Fleetwood’s opens new gallery
LAHAINA – Mick Fleetwood, the legendary co-founder and drummer of Fleetwood Mac, has added to his array of businesses on Front Street by turning a former storeroom in his ground floor gift shop into an art gallery.
Last Tuesday and Friday, he celebrated the grand opening with hundreds of visitors and kama’aina. The lanky legend was charming, posing for pictures, popping champagne, talking to guests and basking in the beauty of the new gallery.
He wants the gallery to feature Maui artists, and to that end, artists such as painter Avi Kiriaty, underwater photographer David Fleetham, Celtic artist Hamish Burgess, sculptor Bene Michelle Cambra, photographer Christopher Egan, new Maui resident painter George “Milo” Buck and, of course, Fleetwood himself, who is quite an accomplished photographer, along with international figures such as Ronnie Wood, John Humphries and Andrew Stuart.
In an exclusive interview, the rock & roll superstar, who is as down-to-earth as you and me, said he would like to establish a scholastic art competition where the top Maui student artists would compete for the honor of being displayed in the gallery. He even suggested that the juror’s choice would receive the Biddie Award, named in honor of his recently passed mum, who loved all forms of art. This is all in the planning stages, but the big guy was exceptionally enthusiastic about this for the gallery.
While recognizing the gallery is a business, he said, “The gallery business is brutal to the artists.” He espoused a revolutionary idea where craftsmen such as furniture makers could display their work in the gallery for its functional purpose and use it as a referral source rather than a place to make sales. This would eliminate the gallery commission, help the craftsmen reach a wider audience and, perhaps, make sales or commissions on their own.
To run the gallery, Fleetwood has engaged one of Maui’s most experienced and knowledgeable art dealers, Brian Connolly.
Connolly has 20 years of experience and is very excited about the opportunity this gallery presents. “I like all of these artists; that isn’t always the case. This is a rock & roll gallery with Maui sensibilities,” Connolly said.
“I would like to see the artists from the gallery displayed throughout the building, and I hope if the restaurant expands to other locations throughout the Mainland, a gallery would be opened along with it. I would want it to have the same local sensibilities that this one does with a little Hawaii thrown in as well.”
Connolly is tasked with not only managing the gallery, but also with the responsibility of designing the walls and lighting. He worked with Fleetwood and Buck to hang the show, and Connolly gave credit for the construction work to the resident handy person at Fleetwood’s, Eric Lanham.
Alluding to recent rumors regarding the authenticity of artwork, Connolly was adamant: “We intend to authenticate. If I can’t verify the provenance of the piece, I won’t carry it,” he commented.
One of the highlights of the gallery is a priceless DW custom-designed drum kit in 24-carat gold. Connolly identified it as one of “Mick’s favorites.”
The gallery is located at 744 Front St. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.