New works, new digs coming for local artists' collective

With all the beautiful scenery in the beach, as well as the numerous parks and wildlife areas dotting the landscape, it isn’t hard to imagine why the coastal area seems to attract artisans. Countless night spots feature local musicians and, if you know the right places to look, there are plenty of studios and galleries that are open to the public, featuring beautiful works of art. One such location is Gallery One, located across the street from Lord Baltimore Elementary School on Route 26.

At Gallery One, a number of local artists work diligently to create new and inspiring works on a regular basis. Anne Hanna, Dianne Shearon, Fay Kempton, Richard Mathews, Lorraine Meehan, Sonia hunt, Pat Riordan, Joyce Condry, Jeanne Mueller, Rina Thaler, Dale Sheldon, Constance Wolf Hughes, She Spencer, Cheryl Wisbrock and Lesley McCaskill are the co-owners, and co-artists of the gallery, and each brings their own unique talents and style to the collective vision.

“There are 15 of us who own and run the gallery,” explained McCaskill, the newest member of the team. “We’ve been in business for four years, and that’s pretty good for an art gallery. We’re all partners in this gallery, so each artist gets have complete control of their own work. In many galleries, the artist is limited by the owner’s desires, but we don’t have that problem here, since the artists are also the owners! We have sections in the gallery for each artist, and we each usually have five or six paintings up. We all help each other with ideas and promotion, so it really is a team effort.”

The store’s selection of work on display is fluid, constantly adapting and morphing with the seasons.

“We change the show monthly, so that there is always new work,” McCaskill noted. “Each artist has at least one painting for that month’s theme. ‘L’amour’ is our February show. ‘Painting the Green’ is March’s theme. ‘Spring Awakening’ is our show for April. May is all new works. June is ‘People and Places.’ July is ‘Summertime.’ And August is ‘At the beach.’ September will feature works of art based around a concept the artist comes up with themselves. October’s theme is ‘Fall colors,’ and November is ‘Small Works.’“

Gallery One is also known for their unique and beautiful collections of notecards, which are released annually. McCaskill said, “Each artist contributes a picture to be turned into gallery postcards. There are two sets of cards in each series, each set featuring half of the cards. This year’s cards have been very successful,” she noted.

The cards each feature a different outdoor scene, scanned from an original painting by one of the artists.

“One is Gordon’s Pond. One is behind Anne’s house, and one is Bethany Beach. They’re all local scenes,” McCaskill described. “The cards have been really popular, so we’ll definitely continue creating them. We hope to have our 2009 cards ready by May or early June.”

The postcards are available at Gallery One, as well as at Bethany Beach Books and Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach.

That new set of notecards isn’t the only new thing on the horizon for Gallery One.

“We’re moving in May to a new space, just down Route 26, which is much bigger,” McCaskill confided with excitement. “In that building, we’ll have one wall just for our theme paintings and other areas for our regular paintings. There will also be a nice outdoor garden area that we plan to use.”

“The new location will feature galleries, art classes and even a retail space for a few other artists, such as a photographer and a potter.” she continued. “We’re really excited.

“Until we move,” she noted, “we’ll only be featuring our monthly shows, but once we’re in the new space we’ll open up workshops in watercolor, fused glass, sculpture, oil painting and drawing. We’ll have models for people to draw. We’d also like to have musicians come and play in the garden; so, hopefully, people will enjoy the new experience.”

The workshop-style classes will run from spring to fall, covering a variety of media, and will be instructed by both Gallery One artists and other local names in the arts. There will be a class teaching watercolor techniques in May, June, July and September, taught by Sonia Hunt. Tinsel Hughes will instruct a class on oil painting, which will be offered in May, June and August, as well as a more specific class on portraits in July. In May, Bob Chu will feature an “Introduction to Drawing” workshop.

Fay Kempton will also offer a number of classes on fused glass and sculpture. In May, she will instruct an adult class on fused dichroic glass jewelry, followed by a parent/child class on fused glass in June. She will also instruct an adult clay sculpture class in July with, you guessed it, a parent/child clay sculpture class to follow in August.

Information on all the workshops, as well as featured artwork and information about Gallery One, can be found online at The artists can be reached by calling (302) 537-5055, or simply by stopping in at the gallery.