Downton company hosts art gallery – The Campus
Hatch Hollow hosted an art gallery on Friday November 4th. The event featured work by former New York Times editorial cartoonist Richard Mock.
According to the New York Times, Mock was a Neo-Expressionist painter whose art was inspired by political and social issues relevant to his day and exemplified in the New York Times newspaper.
Hatch Hollow is a showcase art supply store and art gallery located in downtown Meadville on Chestnut Street.
Heather Fish, 15, an alumnus of Allegheny College, is the owner of Hatch Hollow.
Fish was a member of the Bonner program while in Allegheny and spent a lot of time working with Women’s Services. She majored in Environmental Studies with a minor in Community and Justice Studies and Studio Art.
Fish has owned the business for four years.
“I first discovered the business as a coworking space in 2018, we were located at Parkside Commons on North Main Street,” Fish said. “We only moved to the current storefront and introduced the artistic element in February this year.”
Fish added that the store hosts a public art gallery every four to six weeks.
The gallery featured eight of Mock’s pieces that were critical of former President George W. Bush and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001.
Adrean Velez, 21, performed the third exhibit, which showed Bush holding up a peace sign
with the top of its head replaced by a shark swimming in the water.
“I think this play criticizes the justice of imperialist nations, because although Bush is signaling peace and prosperity, in the back of his mind he is focused on finding and eliminating a small, easy shark-like target. in the water swimming with few fish,” Velez said. “This piece really criticizes the ability and reality of powerful countries that exploit smaller and weaker nations in times of vulnerability while masquerading as useful and all-knowing. “
Other exhibits in the gallery showed Mock’s critiques of racism, marginalization, corporate greed, Westernization, global politics, damage and environmental issues.
One of the pieces, titled “Homeland Security,” showed the American flag tied in thick chains with barbed wire over the flag’s white stripes.
Community relations manager and cashier at Hatch Hollow Margaret West, 19, thinks it’s worth bringing up topics that are rarely discussed in a town like Meadville.
“Allegheny College is a great part of Meadville and adds a lot of diversity to the town,” West said. “When topics that aren’t discussed very often become the reason for community engagement, people are encouraged to add value and present their unique perspectives and understanding.”
Fish added that the art gallery’s politically active and critical theme is particularly relevant in the present due to the upcoming midterm elections on Tuesday, November 7.
“I think this exhibit will be a great way to engage the community and reflect on their political views ahead of a very important election in recent American history,” Fish said.
West added that events such as the art exhibit hosted by Hatch Hollow may not be everyone’s preference, but are crucial for community building.
“Watching, I can see a lot of people who should be talking to each other are doing so in this art gallery,” West said. “For example, I just saw (Paula Burleigh, Assistant Professor of Art and Director of Allegheny Art Galleries) and (Claire Klima, Hatch Hollow Gallery Assistant, 22) talk and discuss future collaborations between the gallery and the college.”
Fish said Hatch Hollow has been holding art exhibitions since its storefront moved to Chestnut Street in February 2022, but each event follows a different organizational format and features different artists and art styles.
“Our first exhibit was an open-call miniature art exhibit where about 40 different artists displayed their work,” Fish said. “Everyone submitted pieces that were eight inches or smaller.”
Fish added that several Allegheny students were involved in the event, including Lauren Schrock, 23, and Student Art Society president Heather Amancio, 23.
Hatch Hollow also hosted an Allegheny Alumni Art Exhibit during Alumni Weekend in June.
“12 different Allegheny graduates between 1976 and 2022 have participated in the gallery,” Fish said.
Hatch Hollow also frequently collaborates with other local small businesses and organizations.
“We had a women-themed art exhibit that was coordinated by Women’s Services,” Fish said. We’ve had several retirement parties and even book club meetings. It is also common for us to have guest speakers and informational forums for different causes.
Fish said Hatch Hollow will soon host an Allegheny student-only art exhibit.
“Being an Allegheny student helped me connect and quickly settle in the city after graduating,” Fish said. “I think it’s important to offer the same opportunities and support that I was given during my student years, as it allowed me to own my own business at the age of 24. “