BEACON - The timing was right on.
Three months after the DIA opened its doors in Beacon, the River Winds Gallery followed suit, becoming the first gallery on the West End to open shop. Now, 10 years later, the transformation that has ensued is priceless.
"We had a feeling the DIA was really going to put Beacon on the map," said one of River Winds Gallery’s three owners as well as past President of the Beacon Arts Organization, Linda T. Hubbard. "Now, there are galleries, restaurants and all kinds of shops on Main Street; the growth to see Beacon change from closed storefronts to a vibrant arts community is wonderful."
That excitement was celebrated in style Saturday night, as the River Winds Gallery officially celebrated its decade tenure. The 172 Main Street local serves not only as an artistic hub, but a tourist one as well. In addition to housing photographs, paintings, jewelry and porcelain paintings, the gallery further contains a Dutchess County Tourism Information Center, providing a host of literature on the local happenings in the growing City. Saturday’s gala, was part of the monthly "Second Saturday" venue. Featuring artwork from about 50 artists who have shown at the Gallery over the past ten years, the show was fittingly dubbed, "The 10th Anniversary Show." Its opening was further complemented by the guitar melodies of "Open Book." Additionally, a double chocolate raspberry anniversary cake was provided by another Main Street business, Homespun. As the large crowd congratulated the trio of owners on their much appreciated contributions to the Beacon art community, other words of praise filled the air.
"This is the best gallery in Beacon; it has a little bit of everything," said a smiling Jan Ravase, an 11 year Beacon resident, who has been attending Second Saturdays since their inception in 2002. "Even if you just have a little time to spend, you can see so much, and its personnel is absolutely wonderful."
Paula Bugbee of Highland was also on hand with her two children. Following up on a suggestion by a friend to attend the popular Second Saturday event, Bugbee was pleased she chose River Winds as one of her first stops.
"This gallery is quite eclectic; it’s like no other place I’ve ever seen," said Bugbee.
Hubbard and her partners are hoping the Gallery’s impact is just as much, if not stronger, the next decade.
"We want to continue to support the Beacon Arts Organization, which has helped Beacon grow and prosper," said Hubbard. "We also want to keep supporting the incredible artists we have in the Hudson Valley and showcase them to the citizens of Beacon and all our visitors, hoping they take a little bit home with them."
Learn more about River Winds Gallery at www.riverwindsgallery.com or give them a call at (845) 838-2880.