From the sidewalk of the downtown Gainesville square, a bright room with oil paintings shining like gemstones can be seen through the windows of Main Street Market.
Gallery on the Square has operated in the downtown market for years, but the local business recently moved into a larger space in the market that is viewable from the storefront.
“We’re so excited about our new place,” said Paula Hoffman, one of the founding artists with the gallery. “We opened in 2009 and we’ve changed locations a few times, but this is by far our best location, our best visibility and our best-looking gallery, I think.
“We’ve come a long way.”
The gallery is open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Joyce Hornor, a local artist who’s been with the gallery more than four years, said she loves the new space.
“I love the openness,” she said. “I love the fact that we have street access, that people can see in from out on the road. It’s fabulous, very open and light.”
Hornor said the gallery is remarkable because it is one of so few in Gainesville.
“Which is unusual because there are so many good artists in Gainesville,” she said.
The expansion also allowed the gallery to add three new artists, expanding the total to nine oil painters, a sculptor and a potter.
Along with Hoffman and Hornor, the artists include Connie Reilly, Ruth Money, Lynn Kelly, Lydia Ferguson, Patti Russell, Shirley Seguin, Ann Goble, sculptor Jane Hemmer and potter Lester Martin.
Between the artists, the gallery offers primarily oil paintings for sale, but also has mixed-media, pottery and more.
“We all have such different styles,” Hoffman said. “There’s just such a variety in there.”
The gallery is run as a co-op, with all 11 artists working together to keep it running.
“We all have a hand in it,” she said. “We all take turns working, and we make all the decisions collectively. We share the expenses and everything.”
The new space in Main Street Market became available when the previous tenant retired and closed shop. The opportunity to move wasn’t one they could pass up.
“We just jumped on it because it’s a fabulous location,” Hoffman said. “We wanted to expand and have room for more artists.”
Hornor said the growth in the gallery over the years is impressive.
“When they first started it, I think it was right about at the start of the recession,” Hornor said. “It’s amazing, I think, that it’s done as well as it has over the years and continued to grow. We’re very proud of it.”
“It’s definitely a local success,” she said. “It’s a good thing for the community.”