When the iconic building at the corner of Maple and Main streets in Chester changed hands and was surprisingly available to rent in the late summer of 2010, a group of artists, through a series of serendipitous events and chaotic meetings, leased it. With considerable effort and fine support from the new landlords, Maple and Main Gallery of Fine Arts opened September 17, 2010 to coincide with the annual Come Home to Chester weekend.
Maple and Main, owned by 33 artists, quickly evolved into one of the premier galleries in the state and since its inception has showcased many of Connecticut’s best known painters and sculptors.
Our Gallery shows change completely every 10 weeks and over 240 works are shown on two floors and in a cozy room featuring small works that was once the office for a ship’s chandlery over 200 years ago. Other features from the building’s origins in 1798 are also still apparent: double-hinged doors at the front entrance, a tiny fireplace, chestnut beams, stone steps and windowsills and ship’s masts supporting the structure.
The building, constructed by ship owners Samuel Colt and Pardon Stevens, has housed a number of businesses over the centuries but a gallery in the hub of a town known as a harbinger for artists and art-related businesses is particularly appropriate.
And, if you don’t believe a group of artists can open a complicated business in a month and keep it growing, come visit us and we’ll show you it’s possible.