“We pulled this together rather quickly,” Robert Flower, marketing strategist, tells me while we sit in the center of Mad Rose Gallery, located on the corner of North Elm and Main Street in Millerton, NY. The gallery space was leased in May, and a little less than three months later, Mad Rose had their official opening on July 29.
It’s only appropriate that the first featured artist is also the owner, Kerry Madigan.
“For a long time, I wanted to use my talent and do something with all of my art,” Kerry says. Founding Mad Rose Gallery was a passion project for her, because while she always wanted to show her photography, she lacked the time to do it while she was running a business.
Kerry and her husband, Neal Rosenthal, founded Rosenthal Wine Merchants in 1977. While recently retired, her time spent in the wine business is evident in her photography. Many photos feature scenes of vineyards, growers, and various travels through Europe.
“It’s time for her now to be able to sit back and smell the roses,” says Robert.
The opening event was attended by nearly 80 people and was invite-only. At the opening event, Mad Rose Gallery sold about 40% of the artwork on display.
“It was fantastic. We hope to continue doing those sorts of numbers,” says Robert.
Robert and Kerry have been friends and colleagues for over 25 years. “I own Prospect Marketing, so when Kerry said, ‘Robert, can you come help me get this gallery off the ground?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’”
Mad Rose is located at the corner of North Elm and Main Street, making it the first thing most people see when traveling into Millerton from Route 22. “We want to be an anchor to Main Street,” says Robert. “We’re at the bottom of Main Street here, so we feel it’s our responsibility to say ‘hey, this is the beginning of the great things that are here [in Millerton].’”
Robert and Kerry also mention the vital role that the Millerton Business Alliance plays in making Millerton a lively and dynamic community.
“They’re trying really hard to make Millerton a dynamic group that’s working for the good of the whole,” says Robert.
The creation of Mad Rose Gallery was about more than just displaying artwork and photography – Kerry says it’s about bringing art to the community in ways that are engaging and dynamic.
Kerry’s most substantial goal with Mad Rose Gallery is to make it interactive. “It’s just more interesting that way,” she says. Kerry says that the location of their gallery provides them a unique opportunity to “give the whole town a smile.”
Mad Rose Gallery also plans to host various community workshops and educational events including a lecture based on a series of photographs taken during World War II, a wine workshop with Neal, a collaboration with local high schools where Mad Rose will display student and teacher artwork, among many others.
In the future, they also want to utilize Mad Rose’s movable walls to open up the room and host lectures, documentary screenings, and other community events.
“We want to make it so there’s fun things going on in the winter because that’s when the season is slow and the community members are the ones coming out and supporting you,” Robert says. “We’re really trying to focus on becoming part of the inner fabric of the town.”
Next in the gallery will be artwork from painter Susan Merrill, who primarily used acrylic paints on linen or canvas, as well as many works on paper. Merrill’s work will be on display at Mad Rose from August 16 to September 17.
Later on in the season, Michael Lavin Flower’s photography will be on display in the gallery from September 20 to October 29.
Mad Rose Gallery
5916 N Elm Ave