By Ali Schratt
When you walk into Gamut Art Gallery on 109-111 N. 8th Street, you instantly understand owners Jim and Mary Evanisko’s desire “to discover the beautiful and unusual – to share art, its history and our experience of unearthing.” After 34 years of working in NYC and traveling the globe, Jim and Mary Evanisko felt it was time to begin a new adventure and take their love of art and collecting to the next level, and Gamut Gallery was born.
The offerings at Gamut are just as the name implies: eclectic. Over 400 fascinating works from around the world fill the rooms of the gallery and each one has a unique story. Contemporary art, antiques, mid-century, Art Deco, furniture pieces and Jim’s art (which is created in their studio at the back of the gallery) trigger conversations of bygone eras, the history of art, and unusual materials. “Someone will see a piece and remember – Aunt Rose had one of these – and they are instantly excited to learn more about it,” Jim says.
Examples are fun and unexpected: an 18th century Hessian cannon ball; a bronze Victorian-era “boudoir dish” so named because when viewed upside down it reveals a woman with a dress over her head and her legs exposed; a whimsical earthquake detector sculpture by New Mexico artist Rosemary “Pozzi” Franzetti; and a mid-century, one-of-a-kind New York City subway gum dispenser. There is also a painting by artist Janet McKenzie, famous now for having sold a painting of Christ as a woman of color to the Vatican. Some of the most unique pieces are made by Jim from repurposed materials in the gallery’s studio. “There were two staircases over here and we needed the space for the gallery. How do you throw away the original stair spindles from 1902?” Jim answers, “You don’t! You make an American flag out of them.” Inspired by Jim’s creativity, the flag, a lamp made of Legos and furniture made from reclaimed items are just a few of the repurposed creations you will find throughout the gallery.
Why Stroudsburg? The pair had been visiting the downtown area since 1972 along with many other historical towns along the eastern seaboard. “We chose Stroudsburg for its residents, small-town feel and location,” explains Jim. “There is such a wealth of great artists here in the Poconos. As a former educator, I’m excited when young artists with potential walk into Gamut,” Jim adds. “Mary and I love to nurture emerging artists and help them develop their style, and suggest ideas to help them sell and eventually make a living from their art.”
Visit Gamut Art Gallery on 109-111 N. 8th st. in downtown Stroudsburg on Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Monday through Thursday by appointment only. Call (570) 517-5021 or visit www.gamutartgallery.com for more information.