The COVID-19 pandemic forced many events to cancel this summer, but the Cause & Affect Gallery in Fenton is still open with showcases and artwork.
Currently, the ongoing art show, the Fenton Arts Council Member Art Exhibition, features art from 29 artists. It runs from July 10 to Aug. 8. Owner of the gallery, Annie Anglim, said they weren’t able to have an opening event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and operations have been changed to implement safety measures.
“That’s tough. This not only is an art gallery, but it’s also a venue space. I can’t do that anymore, just because of the sheer quantity of people that would be in here,” Anglim said. “Whenever we have an opening for a show, we have a large reception. It is extremely well attended. We weren’t able to do that with this show. That
was really tough for the artists as well as the patrons because the patrons want to interact with the artists.”
On the floor of the gallery are markers spaced 6 feet apart. Instead of normal black dots, these markers are images of artwork provided by Mural Arts Philadelphia. Wearing masks inside is required, and walk-ins are allowed, but residents are encouraged to call and make an appointment.
It ends Aug. 8, and Anglim said if conditions improve, they might have a closing reception, but it’s unlikely.
Sally Bright, local artist, has a piece in the show. She’s been showing at The Cause & Affect Gallery since Anglim opened it.
“It’s about the art and about the community. Annie’s just a wonderful person. She includes everyone. She makes donations to the local community organizations,” she said. Every quarter, the gallery donates 10 percent of sales to a local non-profit.
Anglim was inspired to open the Cause & Affect Gallery more than a year ago because she wanted to create a place for art that was accessible. She has a friend in a wheelchair who can’t access certain spaces.
“There are a lot of places here in town that are not accessible,” she said. “I try to be as accommodating as possible. I want everyone to be able to come in here and experience art, whether you’re creating it or visually looking at it.”
Anglim, a silversmith, has her own working art studio, Anglim Art & Design, inside the gallery, where she holds workshops. She does jewelry design and has a few pieces shown in the front of the building. She also personally represents 57 artists.
Anglim has been busy applying for grants that help businesses hurt by COVID-19. However, the pandemic hasn’t halted operations or shows.
On Sunday, July 26, the Cause & Affect Gallery had a show on healing and loss, and more showcases are being planned for fall.
“Art does a lot of positive stuff in the world,” Anglim said. “This gallery, to me, is all about community and how can we bring everyone together. Art is a common denominator.”
Cause & Affect Gallery is also featuring art by students from nearly all of the local schools in the Virtual Gallery & Virtual Student Show. A monitor is set up to display the artwork, which is also shown on the Cause & Affect Gallery website and social media.
“It’s really positive. It’s a big deal for these kids,” Anglim said.
Kids often come in to show her their artwork. One local 11-year-old, whose work is featured in the virtual show, brought in her sketchbooks.
“I was blown away by the quality of her drawings. I asked her if she wanted to join the gallery,” Anglim said, adding that she talks with students about how a career in art is possible.
Last summer, an 8-year-old walked in and asked how he could learn to draw. His artwork was eventually featured in the gallery for a year.