Darien’s Geary Gallery takes a distinctive approach to the art business

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Tom Geary, co-founder and co-owner of the Geary Gallery in Darien, next to ‘Coming Home (Noroton YC)’ by Chet Saur (left) and ‘NY 30’s’ by Peter Arguimbau (right);. Photo by Edward Arriaza.

SSince 1984, the Geary Gallery has presented the works of local artists from its location on the Boston Post Road in Darien. It is owned by husband and wife team Tom and Anne Geary, who came into this business in an unlikely way – they were collaborating with Anne’s brothers in Florida, who were experimenting with opening 10 craft stores. 000 square feet.

“Anne and I moved to Florida and got involved in the business,” Tom Geary said in an interview with the Business Journal. “We ended up opening eight stores in Florida – four in Orlando and four on the West Coast.”

“I had a lot of different experiences in different types of businesses before starting this one,” he added, revealing that over the years he had started 16 other businesses, including two restaurants, a shipyard and a gypsum company.

At the company’s gallery section, Anne Geary selects from many photo submissions of artists‘ works.

“We always try to stay a step above what we’ve been, either equal to or better than what we’ve been,” explained Tom Geary. “That’s what we use as a scoring point, and we have artists who come in based on that.”

The gallery exhibition changes every 45 days and currently eight artists are exhibiting their work. Tom Geary acknowledged that there has been some heartache associated with potential clients browsing the gallery‘s display, as some choose to bypass the gallery by searching for an artist online and contacting them directly for a discounted price on the one of their exhibited works. Most artists, however, will report these communications.

Tom Geary with a framed 8ft tall vintage poster at Darien’s Geary Gallery. Photo by Edward Arriaza.

“I’ve had other gallery owners tell me they have contracts with their artists,” Geary said. “But I don’t want to get into that, because we have a really good working relationship with all of our artists.”

Geary Gallery also provides framing and restoration services in addition to exhibiting works of art. The gallery’s framing services in particular have been the subject of positive word of mouth over the years.

“I like to think it’s the service we provide that keeps people coming back,” Geary said. “We basically stopped our advertising years ago because everyone was saying so-and-so told me I had to come here.”

The gallery is known for handling unusual framing projects that other stores are unable to handle. These include the framing of christening gowns, bathing suits and an eight-foot poster.

“We’re at a point now where other (stores) will tell their customers to bring it here,” Geary said.

The Geary Gallery team also provide oil painting and framing restoration, a service Geary said no other gallery offers.

“The restoration, I would say, speaks for itself,” he said. “You take a painting that you can barely see what it is and you clean it, and the customer walks in, he doesn’t even recognize the painting when he picks it up. It is always very gratifying to receive this kind of feedback from customers. »

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