Lancaster’s vibrant art scene features dozens of galleries, as many as some larger cities around the country. Two Franklin & Marshall alumni just opened the latest, Gallery of Modern Masters, at 28 Penn Square, a few blocks away from Prince Street's Gallery Row.
“Our goal is to have an anchor for F&M downtown,” said Tim Smith ’15, gallery director and co-owner.
Zach Richardson, owner of Gallery of Modern Masters in Sedona, Ariz., graduated from F&M in 1977. Until recently, he considered himself a “lost alum,” but when Richardson's children started their college search, he brought them to his alma mater for a tour. He was impressed by how the College, and the city of Lancaster, had grown and changed in his time away. His children now attend F&M, Skylar ’19 and Lezah ’20.
Now a member of the Alumni Advisory Board, Richardson wanted to find a way to get students on-the-ground experience that is not always accessible from the classroom.
That’s why Richardson teamed up with Smith to open a new branch of Gallery of Modern Masters, a “destination gallery” that hopes to draw visitors from out of town and act as a hook for F&M student-alumni interaction. F&M Admission Network Coordinator, Mary Manacher-Fritsch ’81, is collaborating with the gallery as well, organizing the Oct. 12 grand opening celebration and other special events that will include visits from professional artists.
Richardson connected with Business, Organizations and Societies (BOS) Professors Jeff Podoshen and Bryan Stinchfield to find ways to bring students to the gallery.
Podoshen’s course, Social Media and Marketing, did an informal study of the gallery last summer. “We gave feedback on issues related to what we were studying in class along the variables of branding, community engagement, public relations and value proposition,” said Podoshen.
The relationship between the gallery and the College will continue, and students will have the opportunity to work there. “They’ll be able to get some hands-on experience with sales as undergrads, which will be beneficial,” Podoshen added.
Most of the gallery's art is on consignment, so the artists retain ownership of their work until it is sold.
“The only way to pay the rent is to sell the art,” Richardson said.
Enticing features in the gallery include works by notable modern masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The gallery features internationally acclaimed artists whose work spans many different mediums, like glass.
A friend of Richardson’s introduced the former geology major to the art world in 2005.
“I had to learn up,” Richardson said. “I knew nothing about art.”
He opened Gallery of Modern Masters in Sedona the following year.
“For me, what’s most attractive about it is the people who like art: collectors, artists and enthusiasts," the gallery owner said. "It’s like entering another realm of reality.”
Richardson said Smith, a fellow geology major, is proof that a liberal arts education can prepare you for any kind of work.
“The Lancaster community is very supportive of new businesses,” Smith said. Richardson added, “There’s lots of synergy coming together and we want to tie everyone in with what we’re doing.”
Gallery of Modern Masters opens for First Friday on Oct. 6 and features artist Bob Ichter. The gallery also will be open for Lancaster Art Walk Oct. 7-8. The grand opening celebration is Oct. 12. These events are free and open to the public.