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Gallery 131 adds 'majesty' to Elm Street

Date: 9/28/2010

Sept. 29, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Editor

WEST SPRINGFIELD -- The Majestic Theater Project's quest to keep the arts alive in the Valley has extended its reach to local visual artists with the opening of a new art gallery.

Gallery 131 Above the Majestic ( opened earlier this month above the theater's cafe at 131 Elm St., under the direction of Terry Horton and Paul Stevens. The gallery is modeled after the pair's previous artist co-op, Local Colors of Utah in Salt Lake City.

"In Salt Lake, they had a gallery association downtown and just within the downtown area, there were 65 to 70 galleries as part of their association. When I got here [to Western Massachusetts], I was looking for galleries and there was nothing here [to show my work," Horton, a glass artist, recalled.

Horton partnered with Stevens and Danny Eaton, Majestic Theater Project founder and producing director, to create the gallery in the space that had been vacant for more than a year.

The work of more than 25 artists, including sculptors, painters, jewelry makers and others are now on display. "I wanted to bring in different types of work," Horton said of the gallery's diversity.

Each artist must also devote eight hours per month to work at the gallery and the venue will take commission off sold work to cover expenses, he explained.

Beth-Ann Latsko, owner of Jewelry of Hope (, said she joined Gallery 131 because it's one of the few places locally where artisans can exhibit their work.

Latsko, who has designed pieces for film star Sharon Stone and Mercy Medical Center, is exhibiting her "inspirational jewelry" and "sculptural stained glass" at the gallery.

"I call it sculptural stained glass and basically that is taking items that I find to be interesting and unique, usually something someone has discarded," Latsko explained of her process of creating artwork.

"Beauty and potential are everywhere; it's just in how you look at things," she added.

"Gallery 131 Above the Majestic will provide a professional setting for local artists to present their best work ... we're looking forward to attracting attendees of all ages and backgrounds who are united in their love of the arts. And the location will also allow our audience members the opportunity to view or purchase artwork prior to our theater performances," Eaton said of the new venture.

The public will have a chance to meet those exhibiting their work at "Meet-The-Artists Saturdays" from 3 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 16, Nov. 20 and Dec. 18.

The gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.

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