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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Welcome Scarlet Seven

An interior view of Scarlet Seven Fine Art Gallery
photo provided
Whenever a new gallery opens in the Capital Region, it is cause for celebration. But then comes the inevitable question - will it last?

Julie Branch - Large Fungi with Frogs
pilfered porcelain
A large and enthusiastic crowd greeted the opening of Scarlet Seven Fine Art Gallery at 137 4th Street in Troy on Friday night (during the ever-popular Troy Night Out), giving a strong impression that this space is desired and appreciated. Owners Jon Gernon and Jillian Platt presided over the event, which featured 12 regional artists of strong reputation and diverse work. After a ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held on May 31, the gallery will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday; the current show runs through June 25.

The space is grand and nicely proportioned, with plenty of exposed brick, wooden floor, and a solid glass front that puts the venue on permanent street-level display, tantalizing passersby with the challenge of finding the entrance, which is way around back and neatly hidden under a giant, blank wall of brick and ivy. This may be a clever approach - if you make it hard to find, people will be inspired to put in the effort. Feeling like you've discovered something special, perhaps you will buy.

David Austin - Getting Closer, acrylic on canvas
And, yes, the point of this business is to sell the art, however vulgar that may seem to purists. Certainly, let's hope that's the result, if we like local art and nice galleries to show it in. Gernon was until recently for many years the curator at nearby Clement Gallery, so his experience in retail will be especially useful here. He is also one of the featured artists, and has found a broad-based market for his own tempera paintings, which should help this gallery's fortunes.

Co-curator Platt also shows paintings in this first selection, which includes paintings by David Austin, John Hampshire, Willie Marlowe, D. Jack Solomon, Yeachin Tsai, Stephen Tyson, and Jeff Wigman; sculptures by Julie Branch and Susan Spencer Crowe; and ceramics by Randi Kish. If you're not already familiar with this star-filled lineup, then Scarlet Seven will be as good a place as any to catch up and join the folks who follow the local scene and for decades have been enjoying the world-class work it offers.

We'll be keeping an eye on this latest commercial fine art venture, and wish Jon and Jillian the very best for a long, successful run.

Jeff Wigman - The Three Poisons, oil on panel