MERIDEN — Gallery 53 has replaced its fluorescent lights with LED lights to improve the illumination of the gallery.
“The difference in the old lighting and new lighting is unbelievable,” said Christine Webster, gallery president. “It is just wonderful.”
The work was funded by a grant from the Cuno Foundation. The gallery, located at 53 Colony St., is operated by the Arts and Crafts Association of Meriden.
“They had the idea back in the fall and they applied for a grant from Cuno which they got,” said Denise Carr, who is in charge of Gallery 53 publicity. “They lined up the electrician a couple months ago. In early March, the electrician took about three days to make the transformation.”
One of the many advantages of the LED lights is energy efficiency.
“It’s crazy to be spending money on lighting, especially in a gallery, where it’s so illuminated and the lighting is so important to show off the artwork,” Webster said.
Saving money is especially important during the pandemic.
“We don’t have paychecks per say,” Webster said. “Basically we’re all volunteers, so that’s not the issue, but we still have to pay the insurance and the lights and all the bills that come along with the building. So certainly it’s a difficult thing. Any way that we can save money at all is beneficial.”
Although the gallery is closed, the organization is raising money through its expanded online gift shop.
“We are a nonprofit,” said Rosemary Devlin, a volunteer that runs Gallery 53’s website and social media. “We rely on gift shop revenue to help keep and maintain the building and offer the programs that we offer. This money will directly benefit those initiatives.”
The online gift shop has jewelry, ceramics, photos, accessories, glass and metal pieces. Each day, new items are added.
“The gallery actually stocks hundreds of unique items,” Devlin said. “So we’ll just continue to add these and bring them on board. We hope people keep checking the site to see what’s new all the time.”