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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Cascade re-opens

Fine art enthusiasts can anticipate the much-awaited reopening of the Cascade Art Gallery next week, scheduled for Thursday, February 29. Owners Kareen Anchen and Jeff Gardner are diligently adding the final flourishes to their gallery space. During a recent visit by the Times, craftsmen including a stonemason and a stained glass specialist were seen meticulously working on the historic building located on Fountain Street.

The revival of the Cascade Gallery is poised to breathe new life into the town of Maldon, which has experienced setbacks such as the temporary closure of the Kangaroo Hotel, the shuttering of a restaurant, and the impending closure of Le Sel. The return of the Cascade Gallery signifies a significant boost for the art community.

Over the next two years, the gallery will showcase a series of 14 exhibitions primarily featuring the solo works of renowned artists. These exhibitions will follow seasonal themes, commencing with an unveiling next Thursday of a collection of new paintings by Liz Sullivan titled “Wild Parterre.”

Having resided in Maldon for 23 years, Jeff and Kareen have continuously adapted their business model in response to economic fluctuations and their evolving artistic aspirations. Their journey began with the Cascade Print Room on Main Street, a notable highlight in Maldon’s retail history.

A decade ago, the couple acquired the old Methodist Church property, transforming the Sunday School building into their gallery space. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Kareen and Jeff remained undeterred, channeling their efforts into extensive renovations. Their dedication has resulted in a rejuvenated space, with increased gallery capacity, storage facilities, and a kitchenette.

While work continues on completing living and studio areas within the Sunday School building, Kareen and Jeff eagerly anticipate the upcoming artistic endeavors. With a roster of acclaimed artists lined up for exhibitions, including Robert McLaurin, Dean Bowen, Judy Holding, and Dave Frazer, the gallery promises to be a hub of creativity and inspiration.

To accommodate their own artistic pursuits, the gallery will observe closures in July, August, and January. Jeff, a multifaceted artist, juggles poetry, painting, printmaking, and children’s book creation alongside his gallery responsibilities. Meanwhile, Kareen, a talented artist herself, looks forward to dedicating more time to painting amidst her freelance art writing commitments, reminiscing about past residencies in Dunmoochin and Paris.

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