Phyllis McGuire | View from the Village: A Spring Street gallery with a Greylock view
WILLIAMSTOWN — I am delighted that Rachele Dario's dream has come true.
In June, Rachele opened a new art gallery at 711 Spring St., under the name Greylock Gallery.
Ever since The Harrison Gallery and Barbara Prey Gallery closed in the last months of 2015, I have missed being able to able to feast my eyes on beautiful paintings when I was on Spring Street. And to sort of put frosting on the cake, there was no charge for enjoying the works of art.
Rachele greeted me with a smile when I visited Greylock Gallery for the first time. "If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them," she said.
I suppose it was because I had just passed the "Greylock Gallery" sign on the path leading to the entrance that the first question that popped into my head was: " How did you decide on a name for your gallery?"
"When I was a child, my bedroom window framed Mount Greylock," Rachele replied, "and wherever I have lived in the Berkshires, I have had a view of Mount Greylock. It has always been inspiring."
As I gazed at the paintings that were hanging in the gallery, Rachele said, "We will showcase a variety of contemporary and traditional works of art by emerging and established artists. Currently for the opening of the gallery, we are showcasing paintings by all the artists we represent.''
In the future, Greylock Gallery will present solo shows of individual artist's work, and various artists' work will be included in shows based on particular themes.
Rachele is already planning a small work show for December.
"I've always been interested in art," Rachele said "and it seemed natural that I would want my own business. When I was growing up my parents owned their own business and my grandparents were entrepreneurs."
As a college student, Rachele majored in art and business. After graduating, she worked at Canyon Ranch in Lenox. Then for many years she lived across the country and in Italy.
When she returned to settle in the Berkshires, she started working at the former Harrison Gallery in the capacity of manager.
"It was wonderful to work with Jo" — Jo Ellen Harrison, proprietor of The Harrison Gallery — "and to meet the artists she represented," she said.
When 71 Spring St. became available, Rachele saw it as a chance to bring to fruition her wish to have a "place" of her own. "It was the right time and the right place," she said. "And Jo encouraged me to go for it."
Now Rachele is representing artists The Harrison Gallery formerly represented, including John MacDonald, Hale Johnson, Susan Jones Kenyon, John Traynor and Gracia Dayton.
"They are great representatives of New England artists," said the new business owner.
I considered it a privilege to interview John MacDonald a couple of years ago. I am in awe of his talent for creating, with brush, paint and palette on blank canvas, a landscape you feel you could walk into.
Recently, I spoke with Mr. MacDonald, via phone, about Greylock Gallery.
"I am pleased for three reasons," he said. "Most of my work is based on the local scene so it is advantageous to have a gallery that is local to show it. I am pleased that Rachele owns the gallery ... we have a good working relationship. And it's good to see a high-quality art gallery on Spring Street."
Rachele mentioned that the industry is shifting in some ways with art work being offered online.
"But people that are passionate about art will go to the Clark, Williams College Museum of Art, Mass MoCA. And Greylock Gallery will become part of the trek," she said. "And I have confidence in the artists I represent."
The new gallery owner's excitement was palpable when she said, "I couldn't be more thrilled to be representing artists in Williamstown right here on Spring Street, and to be surrounded by wonderful works of art."
Phyllis McGuire writes from her home in Williamstown.