Walk into HOME Fine Art and Antiques and you can discover unique and interesting pieces to fall in love with, and that’s just what owner Marti Long wants.
The Springfield resident decided to completely upend her working life because of an ad on Craigslist. She saw The Emporium Gallery listed for sale and came down a couple of times to look at the place with previous owners Joe and Cheryl Morello. In June 2017, a week before her birthday, Long quit her job and bought the gallery.
“I don’t think it’s a midlife crisis,” she said with a laugh, recalling how she used to sketch drawings as a child and as a teenager she told her mother that she wanted to open a gallery in Westfield, Massachusetts.
Long explained how she had made a career in health care, doing medical billing for her father who was a primary care physician, then working as a receptionist for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Holyoke. When they were bought out, Long said she started looking to make a change in her life and seized the opportunity to pursue her lifelong passion for art when it came along.
Now she is working to build the gallery and increase her online presence, obtaining pieces from a variety of sources including the Granby Artists Association, through direct contract with artists, recommendations and treasure hunting. By ranging far and wide, Long hopes to give her customers a variety of collectibles to appreciate and select from.
As examples, Long pointed to several pieces, a painting titled The Man In The Café by Minnesota artist Al Lofsness, a sidetable statue she’s named Sir Fergus the Frog, a woven wheat straw horse galloping over a fragile bird beneath it and Letting Off Steam, a work by pastel artist Karen Suponski.
When Long looks for pieces for the gallery, she strives to find things no one else has, things that will resonate with the customers who come in to browse.
“I’m looking to give shoppers an experience and a chance to fall in love and take something home with them,” Long said, but it’s more than that too. “It’s all hands on in here. These pieces are usable, and they should be used because they are from the time when things were not made to be disposable.”
Long plans to hold artist events at HOME and the gallery space, that is handicap accessible, and can be booked for parties and social gatherings.
There is another painting in the gallery. It sits on a chair in an-out-of-the-way corner and Long calls attention to the piece Painting of a Dehydrated Cow because she finds it quirky and fun—a style that reflects Long when she says of herself, “I march to the beat of my own drum, always have and I’m never going to stop.”
HOME Fine Art and Antiques is located at 335A Salmon Brook Street in Granby. For more information or to view some of the many items for sale, visit HOME online at homefineart.gallery.