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Gallery offering original works by world-class artists

(May 28, 2015) A number of art galleries on the Eastern Shore hang work by local artists, as well as prints of well-known works, but few can boast a collection of original contemporary pieces by renowned artists such as Marcel Mouly and Andy Warhol.
That’s about to change next month, when Art in the Fields opens its doors in downtown Berlin.
New Jersey native Foster Schoch and his wife, Lisa, moved to Salisbury more than a decade ago to start a family. The couple began putting together an impressive private collection of artwork.
“Art was something we both enjoyed, we both loved, and we ended up with a lot of it,” Schoch said. “And then at some point you kind of say, well if you like collecting it and you’re having fun doing it, why not continue with it?”
Most of the gallery’s work is obtained through the secondary market, meaning work that has already been sold at least once. While the primary market generally works through galleries representing artists, or through an artist’s own studio, the secondary market often includes auctions such as those held by Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Art in the Fields often finds its pieces via this route.
The space will sell signed and numbered lithographs, as well as original art, by well-known artists both nationally and internationally. Schoch said works by Russian-born French designer Erté and New York artists such as Ilya Bolotowsky and Roy Lichtenstein are examples of work that Art in the Fields will feature.
“It’s an investment as well as a really nice thing to put on the wall,” Schoch said. “In 10, 15, 20 years it’s probably going to be worth a lot more. Let’s put it this way: you’re going to spend more on the artwork than you are on the frame, which is the reverse of what most people do.”
Schoch said the space would also serve as a venue where the public can view and enjoys the various works.
“We’ve got young kids, and it enriches their lives as well,” Schoch said. “That’s kind of a general theme throughout. That’s part of life. If you cut out all the art and the music in the schools do you lose anything? Yeah, you do. You lose a lot, and you lose a lot in your own life as far as imagination, creativity and things like that.
“We enjoy it, so why not? And why not do it in the nice town like Berlin,” Schoch added.
The building, near the visitor’s center on 6 South Main Street, was previously the location of the long-dormant Mid Atlantic Pain Medicine.
Schoch said finding the space was an adventure in itself.
“We tried to rent a number of places in town and it’s getting competitive here for rent, which is a great thing for the town,” he said. “There were several places in town where we tried to do something and couldn’t, and finally I kind of gave up and said, ‘if we can’t rent, let’s just buy something.’ And then [broker] Cam Bunting found this place literally out of the blue.”
Schoch, with a little design help from Design Resource, is doing the majority of the remodeling work inside the building himself.
“You can see there are fewer walls than there were before by the outlines on the floors, and the bathrooms all have to be ADA compliant,” he said.
He also plans to create a “quasi-park-like” area around the building, and hopes to be open for business within the next 30 days.
“A lot of people really seem to be looking forward to this,” Schoch said. “We know a bunch of folks in the area and they seem to be very welcoming, wondering what we’re going to do and looking forward to seeing what we’re going to end up with. And, hopefully, we’re going to make [a building] that’s maybe not looked the best for a while look a little better on Main Street.”
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