7 DAY SPOTLIGHT: Orbit Gallery

Dec 03, 2014 0 comments
7 DAY SPOTLIGHT: Orbit Gallery
     Orbit Art Gallery’s location in the heart of Manayunk is perfectly fitting of its name and origin. Originally titled “Art a La Carte”, the gallery’s name evolved to “Orbit” to better suit the space. David Decca, gallery owner, explains the change, “Orbit was an interesting idea because the gallery is kind of like a central sphere for different people who are in our orbit. The people we see all the time and that we interact with: our customers, our peers and our artists.” Orbit Art Gallery was opened in 1981 in Center City and has been in Manayunk since 1996. “I actually thought it was busier [in Manayunk] than in town!”
     David, who studied Education and Music, went to work for the original Orbit owner. “I thought it better suited me than a typical desk job.” He continuously applies his skills from his studies in his every day work at the gallery. “Music and art are intertwined. Being a musician helps us to understand our artists.” His partner Sandy became a part owner of the business in 1994 and has been extremely busy ever since. Sandy owns a dog walking business with over 1200 dogs and a handful of loyal employees that help grow her business. “When we have special events and in our busiest time she always comes in and helps out a ton,” says David.
     Upon walking into the gallery your eyes will dart from one beautiful piece of art to another. The pieces that they have on their shelves are of all shapes, sizes, styles and colors. When filling the store with these unique products David has 2 rules: “Would I have it in my house? And Would I give it as a gift?” These rules are the guide for the three basic functions that David’s gallery has.
     The first is being a Contemporary American Craft Gallery, which it originally started as. “We have a lot of art but we also have gifts that can be purchased for birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries.” The second piece to the gallery is the fine art collection. “With our prints we’re able to focus on what people wanted by offering not only walls-down products.” The Orbit Gallery boasts of fine art featuring the beauty that is around the neighborhood, in both Manayunk and Philadelphia. The third facet of the gallery is their framing services, which allow them to do complete purchases. What is the overall factor that helps tie in all of the unique products offered in shop? “We’ve learned to morph with the times. You can’t force what people want so we try to adapt the best we can.”
     David and Sandy’s creative eyes are what give these products a home at Orbit Art Gallery, but who are the creators of such interesting, hand-crafted pieces of art? “We go to different major craft shows but also local ones like Manayunk Arts Festival” says David, “We go and look for people and their artwork but a lot of artists find us.” Three of the artists that are frequent familiar faces in the gallery are Jackie Mendolson, Emily Kieffer, and Dane Tillman. From events featuring their skills to the artistic creations they produce for the gallery, the personality and vision of these Artists are ever present within Orbit Art Gallery. When walking through the gallery David says, “We want people to be surprised and interested and think ‘Wow I never thought of that’.”
    Although not originally from Manayunk, Orbit Gallery has made its mark on the community since moving to Main Street  almost 20 years ago. David says, “We live here so we’re part of the community. This is our social circle and the architect of our lives.” What he enjoys about the area is that his customer base is a very diverse market. “It’s neither dominated by college students, professional executives, or suburban housewives.” The diversity in the area is what fuels creativity and keeps David and Sandy on their toes. “It would be pretty sad to have a Main Street without a gallery. For ourselves and other businesses in Manayunk, there are stories there, that are integrally connected to Main Street.”

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