RED HOOK — A new Columbia Street art gallery's first show focuses on paintings from three women artists who are associated with a Queens psychiatric center.
Guddahl Galleries opened its doors last week at 362 Columbia St. and has partnered with the Living Museum at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, “a museum of art dedicated to, and created by individuals with a mental illness,” according to the state Office of Mental Health’s website.
The artists, Cathy Sharkey, who is a supervisor of vocational rehab, along with Paula Brooks and Diane Matarrese, who are part of the Creedmoor community, will have their paintings displayed for a month, said gallery founder Robert Guddahl.
“Their artwork is… very elaborate,” he said.
Guddahl, who is in his 50s, said he wanted to display art that had a certain meaning behind it.
“We want to appeal to six areas — body, mind and spirit, past, present and future,” he said.
Creedmoor’s work in mental health services fit into the “mind” aspect of Guddahl’s vision, he said. In the coming months, the gallery may show a collection based on the Brooklyn Bridge, a symbol of the past.
Guddahl, who served in the military, said he is also hoping to collaborate with veterans to form a mentorship program for local artists.
The space was mostly designed and constructed by Guddahl, who is also a contractor. The floors of the gallery came from a shuttered Bay Ridge bowling alley where Guddahl played when he was young.
After Hurricane Sandy, the gallery owner, who was raised in Red Hook, said he decided to create a storefront that would be open and attractive in a section of the neighborhood where there are no other similar spaces.
“We decided we really wanted to see this thing through,” he said.
The gallery will be open Thursday and Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.