Lewiston gallery cuts ties with L/A Arts


LEWISTON — Tammie Grieshaber is breaking away from L/A Arts. And she’s taking her gallery with her.

On March 1, the longtime curator plans to take down the Gallery 5 sign at 49 Lisbon St. and rename the five-year-old institution. It will be renamed after its home in the Lyceum Hall Building.

It will be called the Lyceum Gallery.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Grieshaber, who founded Gallery 5 in March 2007 with L/A Arts’ support.

She wanted a chance to exhibit more art and experiment with more media and subjects than she could with L/A Arts, she said Monday.

Meanwhile, Gallery 5 won’t go away for good.

L/A Arts has already begun searching for another Lisbon Street storefront that might serve as a home for a reborn Gallery 5, Odelle Bowman, the organization’s executive director, said.

Bowman understood Grieshaber’s move.

“Tammie’s been putting her heart and soul into it and she really wants to take ownership,” she said, but she insisted that L/A Arts wants a gallery of its own.

“G5 will rise again,” Bowman said. 

In the end, Lisbon Street will have one more gallery than it does, she said.

Either way, it’s a tough business to maintain.

Bowman figures L/A Arts has spent about $20,000 per year in staff time and other expenses on Gallery 5.

Aiding the bottom line has been the support of Eric Agren, who owns both Fuel and Grieshaber’s gallery space.

The gallery was his idea. He donated the space to L/A Arts 

“I still believe art is needed downtown,” he said Monday. He plans to continue to donate the space for Grieshaber’s gallery.

The gallery also helps his restaurant, he said. Often, events will have a spillover effect in reservations or just people stopping by for a glass of wine.

Grieshaber hopes the new gallery will have more events.

Though she expects it to make little money, most gallery sales happen on opening night. More opening nights means more money.

She figures she has ideas to keep the gallery busy for the next two years.

Among the first shows planned at the Lyceum Gallery is a collection of works by Auburn painter Michael Ranucci. His work tends to be realistic with many portraits, landscapes and still lifes. Often, his media is oil and canvas.

“His work looks like the old masters,” Grieshaber said. “Think Rembrant. It’s extraordinary.”

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