WESTBROOK — Mary Brooking didn’t have to look far to find a new home for Continuum for Creativity, her art gallery and instruction space at 863 Main St. The perfect location was just feet away across the street.
“That space … was always on my radar,” Brooking said while taking a break from packing up boxes April 12. “The timing worked out amazingly.”
On May 4, Brooking will move her art business to 1 Westbrook Common, Suite 2, space previously used by Halal Market.
The new space is 800 square feet and wide open, unlike Brooking’s old space that has nooks and crannies and a long hallway leading from her gallery/instruction space through a shared kitchen and into her art studio. The new space will allow her to have the gallery/instruction space open for business while she is creating her own art, something that couldn’t be done in her current configuration.
“The new space feels like an empty canvas to me,” she said.
Many of Continuum for Creativity’s offerings will remain the same. Brooking will continue to host the Lowry’s Lodge poetry reading, as well as make her space available for small group meetings, performances, talks and book readings.
The gallery portion of the business will be scaled back, but will still be open to the public.
“The difference, I think, will be I won’t be looking particularly for other artists to exhibit there,” she said. “I will be showing my art and my students’ art.”
Brooking said she will continue to offer her space for private art parties and as the central point for Paint Westbrook, an annual plein air painting event.
In the four years she has operated Continuum for Creativity, Brooking said she has seen her business grow to the point where a move seemed “like the natural next step.”
The move coincides with a renovation project next door at the Frog & Turtle, which will expand the gastropub and add a second floor.
The redevelopment of the restaurant and the pending sale of her building to Vallee Square Holding’s LLC, caused Brooking to rethink the direction of Continuum for Creativity and search for a new space.
Once in the new location, Brooking will continue to do what she loves: express herself through painting and instruct others how to do that, too.
“That is what makes me happy. That’s what I want to do,” she said.
Westbrook Common building owner James Para is happy to have Brooking as a tenant.
“We are very pleased to have Continuum for Creativity in our building. Westbrook is a city of artists and Mary has been a great example for many years,” he said.
The move would fill one of the vacancies Para has in the building. Work has been done to renovate two large spaces in the rear of the building for new tenants.
“We have a lot of interest on them and we are ready to sign one soon,” Para said.
To ease the transition between spaces, Brooking is holding a customer appreciation night on April 19, when art work will be 50 percent off. She is also asking for help May 4 to move supplies, materials and art across the street to her new space.
Michael Kelley can be reached at 780-9106 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mkelleynews.
Continuum for Creativity will move from 863 Main St. to 1 Westbrook Common, Suite 2, in early May. Owner Mary Brooking said the new location will still offer space for art instruction, as well as poetry readings, book talks, performances and other events.
Continuum for Creativity owner Mary Brooking sees her new space at 1 Westbrook Common, Suite 2, as a blank canvas for her gallery, instruction and event space.
Mary Brooking, owner of Continuum for Creativity, will be moving her art studio and instruction space across the street next month.