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Deerfield Arts Bank to open with local artist exhibit

Photo by Ken Schoen 
Volunteers work on the Deerfield Arts Bank at 3 Sugarloaf St., South Deerfield. Its grand opening and reception is set for April 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Photo by Ken Schoen Volunteers work on the Deerfield Arts Bank at 3 Sugarloaf St., South Deerfield. Its grand opening and reception is set for April 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

SOUTH DEERFIELD — For a few months, a large black-and-white sign depicting an artist holding a palette has stood on the front lawn of 3 Sugarloaf St., signalling the coming of a new community-centered art business. Inside the former branch bank building, volunteers and neighbors have painted the walls and pulled up carpets, and artists have organized exhibits and galleries.

After about four months, Deerfield Arts Bank is set to open its doors April 6, ushering in what founder Jane Trigere and local artists hope to be a new community center for South Deerfield.

The Arts Bank has become everything Trigere had envisioned when she and her husband, Ken Schoen of South Deerfield, spontaneously bought the former Bank of America building next to their home last December.

“It’s amazing. All these volunteers in town have stepped up,” Trigere said. “It’s exactly what I wanted to happen.”

Rather than exchanging coins and bank statements, the building will become a place where art is showcased, art classes are taught and ideas are shared, Trigere hopes.

She wants the Sugarloaf Street building to become a community center and a draw for people visiting Historic Deerfield. The goal of the new business is to offer many opportunities to showcase the work of local artists.

Volunteers include Terry Rooney of Amherst and members of C3, or Creative Community Central, a group dedicated to bringing art to Deerfield. Members are Raloon Bialek, Olivia Leone, Candace Bradbury-Carlin, Erika Higgins-Ross, and Lu Vincent, all of Deerfield.

Rooney, a curator from Amherst who ran the former Amherst Public Arts Commission for nine years, has been integral in helping the Arts Bank launch its first exhibit, “Close to Home” in April.

“Terry loves to do this. She told me this is what she’s always wanted to do,” Trigere said. “I said, ‘Don’t envy me — join me.’ These community members have stepped forward to manage this because they love it.”

The Arts Bank has become a collection of all the community members’ ideas.

“I think it will be enriching, build community and make people aware of the talent in the region,” Rooney said. “The mission of the Deerfield Arts Bank is to have people find their voice and enjoy the art and to encourage people of all ages to discover things.”

The inaugural exhibition will feature four Deerfield artists and one Shutesbury artist.

The exhibit will focus on textural and spiritual journeys through various media and feature impressionist paintings of water, reuse of rescued fabric, recycled-material art and mixed media clay and fabric installations, Trigere said.

Featured artists include Trigere, Marcia Wise, Candace Bradbury-Carlin, Bryan Higgins and Alicia Renadette.

The grand opening and reception for the exhibit, will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It will run from April 6 to May 30. Gallery hours will be Wednesday through Friday and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The website, www.deerfieldartsbank.com, will launch this week.

The main entrance of the bank will be transformed into an art gallery, displaying changing exhibits from local and national artists. The bank manager’s office will become an art classroom. The ATM room will turn into an installation art room.

Other plans include a range of arts classes starting in May and a variety of performance and talks. On April 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be Arts Salon, showcasing talent from across the Pioneer Valley.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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