Nov. 28, 2002 – Ten years for a historic building in Christiansted is not a lot of time, but for an art gallery in that building, it represents a lot of artists.
Maria Henle Studio at 55 Company Street is marking its 10th anniversary with the opening of a very special group show on Dec. 5 — of work by each of the artists who have been featured over the years.
"The exhibit promises to be eclectic, varied and refreshing," owner Maria Henle says. Certainly it will be a unique opportunity for art appreciators to see works by so many well-known artists all at one time and place.
Present or former St. Croix artists represented are painters Maud Pierre Charles, Donald Laurent Dahlke, Luca Gasperi, Jeri Hillis, Mark Mulherrin and Kat Pierie; sculptors Philip Hultgren, Larry Lipsky and Sylvia Maratova; and photographers Fritz Henle and Tina Henle. There also will be works by Haitian-born artist Sacha Tebo. Some pieces, Henle says, are coming from as far away as New York and Istanbul.
The opening, with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m., is part of December's ArtThursday gallery walkabout. The exhibition will run through the yearend holidays.
Henle recalls that she first climbed the stairs of 55 Company Street in late November of 1992 in search of an apartment to rent, having resolved to return home from a successful art career in New York. Inside, she found an empty loft, with mottled masonry walls dating from the late 18th century, that had been renovated after Hurricane Hugo. Inspired by the high ceilings and open space, she immediately envisioned not living space but "an artist's working studio/gallery."
Maria Henle Studio soon developed a reputation for showcasing fine art in downtown Christiansted in season as well as serving as the workplace of the painter/owner.
Studio gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 773-7376.
Other ArtThursday offerings
ArtThursday is an event hosted by arts and crafts enterprises withing walking distance of one another in downtown Christiansted on the first Thursday of each month in season.
Also featured on the Dec. 5 gallery walkabout:
Christiansted Gallery — introducing the art of Suzanne Yunka.
Danica Art Gallery — works by Sam Vaughn, La Vaughn Belle and Danica David.
Gallery Gia — solo show of work by Catherine "Chouquette" Giraud.
ib Designs – new earring creations by Whealan Massicott.
Iona Skye Gallery – Judith King: "Vincent Takes a Cruise."
Jewelweed – an inspired collaboration of fine art jewelry by Bonnie Luria and Anita Schultz.
Most venues offer wine and light refreshments. For those in the mood for something more filling after their walk, the nearby Bacchus, Bombay Club, Indies, Kendricks, Rum Runners, Savant, Top Hat and Tutto Bene restaurants offer wine and dessert specials.

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