“Acrylic paint dries fast and I can move quickly -- you can tell I move pretty quickly. A lot of energy goes into my work. You can put the paint on the canvas; it dries; you can put another layer. Acrylics have improved so much that you can get the same effects of oil,” said Manger-Weil.
Success has come quickly to Manger-Weil, who sold her first canvas in 2005. As a gifted sixth grader given a choice between accelerated programs in visual arts and music, she chose the latter. She became a published songwriter and, with husband Harvey Manger-Weil, made a living as a Manhattan street musician in the 1980s, before daughter Samara was born. The couple went on to become successful entrepreneurs.
Throughout it all, Manger-Weil remained drawn to the visual arts.
“I started painting because I needed to do it. When people started seeing my work, maybe a year or two into it, they seemed to like it. It’s colorful and it’s bold. One person, a friend, came to my studio and was drawn to an orange and white painting that almost felt, to me, like a moon. You could see faces in it. ‘Can I buy that?’ she asked. That’s how it all started: from one person,” said Manger-Weil.
The untitled work sold for $100.
Today, Manger-Weil’s original canvases and commissions sell for thousands of dollars. Limited-edition giclee prints of most works are available. Archival paper prints start at $20. Ten percent of all proceeds benefit the Manger-Weil House, an Ethiopian orphanage that she, Harvey and Samara helped found. All first-time DM Weil Gallery visitors receive a free print, signed by the artist. Admission is free.
“I want people to come into the gallery and not feel intimidated,” said Manger-Weil.
In the future, DM Weil Gallery will host community mixers, and may show works by other artists. A media wall, state-of-the-art sound system, wine bar and grand piano stand ready for special events.
“I created the space to be able to show my work on my terms. Now that it’s finished, we’d like to do some community-based things, to lend the space to local businesses and organizations,” said Manger-Weil.
A grand opening celebration will be held in September.
“We want to be a part of this vibrant community. Art is fun. It’s a combination of bringing a piece of Soho to New Paltz and keeping it fun and accessible to everyone,” said Harvey Manger-Weil.
DM Weil Gallery is open Friday-Monday. For hours -- or to schedule a visit during the week -- call 855-278-5683 or e-mail email@example.com.