The eclectic art retailer has something for everyone
By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Richard Berg recently opened A River Town (ART) Gallery on the west side of Little Falls, across from the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce Depot. It’s warm and inviting, has large windows that let in a lot of light and full of original art.
“I retired a few years ago and started collecting art,” Berg said. “When my house got full, I needed a place for all the paintings.”
Berg saw the building when it housed a jewelry store. He liked the lighting, but thought the lights would be better pointed to his art on the walls and not the showcases. He bought the building two years ago.
“It was my idea to have an art gallery, but I have since learned an art gallery is usually limited to a small number of artists and when the paintings sell, the owner gets a percentage,” he said. “So it’s now a retail store.”
Berg loves his location. He said it’s perfect with its proximity to the Cass Gilbert Depot, the railroad and its trains, the park and the river.
A River Town Gallery first opened during the 2012 Arts and Crafts Fair. Today it’s open five days a week from about 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
It took Berg the two years to renovate the building, and he’s still working on it. The sloped floor and the sub-floor were removed and new concrete and epoxy laid. The floor’s finish resembles water.
“When entering the store, there is a step down into the gallery,” he said. “I painted ‘No Diving’ on the floor to keep people from falling.”
Berg installed an electric fireplace with a granite front in one corner. There is comfortable seating for those who would like to take in all the paintings.
Other walls are decorated with mosaic tiles, large ceramics or have rock fronts. No two walls are alike, making the gallery feel very eclectic and artsy.
There are many types of paintings displayed around the small gallery. Berg does not have one favorite artist or style that attracts him. He has both modern paintings and traditional ones. There are figurative paintings, along with landscapes. Some botanicals, animals, boats and more. There are artists from far and wide, along with local talent displayed on his four walls.
A bar adorns part of the gallery, where coffee and tea will be offered, all complementary. But, if a painting is sold, Berg will crack open a bottle of wine in celebration. As long as the buyer is 21 years old, that is.
The future of the gallery will include a courtyard for his guests that will hold sculptures and metal art, items that will withstand the different Minnesota climates.
For more information, contact A River Town Gallery at (320) 224-3023.