Origins Gallery is a recently opened contemporary art gallery located at 580 Main street, in the quaint Downtown area of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Origins Gallery has weekly hours and has special events on Saturday evenings from 7-9. Each Saturday there is a different featured artist’s work displayed on the walls while a precisely paired musician or DJ provides the aural ambience. The team that runs the gallery are both artists themselves their names are Ashley Fontones and Jody Singer. Upon meeting with both of them I was able to schedule an interview with both Jody and Ashley which I bring to you.
Also, If you are a local artist looking for a fantastic place to display and hopefully sell your artwork, this is a great place to do it. Simply walk in and speak with Jody or Ashley and they will be happy to help.
I asked Jody to fill me in on the mission of the Origins Gallery and this is what he said.
“At Origins, what we also promote is the work and pride of that work within the artists to strive to do the best, and in the act of doing that best, you create the value within the works of art – a serious, yet often overlooked or misunderstood aspect of the works an artist produces. The “best” can mean learning important mechanical fundamentals of the artform they choose to work with; to selecting subject matter to appeal to the ideal they have set for their process of opening their artwork to the world for admiration and sales, if that is their goal.”
“That value is carried into the gallery setting, which is what Origins ultimately serves the purpose for, and gives us this platform to showcase the works and this value to art collectors and admirers, interested buyers and, even critics. Origins works to promote the artists, their abilities and the art they produce and encourages further growth, working with the various other gallery and arts agencies in the local and surrounding areas.” (Jody Singer – Director, Curator, Coordinator )
Jody currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pocono Arts Council www.poconoarts.org and also am Director of St’ART Stroudsburg www.startstroudsburg.org a Public Arts Project. Origins Gallery is also a participating member of the Downtown Stroudsburg Business Cooperative, currently assisting with Stroudsburg’s WinterFest on February 12th and 13th, 2016 in downtown Stroudsburg, PA. Their website is www.visitdowntownstroudsburg.com
Ashley Fontones, an extremely talented digital media artist, is the other half of the operation. Together these two form a team with integrity and passion rarely found in this industry. I also had a chance to briefly interview Ashley and here is what she had to say:
“We created the Origins Gallery brand to be as versatile as possible, we can exist anywhere, in any venue, online, in the ether etc. The goal of Origins Gallery is to be a contemporary arts gallery, that embraces and encourages growth. We see every level of skill come through here, and the goal is to get everyone to strive towards that next step via art challenges and open creativity events such as Project First Step, our summer Open Studios and the soon to come Open Critique nights.”
“We love to especially work with emerging artists. There is a flurry of ideas happening, a motivation and drive that doesn’t exist in others, that we see in the emerging local artists. Those who never thought they could be accepted in society, find that once they create art, they are really accepting themselves. Watching Jody work with these people is incredible. I learn so much about patience and discipline that I didn’t get during my art school education. Origins was created to be home base for all artists, the “origin” of creation; We wanted artists to develop a sense of respect for the world of art, a reverence for it.”
“We wanted to introduce locals to the arts in a more accessible way. We said “You can start here, but you need to respect everything about this.” We try to push people to be as skilled as possible. This is good but you can do this better. We want people to embrace the challenges we put forth, and run with it. Many artists come down and communicate with us, and ask for opinions. This thirst for knowledge is inspiring the Open Critique night we plan on having. There is always room to learn more, and to push yourself. ” (Ashley Fontones, Co-director)
The town of Stroudsburg is once again lucky to have a gallery that almost any artist can have the opportunity to display, socialize, and sell their work.
Written by Jeremiah Williams.