White Peonies by Jenny Kelley oil on linen, 16 x 18 inches
White Peonies, by Jenny Kelley, oil on linen, 16 x 18 inches

In this Art Gallery Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Donovan, owner of The Gallery at Tree’s Place in Orleans, Massachusetts. Discover the ways in which this gallery passionately connects collectors with original art that speaks to the emotions.

Seashell Distancing
by Susanne Taylor
oil on panel, 12 x 16 inches

Cherie Dawn Haas: Please tell us about your gallery and the type of art in which you specialize. 
Mike Donovan: The Gallery at Tree’s Place was founded on Cape Cod in 1986, with a commitment to promoting the best established and emerging artists in the region. It has since grown to become one of the leading dealers of representational painting in the nation, proud home to some of the finest living painters working in this genre.

We are committed to helping people discover the value of living with original art. Whether your budget is $500 or $50,000, we believe that you are best-served investing in a one-of-a-kind object that you love. Collecting begins with a personal, visual, and emotional connection to a piece of art. Experience tells us that one-of-a-kind objects bring clients more conversation, more investment return and, most importantly, more prolonged enjoyment than any reproduction. Knowing that an accomplished artist, rather than a machine, carefully selected and applied materials resulting in the finished piece you see makes for a genuine, unique experience.

We know that our clients are interested in building a collection of great quality; one that reflects their personal style. We would rather send you home empty-handed than with a painting or sculpture you won’t treasure for years to come. Personal relationships are important to us here. We often visit artists’ studios and bring paintings back with particular clients in mind. Our experienced staff is happy to make house calls. We are committed to helping you select works of art that enhance and complement the architecture and existing objects in your home’s interior.

It’s a Duck’s Life
By Carolyne Hawley
oil on canvas, 14 x 18 inches

What adjustments have you made as a gallery since the outbreak?
We have cancelled all Artist Receptions for the season. The gallery re-opened on June 9th after being closed for three months. While closed we continued to send emails about exhibitions and select works, although the results were paltry. Now that we are open, we follow CDC guidelines to ensure that our clients and employees are safe.

What’s your biggest priority at this time? Over the next year?
Survival! We are not sure how the summer season will play out and are hoping for the best. We are a seasonal economy and count on foot traffic to make the gallery profitable. If people decide not to shop, it could be devastating.

Local Diner
by Bill Farnsworth
oil on linen panel, 14 x 18 inches

What advice do you have for collectors as they navigate these times, and beyond?
I always tell my clients that art needs to reach you emotionally. If you connect with the work, it will please you for a lifetime. Now more than ever, people need positive environments to live in and artwork can create that environment in your home or office.

Anything else you’d like to add about the current issues galleries are navigating?
Keep it positive – try different price points to attract as broad a collector base as possible.

Piping Plover (Lifesize)
by Eric Kaiser
Carved tupelo with oils

What are some of the ways you find artists to represent?
We follow other galleries around the country who represent the caliber of artist we hope to represent and reach out to those artists who might be a good fit for us. More often than not, we are approached by artists directly for representation. Each year we add one or two new artists.

Set in the Sun
by Maryann Lucas
oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches

Regarding your exhibitions, do you have a current online show?
Our current exhibition is “Flora and Fauna,” a celebration of plant and animal life featuring new works from six different resident artists in the gallery. It is on view until June 26, 2020. We have new shows every two weeks until late September and then we have our annual Small Works show for the holidays.

For more information, please visit treesplace.com.


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