Adams Art Gallery opens its doors

OBSERVER Photo by Jo Ward Matei Denes and William Haskas of the architectural firm plusFarm talk with visitors at the Adams Art Gallery Doors Open event on Saturday evening.

The Adams Art Gallery opened it’s doors for the first time in almost a decade to a group of about 30 people Saturday night.

The building sat in ruin, but proud and defiant two men are moving forward to bring the gallery back to its former glory.

Matei Denes, co-director of the architectural firm plusFarm, is spearheading the project, with his partner and co-director, William Haskas, and several volunteers.

“We took over the building in March, and we spent from then until now doing the bare bones. We’ve taken down walls, there was carpet we removed, there was a lot of issues with water, we patched the roof, removed a lot of the damaged areas and solidified the space,” Denes commented. “This week, we got electricity to the building, we got plumbing to the building; these are the basic, rudimentary things that a building needs that weren’t in place.”

People wandered around the dimly lit room looking forlornly at the ripped up floor boards and peeling paint but regardless they were all happy to see it open once more.

“Our hope is to get a historical architect to come in and do a survey of the building, to really pinpoint the historical elements that need to be done, especially on the exterior, where the limestone and the concrete are crumbling,” Denes continued. “It’s not just a building, its a special place in the community that has been missing for the last eight-years.”

Though no artwork or installations were yet on display the building itself was.

“Tonight’s event is about saying, ‘We have this building now.’ Now we can start a discussion about, how do we bring the children in? What are the programs to bring people in? Who are the local artists that want to show here? What other events can we bring?”

A combination of grants and private donations have gotten the Adams this far, but there is still lots to be done. The focus of 2019 is to replace the roof which is estimated to cost upwards of $100,000.

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