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Crary Art Gallery to reopen

After a year working behind-the-scenes during the pandemic, the Crary Art Gallery will reopen its doors for in-person visitors.

From May until early September, a string of four exciting exhibitions will run back-to-back with a week in between for set-up. Details on all exhibitions can be found at craryartgallery.org/cag2021.

The grand re-opening exhibition, starting Saturday, May 8, with an open house from noon to 6 p.m., is titled “New Faces” and features paintings by the gallery’s namesake Genevieve “Gene” Walker Crary. With her husband, the photographer and philanthropist C. J. Crary, Gene cofounded the gallery in 1977. A team of Crary Art Gallery curators identified 25 pieces, considered some of Mrs. Crary’s best formal portraits and human figure studies, from a large number of paintings, drawings and pastels stored unframed. Period frames were selected to mount them in, fashioned in a style that Mrs. Walker herself might have chosen when the paintings were fresh in the mid-1900s. The project, and ongoing preservation and conservation efforts, are paid for in part by Warren Gives donations.

The works, shown in three gallery rooms, can be broken into two distinct categories. The paintings in the north gallery are all studies — that is, works she made as sketches and are marked by a more fluid use of paint. This room includes, for instance, five large nude anatomy studies from her student days at Pratt Institute in New York. The other galleries are filled with more formal portraits from throughout her career. Those were painted with care to express something unique about the individuals who sat for her. Many of them feature intriguing clues about the characters, including actual scraps of newspaper stories pasted onto the canvas alongside the person.

Who were all these people? Most of these portraits are enigmas still to be solved. The public is invited to weigh in with their knowledge or guesses.

“It’s so important that people experience art in person,” said Thomas Paquette, board member and head of the gallery’s exhibitions committee, “The internet has been a great resource while art museums and galleries were closed during the pandemic but artists create their works to be seen in real life, and we are extremely grateful to be able to invite the public back to take advantage-always free of charge-of these opportunities to see fine art here.”

The Crary Art Gallery is a private non-profit art museum, located at the corner of Market Street and Sixth Avenue, Warren. New hours of operation during exhibitions are Fridays from noon to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.. Visitors are required to wear a face covering and observe physical distancing. For more information on safety guidelines, museum history and full calendar of exhibitions, visit www.craryartgallery.org.

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