’s work – in addition to the ones she is standing by. My very favorite one is the one to Jen’s left in this photo – the writer using a quill pen is writing “one size will fit all” over and over – it is just one of her paintings demonstrating her stand against standardized testing, such as common core. I like it not only for the message it sends, but also because I fancy myself a writer and it just spoke to me!

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I immediately took to the large piece on the left, as well as the light bulb in the center. The larger piece was interesting and really cool looking – I couldn’t stop looking at it! But, I liked it even more when Kim mentioned that it was a water bottle!

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This painting of shoes is also from Jen – I loved this one, too! I wish it was in a location that would have allowed me to take a better photo of it!

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This is Laurie Genagon Kemler – also one of the featured artists for this event. Laurie is an illustrator and her work is very “Norman Rockwell-ish”. Kim told me that she has recently written a children’s book and Laurie did the illustrations for the book! I’m looking forward to getting a copy of this book once it is published – I’m sure it will be amazing! Laurie is a Visual Arts teacher at Mental Health Assoc of Orleans County and Hillside Children’s Center and the Art Director at Forrestel Farm Riding and Sports Camp. This photo was taken beside her most recent piece to her left – this piece was my favorite, although it was difficult to choose a favorite.

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I had a hard time getting a good shot of Laurie’s work because of the glare on the glass. Laurie was thrilled to mention that the piece to the far left in this shot was sold – it is a painting she did from a black and white photograph!!!

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And….Laurie’s daughter, Anya Groth, also had a piece in the show, as well…..chip off the old block, as they say!

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The piece is called “Inspiring Words”, but the ones written in the orange/yellow pool – “Bring color to your day” – was the message I related to!

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Admiring Laurie’s work!

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This room displayed a mix of artists – Laurie Kemler to the right, Jen Scott to the left, a couple of Kim’s sculptures in the center, and (though I didn’t get a good shot of them) some amazing stuffed animals called “Second Hand Critters” created by Terry Vick from old clothing to give comfort to their lucky recipient!

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A closer look at Kim Martillotta Muscarella’s sculptures in the downstairs gallery.

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Upstairs, Kim has a book of water color flowers she has done – don’t you just love the daffodil with the fireplace frame?

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This room is devoted to Kim’s work – the piece on the left was created from an old pair of garden shears that I believe she said belonged to an aunt of her’s (or maybe her grandmother – I forget – maybe she will remind me and I will update this). She looked at them and just knew they would make a great bird – along with a few other materials! I wish I had taken notes while I was there, but my main goal was photos for the interview I will be doing at a later date – I just got so excited about the event that I decided to also do a post for THIS blog! So, I’m not sure what relation the donor of a fur lined rain coat was that ended up the focus of the piece in the center.

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Kim has done several works using old guitars and guitar necks – the blend of music and art is simply wonderful!

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Another beautiful use of an old guitar!

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And then there are the “sisters”! These really made me smile!

So……if you haven’t discovered Marti’s On Main, yet, you really need to! This month, the featured artist’s work will be up all month until the July 24th show closing reception – 5:30 – 9:00 on the 24th. There will also be a poetry reading event on Monday July 20th at 2:00 pm featuring Nicki Martillotta McFarland. August will bring a new First Friday event on the 7th and a musical event on the 22nd. The flyer listing all the events through the end of August is posted below – a new flyer with events from September thru December will be available soon! Please attend these events or just call Kim and go tour the gallery whenever you can – show our local artists that we value them, even if only by viewing and admiring their work, but also by purchasing something that speaks to you!

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Watch for my interview with Kim at http://albionalumni.org/ sometime soon. Also, watch for photos from the August First Friday event here on this blog…..but, don’t just come here to look at the photos after the fact — go see for yourself the night of the event – Friday August 7th 5:30-9:00 – BE THERE!

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