Upper Valley Fixture Moves After 25 Years in Lyme
Long River Gallery & Gifts Relocates to White River Junction
First, a haiku for the Spring season...
...just to set the stage for an Upper Valley art presence and renaissance that has been ongoing for 25 years in Lyme, NH and still blossoms today. Long River Gallery & Gifts (once known as Long River Studios) has had its ups and downs over the many years it has resided in Lyme. It started in the Simi Building at the Southeast corner of the Lyme Town Common, just across the street from the venerable and long-standing Lyme Inn. Now, Long River has made its move to White River Junction.
First, a bit of history... Lyme's Simi Building got its name from the Simi children's clothing store that first operated out of there when Long River became a tenant. It was a small group of local women, Peggy Little and Allie Farrar among them, who decided it was high time to create space for local artisans to show their work. Thus was Long River Studios born back in 1992. They rented a small space that quickly became a place where a strong community of artisans and artists sprung up and thrived. A few years later, Long River made its move to the northwest side of the Lyme Common in a space behind a flower shop that, itself, was behind Mascoma Bank and other small business storefronts. When the flower shop closed, Long River moved forward to expand its footprint and incorporate the works of still more artists and artisans within its walls. Its original mission was to offer space to local artists and crafters to show their work. And to this day, its mission remains true.
Long River's then home in its previous incarnation in Lyme, NH.
Sure, there have been times when the volunteer managers of the artist collective looked a bit farther afield to Maine or Massachusetts for high-quality, reasonably-priced art or craft, but that was when an item wasn't readily available from a local Upper Valley maker. Since that time, efforts remain in place to seek out the best of locally-made products the Upper Valley and surrounding towns in VT and NH have to offer.
After 25 years in Lyme, Long River Gallery & Gifts has now moved to White River Junction, VT. It's located next to The Hotel Coolidge and also serves as the Hotel's gift shop given the direct hallway access from the Coolidge lobby to Long River's new space a few strides from the lobby's front desk. There, road-weary travelers will find VT-made snacks like MonkeyChew granola bars, as well as bottled water, toffee and chocolates made in VT, and other easy-to-forget items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, even playing cards.
Long River's new storefront in White River Junction on South Main's Street's "main drag."
Throughout the remainder of it space, Long River still carries the finest in fine art and fine artisan-made craft in the region. Now, more than 150 artists and artisans show their work at Long River each day, Tuesday - Sunday. New artists like Chris Sherwin of Sherwin Art Glass have just been "found" and their work brought into the gallery. Previous artists like the Upper Valley art stalwart, Elizabeth "Lili" Mayor, still show their work at Long River. In fact, Lili has a show of her woodcuts and woodcuts revised on the Long River Artist of the Month Wall now through July 6th.
Elizabeth "Lili' Mayor's latest show of woodcuts and woodcuts re-worked on Long River's Artist of the Month Wall in its new White River Junction gallery space.
So, rather than make a trip to Lyme to find a sign on the door letting you know Long River Gallery has moved to WRJ, you can read about it here in the dailyuv.com so you can head straight to White River Junction knowing you'll find the perfect gift there. Unique items made by hand by local artists and artisans seems to be the way things are headed in this region. Locally-grown and raised food is always best, as are locally-made products. Supporting the local economy starts with how we make our buying decisions. And there's nothing like purchasing locally-made products to ensure our region's creative economy remains healthy. Our friends, neighbors, and community members are highly creative, and they love to show their work at Long River. Many world-class artists choose to live here for the region's beauty and its calm that allows them to pursue their art to their full potential. Plenty show around the globe, but many of these same artists also show at Long River. To the artists and artisans of Long River Gallery & Gifts, who also tend to the shop each day, we say "Thank You" for all you do for all of us in the Upper Valley of VT and NH!
Like those tulips in the haiku after a quick drizzle that continue to bloom, Long River hopes to showcase the beauty of local art and craft so that it can be felt and seen in White River Junction and all around the Upper Valley.
[Note of Full Disclosure: The author and his wife are the current incarnation of those few women volunteers who so long ago started and oversaw Long River in Lyme back in 1992. They currently do their community service work in a host of ways, with most of their volunteer time these days spent overseeing the art and artists, craft and artisans of Long River Gallery & Gifts.]
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