Crowe to open
new gallery in Madison
has bought the former
Mayflower building on upper Main Street
(March 2012) Art is an ubiquitous aspect in
this world. For Geoffrey Crowe, this holds true in his own life. A sculpture
and painter at heart, Crowes work has become a close part of who
he is. His art isnt just in galleries but has now become a permanent
fixture in his home.
Now the new owner of the former Mayflower building in downtown Madison,
Ind., Crowe, 51, has made it is permanent residence. Since moving from
Rykers Ridge in Madison to his present location on the far east
end of Main Street at 928 Park Ave. He now has the task of transforming
the space into more than a gallery. The building will not only showcase
Crowes sculptures and paintings but provide a place for his studio
and home. Its a combination of setting up house and bringing in
by Nichole Osinski
in his new gallery
location with a piece
of his work titled,
Finding the Beat.
I have the whole challenge that Im on the
edge of town, he said. For me, thats the fun part
doing something with the property and figuring how to attract
Crowe may be a full fledge artist, but in the beginning his career was
a little less than artistic. A self-proclaimed army brat,
Crowe was born in Maryland but began traveling at an early age. After
living in states such as Alaska and Kentucky, Crowe went on to attend
California State University-Sacramento, where he graduated in 1985 with
a degree in finance.
His life took a turn when he was in Puerto Rico with his spouse at the
time. While looking for something to do one day he stumbled upon a painting
set in a Staples. With paintbrush in hand, he created a beach scene.
This was the beginning.
At age 40, he began to attended art classes at La Liga de Arte and La
Escuela de Artes Plastics in Puerto Rico. In Crowes own words,
making art just grabbed me.
When he felt his ability as an artist had reached a new level, he presented
his first exhibit. The exhibit took place in 2004 and was titled En
Accion, a variety of paintings capturing children playing soccer.
Crowe managed to have another exhibition, this time with sculptures,
before heading to Ireland for two years. Here he furthered his technique
with more lessons in sculpting to give his work an earthen
appearance that is also apparent in his recent work.
In 2007 Crowe moved back to the United States. With influences from
both Puerto Rico, Ireland and the people who taught him he was ready
to expand his art.
He has done several exhibitions locally in Madison in places such as
Hanover College, Joeygs Restaurant and NightClub, and the Artisan
Gallery. While building a repertoire in Madison, Crowe eventually began
looking for a place to better suit his needs. A real estate listing
on 115 E. Main St. was the blank canvas for which he was looking.
Crowe moved into what was originally the Mayflower moving company building
and has since begun the large task of turning it into a house, gallery,
studio and possibly more. The 20,000-square-foot building started out
as the Jacob Salmon Brewery in the 1800s. The building went under two
names Greiner Brewery and Madison Brewing Co. before
closing in the early 1900s.
I want to honor the history of the building, said Crowe.
Its my home and its a gallery; its finding that
balance where all of this melds together.
Crowes finished building will surely be a turnaround from what
it originally was. The sprawling rooms are filled with boards, steel,
art and the signs of a work in progress. However, even with this large
space to work on he still managed to find opportunity with what he has.
A small building adjacent to the main structure will provide a canvas
for visitors coming from the Vevay area while the steel ma1y become
The plan is for the gallery to be on the first level with large sculptures
in the basement and a possible staging area on the third level. The
finished look will be contemporary and showcase his more modern work.
Comparing Crowes timeline of art his modernization is evident.
From the stronger strokes to the tactile sculptures he aims to produce
art that stops people in their tracks.
Though he has had various influences, he credits his main inspiration
from God. He considers himself a very spiritual person and explains
God is his muse.
At the same time he still feels the need to become settled in his home.
Being occupied with this project has left little time to create, and
Crowe is looking forward to a time when things slow down, because it
doesnt just mean more peace but more time to sculpt and paint.
Though his time to make new pieces has been minimal, Crowe stills tries
to keep his eye trained when he can. One way has been a Tuesday class
hosted by artist Peter Ellis. Crowe and other artists meet to practice
drawing models and improve their technique.
Bob Saueressig, another local artist who is also a regular at the Tuesday
classes, is hopeful of Crowes endeavor and bringing more art to
His work has so many different facets whether hes painting
or doing sculptural work, said Saueressig. The more we can
expose people to art the better.
Crowe plans to open his gallery in June and let the first year be a
test run. Getting his gallery running also means working with other
local artists and showing in different venues.
Theres a lot of ideas to play with, he said. I
want to see what happens on a local level. Im just letting go
and going for it.
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