Gross McCleaf Gallery's long legacy of female leadership, promoting emerging artists

The Rittenhouse gallery has been a premiere landing spot for local artists since 1969. And its new owner is carrying on its half-century of female leadership.

Video Transcript

- As we wrap up Women's History Month, we visit a Rittenhouse Square gallery with a half century long legacy of female leadership. And now a new owner and director is carrying on that tradition. Here's this week's 6abc Loves the Arts. Gross Mc Cleaf Gallery was founded in 1969 by Estelle Shane Gross.

REBECCA SEGALL: This was really at the beginning of what would become a rich gallery scene in Philadelphia.

- Gross started supporting local artists. And after her death in 1992, the new owner, Sharon Ewing carried on that tradition. Now Rebecca Segall has taken the reins.

REBECCA SEGALL: I was looking for this type of engagement. Why start a new gallery when you can carry on this great legacy?

- The gallery hosts two solo shows a month. In April, you can see the works of Philadelphia-based painter, Joe Lozano.

REBECCA SEGALL: His show is called, Mythologies. And he works with different social narratives in the community, and kind of puts these very surreal spin on them.

- The second solo show is from Christine Lafuente, called, A View From Here.

REBECCA SEGALL: She did a residency in Puerto Rico last spring and then got stuck there. And then just started painting her tail off and did a beautiful body of work.

- There's also a group show called, Bokeh.

REBECCA SEGALL: We're all dying, waiting for spring and some flowers, and like some happiness.

- The gallery is located on 16th Street in a 3,000 square foot building that used to house a hotel.

REBECCA SEGALL: I want this gallery to feel and be welcoming and accessible to people. And you can come and just enjoy experiencing the art.

- The gallery has a stable of about 45 artists from emerging to well-established. And Segall hopes the art can create a meaningful escape for those who view it.

REBECCA SEGALL: I just think that the work of artists, in the world and in our lives, is important work. We can't do without it. It's probably I think the most essential and fun way to connect as human beings.

- Some of that stuff looks great. Well you can visit the gallery in person or take a virtual tour. We've posted that link on 6abc.com/lovesthearts.