The NEW Pomfret School Gallery
A public celebration of the creative spirit
The new and improved Pomfret School Gallery opened to great fanfare in November. The evening included a ribbon cutting, refreshments, interactive activities, and the opportunity to meet Pomfret graduate and current Davidson College art student Rebecca Pempek '16, whose inaugural exhibit, A Disfigure Study, decorated the new space.
Since 2013, the off-campus gallery has been home to a rotating exhibit of student, faculty, and guest artwork. In November, it moved from its original home inside Silver Circle Art Center into a much larger space on the second floor of the historic Bosworth Block Building, a few blocks away from the original location in the heart of downtown Putnam, CT.
"We were limited by the size of the original gallery," says Chip Lamb, who chairs the Fine Arts Department at Pomfret. "This space will allow us to do a lot more."
Overlooking Cargill Falls, the new venue is huge. At 1,400 square feet, it's roughly four times the size of the old gallery, with 12-foot high ceilings and red brick walls.
"It is the ultimate real world experience," says Studio Arts Teacher J.P. Jacquet, who manages the gallery. "In addition to creating and curating exhibits, students are responsible for pricing and marketing their own shows, and interacting with visitors." In addition, many of the pieces are available for purchase, and the proceeds benefit the operation of the gallery.
With the new space, Lamb and Jacquet have also begun to reimagine what a gallery can be: three-dimensional artwork, live performances, classes for the public, and special events. Everything is on the table.
The change in location has also precipitated a small but important change in name. Formerly P.S. Art, the new space is simply called the Pomfret School Gallery. "Many members of the local community did not immediately associate the letters "P.S." with Pomfret School," Lamb says. "Dropping the word 'art' reflects our desire to expand the scale and scope of what is possible in the new space."
In January, the Gallery wrapped up its second exhibit, Year in Review, featuring original paintings, drawings, sculptures, pottery, photographs, and mixed media pieces created by dozens of students, alumni, and faculty, with proceeds from the sale of artwork supporting a new art therapy program for at-risk youth in our region.
"For this thing to work, the community needs to embrace it," says Jacquet. "And so far, the reaction has been very positive."
Pomfret School Gallery is located at 134 Main Street, 2nd Floor, in downtown Putnam, CT. We are open Wednesday - Saturday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 PM. A special thanks to Silver Circle Art Center for helping us staff the Gallery.