I drive past the sign for the DM Weil Gallery— at 208 Bruynswick Road, just north of Route 44/55—often, as it is on my way to downtown Gardiner. Finally one day, out of curiosity, I stopped in, and what I found there is astounding.
The outside of the gallery is so modest that when you walk inside and see what is there you are blown away. You enter through the office and gallery store and are greeted with color, light, open space and a very nice man named Ken Aspin, the Gallery Manager.
“We like to start folks off with a complimentary glass of wine or a mug of cappuccino, maybe something decadent from one of the local bakeries,” he says. “Our visitors love it, and it’s a great way to help support local businesses. Then they step through the double doors of the gallery and are confronted by all the eye-popping color.” Ken continues, “Whether or not they decide to purchase one of DM’s originals, or the more reasonably priced giclees (prints on canvas), we guaranteed they wouldn’t leave empty handed, because we gave away a free signed print to every first time visitor through the end of the summer of 2012.”
For those interested in the artistic process, Donna Manger-Weil herself is on hand to recount the inspiration for her paintings, and to offer tours of her adjacent studio, where visitors can see works in progress. “I feel so blessed to get to spend my time creating art,” says Donna Weil, “and as a way of giving back, I donate a portion of each original painting sold at the gallery to Manger-Weil House, the 8,000 square foot orphanage in Mekelle, Ethiopia, my family and I helped to build.
Donna is a gifted abstract painter whose collected works are housed in this 3,200 square foot gallery. She says, “My paintings are born from emotion, intellect and my unconscious. Artistic inspiration does not dictate my work; the process of ‘showing up’ each day to see what appears on my canvas is what drives me. I stand before my easel and often have no preconception of what I may do. I just let it flow from me. Other days I have an impression (image) or a technique I wish to employ. I may restrict my palette to a few colors, having no idea how they will work together until they are on the canvas. I often squirt paint randomly on a blank canvas to create texture for an underpainting. I have done mixed media and oil work in the past, but quickly, acrylics have become my favorite medium. I am also a musician and a songwriter and I believe my musicality subconsciously finds its way into my paintings. My art can be easy to understand. If it makes you feel good, that’s the bottom line”!
The DM Weil Gallery is open weekends and by appointment, so give them a call, and do stop there. It is a real eye-opener. 845 255-3336. www.DMWeil.com.