Saturday Night Fever

By: Megan Sullivan
   Gallery owners in New Hope, Pa., are starting a little fire and hoping it will spread. Beginning Jan. 14, New Hope will ignite Second Saturday, a town celebration of the arts.
   Brian K. Hanck, owner of ARTisZEN ARTS, says that while New Hope is well-known nationally and internationally as an arts destination, locals sometimes forget. Second Saturday will provide the opportunity to rediscover New Hope, its history and artistic diversity.
   "It’s starting up because it’s kind of overdue," Mr. Hanck says. "People can have fun with art and learn something about New Hope again, rather than sit at home and watch TV."
   About 20 galleries are taking part in the first Second Saturday, some by hosting special exhibitions, artist receptions or entertainment with food and beverages. Mr. Hanck, who is coordinating the event with gallery-neighbors Lonn Braender (BOI’s of New Hope) and Joel E. Roberts (Mechanic Street Mugs), expects five to 10 more galleries to hop on board next month. He’d also like to see Lambertville join the festivities some time down the road.
   The next item on Mr. Hanck’s list is to get bed and breakfasts involved, perhaps by offering discounts to visitors in hopes that they’ll stay overnight after enjoying a Second Saturday. "New Hope is an all-day kind of town," he says.
   Highlights of the first event include: a visit by modern pop "cerealism" artist Michael Albert at ARTisZEN ARTS; a reception featuring works by French Expressionist painter Michel Kouliche at BOI’s of New Hope; and a gallery talk by Chrisa Craig and Chuck Kumnick at New Hope Arts Center.
   Some may say that New Hope’s reputation as an art town has died down a little — but these galleries are bonding together to get representation going again locally and re-ignite that spark.
Second Saturday begins Jan. 14 in New Hope, Pa., 5-9 p.m. Participating locations include: ARTisZEN ARTS, 12 W. Mechanic St.,, (215) 862-4171; BOI’s of New Hope, 9 W. Mechanic St.,, (215) 862-8292; E.M. Adams Gallery, 19 N. Main St.,, (215) 862-5667; Howard Gallery of Fine Art, 77 W. Bridge St.,, (215) 862-5272; Mechanic Street Mugs, 10 W. Mechanic St., (215) 862-8030; New Hope Arts Center, 2 Stockton Ave.,, (215) 862-3396; New Hope Sidetracks Art Gallery,, (215) 862-4586; Towpath Gallery, 17 W. Mechanic St., (215) 862-3394. Call each individual business for information on specific activities.