Wayne Dobson and Sally Susan Popu were very active in the Brooklyn art community when they discovered Danville on a trip to Southern Virginia to look at old farmhouses available for restoration. There were no galleries in the city when they arrived. The couple purchased a building on Union Street, created a visible street level professional gallery, and maintain a personal collection there of over 200 pieces from several New York artists including Mark Zimmerman, Michael Bellamy, James Austin Murray, and Mary DeVincentis. Popu will maintain a photography studio on the second floor. Their new gallery will certainly prove to be a huge catalyst for reinvigorating the cultural pulse of the city’s beautiful and historic urban core which has spent a dark and quiet decade since the closing of the famous Dan River Mills. Danville itself, for the first time in decades, is on the cusp of a bright rebirth and the city has recently commissioned an important urban design study of its riverfront edge at the north end of downtown – a place that was once a dramatic and somewhat ceremonial entrance into the city from the Dan River bridges in the 19th century. I believe that in a few years, Danville will once again be the crown jewel of the Southern piedmont of Virginia with its very low cost of living and pro-business attitude, and the Danvillian Gallery will play a prominent role in the city’s new life.
Wayne and Sally will host monthly shows beginning with an opening reception of Dobson’s work marking eighteen years of painting Friday evening, September 9th at 6pm.