Opened in May of 2010, Gallery@Second features two floors of artwork; a rotating featured exhibition space, and the “Upstairs Gallery” which showcases the work of over 50 local artists at any given time. “There are no barriers in what we have or the types of artworks that we show,” said Ted. “There may be a perception that we’re traditionalists, but we really have a balance. In terms of the content of the artwork we’re pretty diverse in what we offer.” The Upstairs Gallery is hung in salon style, ceiling to floor, with prices ranging from $50 through upwards of $5,000. “I’d like the people in the area to know how many great artists there are in the Harrisburg area,” said Linda. “We have a little bit of everything, from realistic to representational to abstract; I think there’s something for everybody here to enjoy.”
The gallery is the result of the Walkes’ lifetime interest in creating and promoting the fine arts. “I went to school for what was called commercial art, it’s called graphic design now, and did a lot of fine art in the 70s, including a few one-person shows,” recalled Ted. “But when we had our first child in 1984, everything from a fine art standpoint was put on hold because I was focused on making money.” While both Ted and Linda shifted their attention to their family and careers, they each remained involved in creative and artistic pursuits. Ted worked as an illustrator for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, while Linda founded and operated the publishing company Within Reach Inc.
In 2009, Ted began entering fine art competitions for the first time in decades, to great success. “The bug hit me,” said Ted, “and I entered a show just on a lark.” Walke took first prize in mixed media in the Art Association of Harrisburg’s 2009 membership show, Figuratively Speaking, and received entry into the Greater Harrisburg Art Council’s Art of the State during the same year. But it was during a trip to Pittsburgh that the Walkes’ rekindled interest in fine art found its next outlet. “I saw a federal style house that seemed to just be nestled in downtown,” explained Ted, “and I thought it’d really be great to find a piece of real estate like that in Harrisburg and open up a gallery.”
That year, the Walkes bid on a former tanning salon in downtown Harrisburg. “Because it was used as a salon, the building had all the little rooms, and we were like, look at all that wall space,” said Linda. The building’s architecture lent itself to Gallery@Second’s trademark style of hanging contrasting exhibits, creating a unique synergy between artists for the viewers. “Usually with metropolitan galleries, it’s segmented types of artwork targeting specific demographics,” said Ted. “With our featured exhibitions on the first floor, which change every five weeks, we try to kind of fuse together diverse types of artwork.” Recent featured exhibitors have included Jonathon Frazier, Linda Benton McCloskey, Fiel Patricio and Tami Bitner, and future shows have already been planned out through 2014.
Gallery @ Second’s juxtaposition of contrasting mediums will be on full display during their featured exhibition debuting this month. From April 18 through June 1, Thom Glace and Ted Walke will offer their watercolor and opaque acrylic interpretations of aquatic life. “Fish are aquatic lateral teardrops of wonder built upon centuries of evolutionary development of fins, scales and sensory adaptability,” explained Walke. “They first deserve our respect for their presence but, most of all, their design.”
Artist Thom Glace is a native of central Pennsylvania, who took up painting following his retirement. His watercolor studies of fish and dragonflies have been displayed in galleries throughout the nation, including Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire. His work is informed by a love of nature, especially water, and what he calls “the biological study format.” While Glace started with local species, he has branched out into species ranging from the Peacock Bass of the Amazon to the Marble Trout of Slovenia to the Masu Salmon of Japan. Gallery@Second owner Ted Walke’s opaque acrylic’s counterbalance the exhibit, as Walke chooses to enlarge the profile of select fish species to an abstract size of at least four-plus-feet. While the fish are accurately represented, Walke is focused on bringing the attention of the viewer to the variety of their true color and form.
The joint exhibition will open with a reception as part of April’s “3rd in the Burg,” at 6PM on April 19. The event is free and open to the public, featuring refreshments and food with live music provided by Jonathan Frazier. The receptions are part of the Walkes’ efforts to eliminate the intimidation people may feel about browsing in a gallery. “We don’t want people to be apprehensive about coming to the gallery. We try and tell people, just come on in,” said Ted. “Don’t feel like you have to buy something, just look around and tell other people what you’ve seen.”
Gallery @ Second is located at 608 N. Second Street in Harrisburg, and is open from 4:30 PM – 8 PM on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 AM – 8 PM in Saturdays and from 12 PM – 4 PM on Sundays. Gallery @ Second will be holding 3rd in the Burg Friday receptions from 6 PM – 9 PM on April 19 and May 17, and additional hours are available by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 717-233-2498 or email Gallery@GalleryAtSecond.com. For more information or to view their online gallery of over 150 artworks, visit GalleryAtSecond.com.