The landscape of Scotia’s Mohawk Avenue is changing, with the recent opening of Storied Coffee, and, this week, an art gallery.
Northpoints Gallery, located next door to the home decor/lifestyle shop, b. inspired, is a joint project of artists Timothy Prendergast and James Patrick Prendergast.
“My brother and I have always chit chatted about [opening] a gallery,” Timothy Prendergast said.
Both artists live in Scotia and have for a few decades. Timothy focuses on oil painting and photography, while James specializes in photography. Their styles are distinct from one another—James’ photos tend to have a soft glow while Timothy’s tend to be crisp. Yet, their works pair well together, often echoing one another in either subject matter or tone.
The idle talk of opening up a shop started several years ago during a family vacation in Ireland, when they visited a gallery in Galway
“There was some beautiful photography hung on the wall by [the owner] and his brother,” Timothy said. That ignited the search for their own gallery and why, in 2018, when they saw the property at 106 Mohawk Avenue in Scotia, they knew they had to go for it.
They were looking for a space to showcase their work, along with the work of other artists from around the greater Capital Region.
“That was the idea behind the name ‘Northpoints’,” Timothy said, “We have all these beautiful pictures of New England and the [Capital] Region so that’s what we’re [focused] on.”
They reached out to fellow artists in the area like Michael Gallitelli, Susan Crane-Ruscitto, Maureen, Sausa, and others. For their first exhibition, which was curated by James and opens on Friday, they’ll have works from 14 regional artists. Some, like Linda Biggers, work with mosaics, making intricate pieces out of egg shells. Others, like Deborah Angilletta, focus on painting landscapes and natural scenes.
The packed artist list for the first exhibition is going to be the exception to the rule. Moving forward, the gallery will feature both Prendergast works with just one or two other rotating artists. But for their first show, they wanted to show a range of regional works.
“That’s the only way we could light the pilot light here,” Prendergast said.
The gallery’s white and grey walls are crisp, perfect for the eclectic mix of artwork featured.
It took hours and hours of work to get the gallery to that point. The building, which was built in 1908, was previously a sewing machine and vacuum repair shop. When the Prendergasts first started working on the place, there was a 1970s style dropped ceiling with wood paneling on the walls and a linoleum floor, which they replaced
“We did most of the work ourselves, my brother and I,” Prendergast said.
That also included making faux walls that they can move around to reconfigure the space. In order to feature sculptural works, they brought in display cases as well.
For each sale that an artist makes, including the gallery owners, 25% of the sale will go to Northpoints. There’s no pricing standard or requirement for artists and those who would like to be exhibited can reach out to the owners on the gallery’s website.
With the synergy between the neighboring shops, the Prendergasts are anticipating foot traffic not only from Scotia residents but visitors from around the region. Storied Coffee, which is located across the street from the gallery, opened up earlier this year and has been a draw to the area.
“The only reason I’m open today is because of the coffee shop,” Prendergast said when the Gazette visited the gallery earlier this week.
“People were sitting in the window of the coffee shop or walking up from the parking lot and looking straight at the gallery. So I put the open sign up and we had a lot of foot traffic because of them.”
The gallery also pairs nicely with b. inspired, which is owned by Anne Brenner and opened late last year. With its eclectic mix of home decor and gifts, the shop was one of the reasons why Prendergast knew that Mohawk Avenue would be the perfect location for Northpoints Gallery.
“She’s doing well over there,” Prendergast said, “We get a lot of spin from her.”
The Northpoints Gallery will have a grand opening on Friday from 5-8 p.m. Many of the exhibiting artists will be there to answer questions or talk about their work. For gallery hours and more information visit northpoints.com.