Carla Massoni opened her High Street gallery 20 years ago, and it became one of the central gathering places of the local arts community. Massoni has been a strong supporter of local artists and was among the initiators of First Friday, which has become one of the town’s liveliest events with music, refreshments, and an influx of art-conscious visitors. And she has been a visible and articulate advocate of all the arts in Chestertown and Kent County.
Now the gallery doors are closing, and Massoni says the recession is responsible. She said that her landlords have done everything they could to help her continue. Massoni will continue to support the arts by offering private art consultation for clients and planning a series of lectures, studio visits and special exhibits in nonprofit venues throughout the region. Patrons can visit her web site, www.massoniart.com, to register for e-mail updates.
Massoni urges everyone to support the community’s nonprofit arts organizations by making a donation or volunteering time at Artworks or the Prince Theatre. Massoni said the experience she will most remember from her years in the gallery is, as a non-artist, being invited into creative lives. She spoke glowingly of the local arts community, particularly singling out the music at Andys. She said that one of the hallmarks of the local arts scene is the cross-fertilization between the arts, a trend she tried to further by sponsoring a dance program at the Prince Theatre, and bringing the Mariner String Quartet to play in the gallery.