Anna Falat is no stranger to downtown Williamsport and the hustle and bustle of local First Fridays. As the owner-operator of Eagle Rock Gallery, which has locations in both Laporte and downtown William-sport, and as chairperson for First Fridays for the Arts Council, Falat knows firsthand just what this city has to offer.
"There are a couple of great artists showing work downtown," she said, "but a lot of the stuff you see is very craftsy."
Falat felt she had something more to offer the area than Eagle Rock's wines; her goal, she said, was a simple one.
Artwork by Mark Golomb is on display at the Eagle Rock Gallery, 414 W. Fourth St.
"As much as I enjoy the Arts Council, and people at the galleries downtown, I felt like we have some really unbelievably-talented artists in our area, and that I needed to figure out a way to support them and expose them more than the other vehicles were doing," she explained.
That support and exposure began with June's First Friday and the grand opening of what has simply become known as "The Gallery at Eagle Rock."
The opening show will be on display for the month was given the title "Art, Clay, and Chardonnay" by Falat. She handpicked a selection of four local artists to populate the show with their work, three of whom will have their art on continual display as permanent residents, and a fourth who will be featured for the month. This month the gallery will not host a featured artist since it marks the gallery's grand opening.
Falat's hope is to expose visitors of the winery/gallery to art that she considers "more mainstream."
Among the handpicked are ceramicist Kathy Sterngold, sculptor and painter Mark Golomb, and photographer Kelly Stabley. It is those three who will make up the permanent residents of the Gallery at Eagle Rock.
Sterngold, like Falat, is a staple of the First Friday scene. The Lycoming College professor has had her pottery featured at the Williamsport Community Arts Theater for both one-woman shows and for the Pennsylvania Governor's Art Awards.
In 2012, the Susquehanna Health System acquired Sterngold's ceramic tiles for its new medical center. In 2013, she was commissioned to create an exclusive line of commemorative bowls for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank's "Soup and a Bowl" events in Harrisburg and Williamsport. Her work has been exhibited at the Packwood House Museum, the Radius Art Gallery at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Studio in Bushkill Falls.
She has participated in numerous art shows and exhibitions, including the annual events in State College, Muncy, Lewisburg and Eagles Mere.
Multi-media artist Mark Golomb paints, sculpts, draws and cartoons.
The works on display at Eagle Rock are sculptures of trees, each made from 300 18-inch sections of steel wire, shaped by hand over the course of 12 hours and held in place by a slab of granite. Golomb crafts sculptures to look like weeping willows, bonsai trees, sparse forests and wide, leafless trees.
Photographer Kelly Stabley is nationally recognized as a photographer and has taught both black-and-white and digital photography at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Stabley, who was born in the Pine Creek Valley, has ties not only to the area but to Eagle Rock Winery; in 2008 his photograph was selected by Falat and six other judges out of several entries and used as the label of the winery's then-new offering, "Millionaire's Heritage".
"Kelly's work is really museum quality," Falat said.
Eagle Rock Winery's Williamsport location is 414 W. Fourth St. and may be found online at www.eaglerockwinery.com.
Reach them by phone at 567-7715 or via e-mail at wine@eaglerockwinery. com.
The winery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and on Wednesday hosts a special "Wine Down Wednesday," which runs from 5 p.m. to the always-equivocal "?" Follow Eagle Rock Winery online and check in for July's First Friday when Anna Falat says the gallery will be showing work from "the Islands."