Trident Gallery continues as Matthew Swift Gallery with the exhibition New Series One.


After six years and fifty exhibitions, Trident Gallery has renewed its lease and will be continuing under the name of its founder and director as Matthew Swift Gallery. The gallery’s first exhibition under the new name opens with a reception on Saturday, August 10, 5–7pm, and continues through Sunday, September 15th. It introduces a new format for group exhibitions at the gallery, in which works of art are presented in a harmonious grouping, but without a principal of inclusion beyond the exceptional merit of the “individual treasures” included. The exhibition is called New Series One, reflecting the fresh start of the new gallery name and exhibition format.

“Renewing my lease this spring prompted me to reflect seriously on the future of the gallery and encouraged me to make several changes which I had been contemplating for a long time,” said Swift. “When I realized that I would reach the milestone of my 50th exhibition in midsummer, I took it as a further sign that the time was right for a sea change.”

When planning the gallery on Main Street in Gloucester more than six years ago, Swift explains, he felt sure that if he put his name on it, the prevailing assumption would be that he was showing and selling his own art. “Six years on, I’ve established my program and an audience who understands it locally and nationally. I have a deeper awareness of my role as an authority and guide for my clients. I had spent more than twenty years thinking about art when I opened the gallery, but today I can say I’ve known the artists that I show for years — and it takes a long time to understand what a good artist is really doing at a deep level. I’ve put together 50 exhibitions from soup to nuts. I’ve hand-picked an inventory of hundreds of works of art and built out a storage facility and private showroom. Some of my choices have been better than others, and I want to take what I’ve learned and bring art exhibitions and sales to the next level. When you mature slowly, your audience doesn’t always notice how much you’ve changed. It’s time to make an announcement.”

In the coming year, Swift plans to diversify the gallery’s program, enhance its private showroom, and sustain its participation in national art fairs. The solo exhibitions and thoughtful themed exhibitions that defined the Trident Gallery program will continue alongside New Series exhibitions. New Series One includes the work of Timothy Harney and Jeffrey Marshall, two artists whom Swift has followed for years but not previously shown.

Virtually all galleries with programs like Swift’s are named after their founders, he says. The new name helps confirm that the gallery operates with a seriousness of intent and principles shared with other prestigious galleries. A new sign on the Main Street building will be deployed soon, says Swift. All existing Trident Gallery email addresses and URLs will remain valid.