In 2017, Brett McCormack and Josh Nathanson fell in love with a historic church in Pine Plains, New York built in 1838. The creative pair reimagined the space as Gallery & Goods.
We are a collection of makers that bring our handmade lifestyles and love of imperfect beauty to the residents and visitors of the area. We are constantly creating and curating an evolving selection of original handmade goods and art.
In the world of anonymous mass production, we are proud to return focus to the human makers and their passion for quality and individuality.
A recent article in Main Street Magazine about Gallery & Goods:
More than 150 years ago, people from the Pine Plains community united to build a church. They gave of themselves—volunteering their time and skills to create a space for community to gather to celebrate love. The hand-chiseled wood beams that bring character to the now historic building were once hauled from nearby forests.
It’s that same spirit of community and craftsmanship that inspired co-founders and co-owners Brett McCormack and Josh Nathanson to create Gallery & Goods—an art gallery and retail space that offers a curated selection of locally sourced, nature-inspired handmade goods.
“We were honored to take stewardship of an architectural gem that began in 1838 as a church, became Grange Hall in 1929, and later became an antique store. Its history as a community space, bringing together the lives of a range of people inspired us to create this community-focused art and maker space,” says Josh Nathanson.
After several months of painting, sanding, and restoring this spectacular historical building, McCormack and Nathanson opened the doors to Gallrty & Goods in May 2017. They shared a vision: To highlight the process of crafting items by hand. They were united in their desire to encourage others to return to using ages-old practices and techniques to create wares.
Fusing the concept of a traditional gallery space with a makers’ collective, the duo created a unique space that presents a collection of artisanal treasures. Some can be classified as purely decorative objet d’art while others such as the healing salves are functional in nature.
Since McCormack and Nathanson both recognize the artistry, spirit, and dedication to craft that is channeled into every item, they yearned to use their space to challenge others’ perceptions about “art.” Beyond the stark black-and-white paintings and hand-painted furniture, their collection includes clayvessels embellished with feminine lace patterns, wood bowls crafted from oak, and soothing lavender facial scrubs.
Gallery & Goods’ makers and artists include: JRN Pottery’s functional ceramic serving pieces by Josh Nathanson; Brett McCormack’sart, hand-painted furniture, and decorative objects; hand-poured candles by Bell’s Beeswax; Natalie Feldsine’s facial- and self-care items; Maclaren Fixture Company’s custom-made decorative porcelain lighting fixtures; Melissa McCormack’s wellness-driven self-care items; Bart Tenore’s raw wooden creations; and Dan Wheeler’s smooth, hand-turned bowls. All items are crafted locally, so the journey from maker to consumer leaves a minimal carbon footprint. Prices range from$10 for a luxurious soap to $10,000 for handcrafted furniture.
McCormack, whose work has debuted in museums, galleries, and private collections worldwide, has also been spotlighted in Elle Décor, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New York Times.He acknowledges that the pioneerswho had a hand in shaping the earliest settlements on earth also engaged in some of the same processes employed by makers and artists today. They include pottery, working with wood, and crafting home remedies in the form of elixirs.
“We yearn to celebrate the evidence of human touch in every item we offer. We’re also proud to share the personal stories of the hands who created all that brings life to our space,” reveals Brett McCormack.
When guests purchase a ceramic serving platter or decorative bowl, they’re sharing some of the creator’s spirit. As they hand wash their items, they’re retracing the hands of the artist. Rather than being consumer-driven, Gallery & Goods celebrates authenticity—the personal stories and people behind each handcrafted item.
A double set of white doors grants entry into the ethereal space. Guests will be captivated by the the soaring, vaulted ceilings; exposed beams; elongated, dramatic windows; and airy interior. A calming palette of white washes over the walls—a stark contrast to the rich, dark tone of the original hardwood floors.
The gallery/retail space is sectioned off by a series of decorative partitions that feature windows, which invite sunlight to flood the space. Some of McCormack’s handmade tables are adorned with pottery while others display a lineup of glass canisters—each one filled with handcrafted soaps by Melissa McCormack’s Forget Not The Earth.A white claw-foot bathtub is the focal point of another display area, which houses self-care items by both Natalie Feldsine and Melissa McCormack.
The collection strives to awaken people’s senses. Guests are encouraged to cast aside their cell phones and indulge in the clean scents of the soaps or the tactile feel of the pottery. Many guests enjoy getting acquainted with the makers and artists. As they stroll about the space, they can see their portraits and read their stories, which are artistically presented on clipboards placed throughout the room.
McCormack personally handcrafted the artistic displays, which are upcycled, reimagined, or repurposed. The bathtub, discarded windows, and wooden planks featured in the displays were salvaged from farmhouse renovation projects. The displays also feature upcycled scrap lumber and screens of burlap.
On display through September is Portraits of Pine Plains—a collection of oil-based portrait paintings created by Pine Plains-based artist Mary Bridgman. The faces she presents represent the diversity of the region—the many different generations, perspectives, and experiences of the town’s residents.
It took Bridgman more than one year to scout out the lineup of people to paint. Each person resides within walking distance of Gallery & Goods. Before creating the paintings in her Pine Plains studio, she photographed each person in the natural lighting that illuminates the gallery. Each portrait is currently on display in the section of the gallery that the subject was initially photographed in.
The people Bridgman featured, their families, and friends all gathered to attend the opening reception, which was held in May 2019. The event drew a wide range of peopleincluding those who previously didn’t have much interest in attending galleries as well as others who were well acquainted with the goings-on of the gallery scene.
“Art is for everyone and it’s the most powerful tool we have to open up hearts and minds, and soften hearts. If the arts continue to exist in a bubble, we’ll lose the potential for the evolution of our culture and emotions,” believes McCormack.
Emotions were certainly present at the opening reception. One guest shed tears while gazing at a portrait of a neighbor who generously provided him with food and clothing. “For us and for our guest, this moment will always be sacred,” says McCormack.
In August, the community will be invited to gather in Gallery & Goods’ downstairs space to share creativity and get inspired. The space will feature hands-on workshops, educational presentations, and other programs led by makers, artists and other creatives and enthusiasts. The inaugural hands-on workshop will feature artist and weaver Nelson Kauamarix who will teach tablet weaving.
“When we speak about community, we want to address all communities and make our space accessible to everyone. Here, we want to lift spirits, inspire, and influence a brighter future of people,” concludes Nathanson.