Aug 30, 2017
by Sharon Feissel
The freshly painted sign across the plate glass window said Riverfront Art Gallery. Inside was nearly beehive-level activity. Co-owners Jerrie Morago and Lance Kuehne were practically giddy with anticipation that their long-held desire to open a gallery of area artists was coming to fruition. On this particular day, the walls were painted, the hanging system had gone in and the track lights were up. Jerrie, Lance and many of the other 19 founding members were hanging the initial show. Since the door was open, curious people began to wander in. To our astonishment, with the gallery not even officially open, it had its first sale! A definite good omen, we all thought. We were elated!
Of course, in September, 2007, we weren’t aware that a serious economic downturn was charging toward us. The gallery started with a bang, then month after month things got slower and slower. Businesses began to close. It was tough. The landlord and utilities still had to be paid. But with admirable persistence, Jerrie and Lance decided to keep the gallery open. Fortunately, they made it through. Gallery memberships, the Invitational Artist program, and the two popular annual juried shows have enabled Riverfront, over the decade, to present hundreds of area artists to the public. Among those hundreds, besides the co-owners, five of the founding artists are still in the gallery: Henry White, Karen Spratt, Christine Kierstead, Marilee Ford, and Sharon Feissel.
Jerrie comments, “Lance and I built the gallery, but without all the amazing artists that have joined us in the past 10 years, we would never have been that successful. Bringing so many unique collections of work to the public is an accomplishment. Our patrons regularly comment on the diversity and quality of the work we show. The fact that Riverfront has won nine awards in its ten years is proof that we have made a difference. We are very proud!”
The 10th Anniversary Show will run from September 6 to November 5, with the opening reception on Saturday, the 9th from 5:00 to 9:00. Musical interludes will be provided by The Rivereens. Several artists have donated works for the charity art raffle and the silent auction to be held during the evening. Proceeds will go to the Petaluma High School Art Department.
Riverfront greatly appreciates the ongoing support of the community. Visit Riverfront at www.riverfrontartgallery.com or on Facebook and Twitter.