For those who have reservations about visiting an art gallery, I implore you to leave any skepticism at the door. Donna Manger, artist and owner of the DM Weil Gallery, emphasizes that her free exhibit is a space that does not boast exclusivity or a stuffy atmosphere. It is a space for every guest, children and parents alike, to give and receive expression; no purchase necessary. D.M.'s vibrant palate and expressive collection of large-scale artwork can be viewed in her 3,000 square foot gallery on Brunswick Road right in Gardiner. The gallery's success has grown substantially over the course of it's six year tenure and after just two seasons of being open, was rated in the top five "Things to Do" on Trip Advisor near New Paltz, New York. Donna's work and growing accomplishments have been featured in many local publications such as the Hudson Valley Times, New Paltz Times and Gardiner Gazette. Unquestionably, she has made a splash in Gardiner by testing the boundaries of abstract painting, encouraging the launch of Gardiner Open Studio Tours and partnering with local businesses for events that celebrate the community.
Seeking a change of scenery and fostering a big move, Donna relocated her artwork from the South Bronx to the Hudson Valley in 2010. After finding the perfect space to house her large-scale art, Donna explained that "I didn’t know if people would ever really come, but we went for it and people showed up; it was amazing." Much of the featured pieces in DM Weil's collection relay a burst of vitality and hues. In fact, Donna draws much of her inspiration from color and design, and that certainly shows through in her pieces. She vocalizes in emphasis, "I don't work off of photo... [on my blank canvas] there is space and peace." And it doesn't take long before that canvas becomes an explosion of energetic color.
Shortly after moving her artwork to the Hudson Valley, Donna encountered an assemblage of artists local to the area with a parallel goal; to broaden their outreach of influence. Hosting a studio tour in Gardiner to bring visitors physically to galleries seemed like a natural progression in reaching this goal. After just three short seasons of opening her exhibit, DM explains that "I remember joining with the other artists and saying 'Okay, let's do this'; and that's how it started." Now boasting over 24 artists and 19 studios that participate in two tours per year, Gardiner's Open Studio Tour or G.O.S.T. artists, began as a concept led by only five in early 2013.
The growth of Gardiner's Open Studio Tour has served as a catalyst for inquiries of additional events; an inquiry that Donna hopes to answer, making "this year [the year we start] to use the gallery as more of a community space." And undoubtedly, she already has. Teaming with Liz Glover Wilson from Sunflower Art Studios, DM's gallery transforms as a space for the community to celebrate the connection between art and the therapeutic practices of yoga. According to Donna, the response from the yoga community has been overwhelming and has encouraged her to use the space in partnership "with local breweries, restaurants and distilleries to develop a series of informative classes and events." Donna looks forward to hosting several events in the upcoming months, and we think, you won't want to miss this next one.
To learn more about Donna and DM Weil Gallery, visit her website at: www.dmweilgallery.com
Join in on our next mixer September 22, 6 pm - 8 pm at D.M. Weil Gallery and RSVP to me, the girl behind the blog, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures and article by:
LACE Photo Media