A Kennett Square gallery is reborn – again
● By J. Chambless
Zvezdana Stojanovic Scott, owner of Mala Galleria, will be moving into the former Longwood Gallery space in Kennett Square in August.
By John Chambless
The distance between the current Mala
Galleria and its new location is only a few steps, but there will be
a world of difference when the gallery opens in the former Longwood
Gallery space in Kennett Square.
For the past five years, Mala owner Zvezdana Stojanovic Scott has run a successful, adventurous gallery in a 400-square-foot shoebox of a space, making the most of every inch. But being able to display only a few works by her international stable of artists was limiting.
“I had been looking for a couple of years, because I really could use much more space,” Scott said during an interview last week.
She had known that former Longwood owners Marjorie Kuhn and Sheila Washington were planning to retire at the end of last year, and the Longwood Gallery was sold to another owner in December. A little over six months later, the owner was gone and the gallery had not succeeded. Scott saw her chance.
The building and storefronts are owned by the American Legion, and Scott approached the owners to say she'd be interested in moving to the larger space. “So they gave me a chance,” Scott said, smiling.
Enough people have come into Mala Galleria, asking what was going on with the vacant gallery, that Scott put up signs in the window announcing that she would be moving in August. There is some cosmetic work to be done inside, and she said she plans to brighten up the exterior a little bit. The area that was formerly for framing will be leased to illustrator April Heather Davulcu as a studio, Scott said, but that still leaves three large areas – 1,500 square feet – for spotlighting Mala's range of contemporary international and local artists.
“I will be expanding one branch – traditional Brandywine School paintings, sort of what Longwood Gallery did,” Scott said. “But I already had a schedule of shows for two years in advance, so we will keep those.”
The recent closure of the Chadds Ford Gallery, which had championed local artists since 1969, “was sad,” Scott said. “It was a shame to hear that.” But she is optimistic that the market is still strong for original art, particularly in a town like Kennett Square that has such a vibrant art and restaurant scene.
“Every year has been better and better,” she said. “More and more people are discovering this tiny gallery in a town they really like.”
Scott said she and other “East Side” Kennett Square merchants are planning to maximize their end of State Street with more promotions to draw attention to what the area has to offer. Opening nights at the new, bigger Mala Galleria can now include musicians, she said happily – something that the tiny former space did not allow.
“I'd like to do art classes, and things that will draw more people to this end of town, concentrating on the arts and music,” she said. “There's a lot more to come, and it's all good.”
The new Mala Galleria is slated to open in August. Visit www.malagalleria.com for more information.
To contact Staff Writer John
Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.