Gallery draws steady traffic
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 7:00 PM
MENOMINEE - There are many things that attract people to downtown Menominee including a variety of shops along with clean and spacious parks and beaches. Artists especially enjoy capturing images of boats under sail, the iconic lighthouse and block after block of turn of the 20th century structures.
Chris Greenwood, Marinette, sets up his pottery Wednesday at the new Albergreen Gallery that opened recently on 1st Street in Menominee.
Over the years a number of art galleries have also found a home in the Historic District. The newest one is the Albergreen Gallery, located in the Schale Building at 601 1st Street.
"We've had pretty steady traffic," said artist/co-owner Chris Greenwood. "A lot of people have been stopping in and checking it out. A lot of people have been rubber necking too, I'm not sure if that's just the way people drive or what."
For being open just a month, the shop is filling up nicely with new and unique works of art. Greenwood specializes in pottery, things like bowls, cups and vases. He starts each project with a big wet lump of clay.
"I primarily use the wheel so I'll throw a shape that I like. Then I'll try to do something off the wheel to make it more interesting," he said. "I feel like anyone who has as much skill as me throwing something on the wheel can make anything I can make on the wheel. So it's what I do once I take it off the wheel that makes it unique. I really like texture. I have a hatchet that makes a really nice a rectangular paddle mark that I like a lot and I use a drywall saw to get some striations or rib texture."
Greenwood says he does most of his work from his home studio in Marinette, which is also where he fires the pieces in his kiln. The functionality of his art is evident in that he uses his own designs everyday.
"Bowls are great, I like the idea of picking it up and eating out of it," he said. "It's interactive art I guess, so I really try to stick with things I think people will use. The vases, I feel like a lot of people buy them but don't have flowers in them as often as I'd like to see. The same thing with the jugs and stuff, they're all functional but a lot of times they just get bought for decoration."
Greenwood is far from alone in the gallery. His two partners Lee Allegeyer and Chris Berden also have a number of incredible two and three dimensional works for sale.
"Chris and Lenny both paint a lot," said Greenwood. "Chris also does caricatures which he'll do anytime he's here. He's pretty good at it. You could pick a guy out of a line up every time."
Customers will also be pleasantly surprised to find works from other local artists including those of James LaMalfa and Margaret Stearn. The gallery is closed Monday and Tuesday but open Wednesday through Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.