Goddard finds ‘best location’ in Shelburne Falls with new Watermark Gallery space

Laurie Goddard of Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls.

Laurie Goddard of Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls.

Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Artwork for sale at Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls.

Artwork for sale at Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Artwork for sale at Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls.

Artwork for sale at Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Artwork for sale at Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls.

Artwork for sale at Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Artwork for sale at Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls.

Artwork for sale at Watermark Gallery on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

Staff Writer

Published: 04-25-2024 4:36 PM

SHELBURNE FALLS — The 20 Bridge St. space that formerly housed Molly Cantor’s pottery now displays Watermark Gallery’s eclectic collection of modern art pieces.

Local artist Laurie Goddard opened Watermark Gallery last month as her seventh location in town since she moved to Shelburne Falls in 1999 from Pennsylvania. She recalled she bought her first gallery in Shelburne Falls before she bought a home.

“It’s not my first gallery in town, but it’s my biggest. … This is what I do,” Goddard explained. “Having my own gallery is a lot nicer than hitting the road, lugging a booth, doing all that stuff. I control my own destiny and I get to hang whatever I want.”

While the gallery, which celebrated its grand opening last week, displays artwork from a diverse array of media, Goddard said the majority of the paintings hanging on the wall are her own. Although Goddard mainly paints with acrylic and encaustic wax, the gallery features work from artists around New England such as sculptures by Cynthia Consentino, photography by Andrew Sovjani and mixed media by Cynthia Kaiser.

Goddard said that while she displayed solely her own art in her former galleries, this one is the first of her businesses to feature other artists. Chloe Marr-Fuller, a Somerville-based ceramics and graphic design artist, stopped into the shop Wednesday morning to drop off a collection of handcrafted miniature vases, mugs, and salt and pepper shakers in advance of the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail pottery tour, which is slated to begin Saturday. Marr-Fuller said her display at Watermark will be her western Massachusetts debut.

Showing their work in galleries can be either a great experience or a difficult one for artists, Goddard continued.

“We all talk among ourselves and say ‘Don’t deal with them, they don’t pay,’ or ‘They steal your work.’ So it’s just, this is an affordable place to be able to do this,” Goddard said. “There are also people who are not exhibiting locally because you can’t do that, but it’s a place where a lot of artists want to come to you because they’re all interested in the gallery and what’s happening out there.”

Since she graduated with a degree in fine arts from York College in 1999, Goddard said the process of creating art has become her main focus in life. She said she surrounds herself with artists and musicians, and described herself as a very prolific painter.

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“When you have that drive, it’s what you do. Like musicians, you know, you’re driven to that and it’s a really hard way to make a living. But it’s very fulfilling and it just feeds my soul,” Goddard said. “This has always been a really good anchor for town. It’s also the best location in town.”

Anthony Cammalleri can be reached at acammalleri@recorder.com or 413-930-4429.