Last Friday marked the grand opening of Franklinton's newest gallery, The Vanderelli Room (adjacent to 400 West Rich at 218 McDowell St.), when it hosted the opening reception for its current exhibit "The Dream and the Dreamer." The Vanderelli Room is run by local painter and CCAD graduate Alicia Vanderelli, who also lives in the building.

Last Friday marked the grand opening of Franklinton’s newest gallery, The Vanderelli Room (adjacent to 400 West Rich at 218 McDowell St.), when it hosted the opening reception for its current exhibit “The Dream and the Dreamer.” The Vanderelli Room is run by local painter and CCAD graduate Alicia Vanderelli, who also lives in the building.

“After I moved in here I realized I really wanted to do a gallery,” Vanderelli said during an interview at her gallery/home on Tuesday. “So I talked to the owner of the property about it, and he was very supportive. I just love great art, so I’m excited because I now get to show artists and their work that I like.”

After presenting a business plan to her landlord and a couple months of renovations, The Vanderelli Room was running full steam ahead. The reception Friday was well-attended and Vanderelli expects the closing reception on Dec. 12 (with a performance by Dr. Umbrella) to be similarly popular. To see the exhibit during non-event times, email or call Vanderelli to make an appointment.

While the first exhibit — featuring more than two dozen local artists — is a success, Vanderelli isn’t resting on her laurels. She’s booked an exhibit for almost every month in 2015.

The annual “Dark Love” show — pieces inspired by the more painful side of love occurring around Valentine’s Day — will move from its previous home at 400 West Rich to The Vanderelli Room in February.

Vanderelli has also collaborated with 400 West Rich resident Ralph Walters, a tireless artist and curator, for a couple more entertaining art events. In January, Walters will curate a group show of work inspired by the Saturday morning cartoons of yesteryears and the cereals engulfed while watching them (“It’s Saturday Morning Somewhere”). Walters will also have his first Artist Wrestling League event — artists dressed as wrestlers and participating in a live painting throw-down of sorts — in March, which will be part of a full group exhibit.

“We have some really cool things coming,” Vanderelli said. “I’m really excited about it. It was a little overwhelming at first, but now I feel like I’m starting to get a handle on it. It was crazy and the first show had such a great reception where everybody really loved the space.”

Photos courtesy of Will Wonka