River Gallery is a white wall gallery and framing workshop on Old Detroit Road in Rocky River. Recently revitalized with a streetside make over by the city this is a charming, pedestrian and pet-friendly neighborhood of shops and galleries, with River Gallery and its neighbor Devout Home two of the longstanding local businesses on the block. Certainly one of the best kept secrets of the westside suburb of Rocky River.
A real labor of love, it is obvious owner, Ara Hamamjian and gallery manager, Mark Yasenchack, have a passion for curating group exhibits featuring established and emerging local talent, providing these artists with a finely tailored and professional presentation. “The relationships I have made with artists have been inspiring and incredibly rewarding.” Hamamjian adds.
Founded in 1970 by his parents George and Mom Hamamjian, Ara grew up surrounded by art and found that he was at home in the framing workshop.
After graduating from Ohio State University he enrolled in the Framing Institute in San Francisco honing his skills and developing a love for the craft. An artist in his own right, Hamamjian also ties and knots fly-fishing flies, at once functional and decorative, they are all jewels of hook, feather and thread. He instructs fly-tying workshops at the Museum of Natural History in Cleveland. Developed from his love of fly-fishing he is also a guide on the Rocky River for other enthusiastic fly-fishers.
In 1996 Hamamjian purchased the gallery from his parents and pursued a different course by focusing on local artists, establishing collaborative relationships with students, professors and alumni of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Kent State and Baldwin-Wallace College. He also targeted lovers and collectors of fine craft and found there are many in the Cleveland area as the gallery's reputation spread from the west to the eastside of Cleveland. This support and enthusiasm of River Gallery patrons is clearly evident in the success of the annual Ceramics Invitational Exhibit every April. Started in 2005 this exhibt has grown to featuring the work of over 30 ceramicists. The 2012 exhibit will open Saturday April 14, 2012.
The first exhibit of River Gallery's 2012 season will be the second annual photography exhibit. Work by photographers Mark Inglis, Jessica Maloney, Chad Gordon and Dan Morgan will be featured. These photographers have developed unique and unexpected methods of creating compelling contemporary photography. This exhibit opens Saturday, February 4, 2012.
River Gallery seeks artists year-round, although prefer to review work before an in-person interview at the gallery or artist's studio. Interested artists should prepare a disc of ten to twenty images of the current work accompanied with an artist's statement and resume or email a website address with this information.
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