We’re Ten Years Old!

This year marks a major milestone for Falling Rivers Gallery, We have been open for 10 years, connecting local artists in the community with the public and providing a venue for arts shows and workshops.

This is no small accomplishment. Falling Rivers Gallery is a cooperative gallery staffed by the artists who display their work there – along with a few dedicated volunteers. There is no paid staff to open the doors, do the books, pay the bills, or manage the website. We are open because of the hard work and dedication of our gallery members and our customers who keep coming back. Thanks to all of you!


The gallery opened in 2007 when the Stanly Arts Guild and Albemarle Improvement LLC came together to bring a business back to the old Belk/Davis Drug Store on main street. The LLC owned the building and wanted it occupied, so they coordinated a favorable rent with the arts guild to open a storefront. Guild members brought in sweat equity to clean up the main floor retail space and transform it into a sales venue for art. Grey Carle was elected as the first Gallery Director and coordinated all the day-to-day activities to get and keep the doors open.


Since the early days, the gallery has continued to improve and evolve – bringing in new artists and saying goodbye to old friends, adding pottery and craft shows, bringing in school art shows, and increasing their participation in downtown events and activities.


The gallery has twice been chosen as a finalist for Albemarle Small Business of the Year and is regularly selected by Stanly News and Press readers as the Best Art Gallery, Best Artistic Jewelry and Best Place to Shop for Unique Gifts.

Giving Back

North Stanly Art Show

Falling Rivers Gallery is an active participant in downtown activities – supporting the Albemarle Chamber of Commerce and the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation by participating in events that bring people to Albemarle. Additionally we support art in schools by hosting school art shows and – through the Stanly Arts Guild – award two scholarships every year to local students pursuing art as a career.

We have survived as a co-op gallery when similar galleries in larger cities around us have had to close their doors. So naturally we take pride in our accomplishment and hope you will join us as we celebrate 10 years as Albemarle’s Art Gallery.

Art Explosion in Albemarle

Art has exploded in Albemarle at Falling Rivers Gallery – it is our annual Summer Art Explosion happening through August 4th. Nineteen artists from here and the surrounding area entered 67 pieces of art for judging in four categories: 2-dimensional art, 3-dimensional art, altered photography, and unaltered photography. Each category was awarded first, second, and third place prizes (along with honorable mentions) and a Best of Show was awarded to the top entry.

As usual, the judge had her hands full sorting through all the great entries. Here are the winners:

2D Art:

1st Place – Susan Lackey for “Her Hands” (watercolor)

2nd Place – Dorothy Gibson for “Tribal Princess” (paper)

3rd Place – Clif Rippenhagen for “Engagement” (watercolor)

Honorable Mention: Susan Lackey for “Summer Afternoon” (watercolor)

3D Art:

1st Place – David Arey for “Unchain My Heart” (wood)

2nd Place – Pamela Buchanan for “Random Weave Sculpture” (basketry)

3rd Place – David Ritzheimer for “Horse” (wood)

Honorable Mention – David Arey for Summer Snowflakes” (Mixed Media)

Unaltered Photography:

1st Place – Rodney Rock for “Homeless but not Humorous”

2nd Place – Jessica Waldron for “Boone’s Cave”

3rd Place – Reda Icenhour for “Out of the Water”

Honorable Mention – Clif Rippenhagen for “Pretty in Pink”

Altered Photography:

1st Place – Ed Lipe for “Drama”

2nd Place – Bill Feree for “Moonlight and Rust”

3rd place – Rodney Rock for “Spellman”

Honorable Mention – Ed Lipe for “Catfish”

Best of Show:

Ed Lipe for ‘Steamed” (Unaltered photography)

Congratulations to all the winners! Their remarkable work will be on display at Falling Rivers Gallery through August 4th. Make sure to stop by and check out the show as well as the great work by our gallery regulars.

If you would like a more complete look at the show, we have a video on our facebook page that you may enjoy.