Boca Raton, FL - Barbara Montgomery O'Connell, Local Artist and Coordinator of exhibits at the Friends art gallery, Spanish River Library and Community Center, 1501 NW Spanish River Boulevard, 2nd floor, Boca Raton, Florida.
Q: Tell us about your history working on behalf of the Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library:
A: I fell into my position in an odd way. When the library building was under construction on Spanish River Blvd. in the early 2000s, I would drive by on my way to my studio and wonder if the library would have a place for artists to exhibit their work. I approached the Friends with my idea. Betty Cash, Friends president at the time, and Krista Maki, Activities Chair, welcomed the idea and gave me full support. We contacted the right people and voila! We had an art gallery! They said that I could have the opening show....only if I continued to run The Gallery. So, six years later, I'm still coordinating exhibits and meeting wonderful artists and photographers. This space has proven to be very popular within the art community. Since our opening in April, 2009, we have had a schedule that is booked two years in advance. To date, over 50 artists and photographers have displayed their work in solo exhibits or group shows.
Q: What projects have you worked on that are particularly memorable?
A: All of the Friends projects are memorable! At The Gallery, we have had several outstanding shows and I'm really excited about the current exhibit (Feb. 23 - April 11, 2015) by Carla Golembe. She is a professional, award-winning author and illustrator of childrens' books, and teaches at the Boca Museum School of Art. The Friends are hosting a reception for her on Sunday, March 8 from 3-5 and she will talk about her work. The public is welcome to this free event.
Q: What is something people might not know about you?
A: People might not know that I am a professional artist. My studio is at 1705 Costa del Sol (within the 20th Street Centre complex). My website is: artbymontgomery.com I sign my work by my maiden name because I had started selling paintings before I met and married my husband, Jack O'Connell... 42 years ago!
Q: What do you think is an underused feature of the library?
A: The Art Gallery!!! It's a wonderful viewing space, with museum quality lighting. I wish more people would come to see our shows. The artists put in a lot of time and hard work getting ready for a show. We change exhibits every 7 weeks.