The fledgling Pleasant Street Gallery has aged beyond its mere two months, plying, as it has, coronavirus currents.

Framed art fills the walls in neat columns like sails on masts.

Fields, streams, skies, cityscapes and seascapes hang inside the gallery in the Vintage Chic Anew store in downtown Newburyport.

Below the oils, watercolors and photographs sit painted dressers, woven baskets, candlestick holders and vases.

Replicas of vintage signs invite nostalgia.

Seated in chairs at opposite sides of a long table are Newburyport artist Karen Fitzgerald, in a red mask, and store owner Kimberley Wilson, in a blue mask.

They are playing the waiting game, familiar to many folks these days. Rod Stewart croons low — "It had to be you" — from the American Songbook in the background.

"We are just riding the tide," Fitzgerald said.

The gallery opened March 5, exhibiting more than 100 works by 26 artists, a cooperative marketing venture anchored by professionals from the Newburyport, North Shore and Rockport art associations.

Nine days later, the opening reception was canceled to respect what was then only recommendations for social distancing.

When the governor ordered nonessential businesses closed, the action took the wind out of the art venture's sails, Fitzgerald said.

But new winds stirred when artist Debbie Shirley set up a Facebook page to sell gallery art and furniture from Wilson's store.

That's where things now stands. The challenge is to make a go of the venture. Wilson has applied for a small business loan, and the artists are still creating.

Meanwhile, the store gallery — art is also hung in the adjoining Commune Cafe — awaits its reopening once the economy gets underway again.

Among the art on the Vintage Chic Anew wall is a Fitzgerald watercolor, a scene from just outside the store, at 31R Pleasant St.

In it are summer people in shorts, sunglasses and visored hats, looking to be in no hurry on the sidewalk outside the corner convenience store.

The gallery looks forward to days like these.

Featured creators

The opening exhibit at Pleasant Street Gallery includes work from the following artists in a wide variety of mediums: Thom Adorney, Judy Bailey, Tom Bailey, Lisa Bohnwagner, Fran Butsavich, Jane Coder, Linda Dahlberg, George Darcy, Sam Davis, Karen Fitzgerald, Sally Foskett, Kate Hanlon, Steve Howard, Linda Jean Kapeckas, Susan Cole Kelly, Jean Keamy, Mary Ann McCarthy McArdle, Skip Montello, Margaret Poppe, Mary Pyche, Mary Remillong, Anne Recchia, Wenda Shelter, Debbie Shirley, Mary Taggart and Veronica Wolfe. 

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