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.
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.