Through the looking glass: Amherst’s Gallery A3 plans series of storefront window exhibitions  

  • “City II,” pencil, watercolor, and gold leaf,  by Janet W. Winston. Image courtesy of Gallery A3

  • “Millicent and Annie,” color pencil and watercolor, by Nancy Meagher. Image courtesy of Gallery A3

  • “Together in August,” photograph, by Laura Holland.  Photo courtesy of Gallery A3

Staff Writer
Thursday, July 30, 2020

Gallery A3 in Amherst will present a new exhibit, “TOGETHER in AUGUST,” beginning Thursday, Aug. 6. — the first in a planned series of storefront window exhibitions aimed at keeping visual artwork present in the community despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Rebecca Muller, a member of the cooperative gallery and a visual artist, said that since the start of the pandemic, the gallery has been experimenting with ways to showcase art without people seeing the work in person, such as by publishing daily art posts on Instagram.

“We’ve had to really look at how you have connection without having access to the physical presence of loved ones and families,” she said. “I think in the beginning, there was a huge sense of loss and unfamiliarity. In the midst of the difficulty, it pushes us out of the box. We’re in a whole new territory.”

Nancy Meagher, a co-coordinator of the exhibit whose work is also featured in the showing, said she and fellow artist Janet Winston were inspired by gallery members collaborating with one another and the greater sense of community at Gallery A3 that’s been fostered during the past several months.

“We really have changed as a gallery,” Meagher said. “We’ve come together. We’ve learned — almost like a stone soup scenario — each one of us in a cooperative has different gifts that we can bring to this stone soup, if you will.”

The art featured in the exhibit includes pieces such as “Millicent and Annie,” a whimsical color pencil and watercolor work by Meagher; “City II” a pencil, watercolor and gold-leaf piece by Winston that mimics childlike designs; and a photograph by Laura Holland of two empty tables side by side called “Together in August.”

Before the pandemic hit, a peer group of artists only met three to four times a year. The group now meets every two to three weeks, said Meagher.

“We didn’t used to sit at the gallery meetings looking everyone in the eye — it was much more a diffused kind of attention,” Muller added. “Now we’re really present with each other in a different way because there’s no place else to look.”

Chris Goudreau can be reached at cgoudreau@gazettenet.com. For more information about Gallery A3, visit www.gallerya3.com.