WILLIAMMAXWELL FINE ARTS is a commercial gallery and sculpture garden specializing in contemporary art and located within a Victorian carriage house and grounds, c.1850, in the artist and historical district of Peekskill, New York.

This exhibition space is dedicated to the presentation of unique and original works of fine art by emerging and established artists. Those selected for exhibition are challenged to produce new works of art on a small scale, appropriate for the gallery’s dimensions and aesthetic. All exhibits in this gallery will feature two artists in a “face to face” relationship that produces or continues a specific visual dialog. The seasonal calendar includes four to six shows that presents artists from many geographic locations to the audience in upper Westchester County. These various works of art are offered to the community as fresh, clever and contemporary responses to a diversity of content within an assortment of artistic media and presentation

MAXWELL FINE ARTS also maintains a satellite gallery at 121 Restaurant and Bar in North Salem, NY that extends its exhibition areainto Northern Westchester and Putnam Counties as well as the southern Connecticut area.

Artists’ Community Flourishes in Peekskill

William C. Maxwell Dana DeVito

New Sculpture Garden, with Figurehead, 2003, Sarah Haviland

New Galleries, Studios and Print-Making Project Contribute to Creative Enclave in Town.

by D.Dominick Lombardi
Maxwell Fine Arts is run by the husband-and-wife team of William C. Maxwell and Dana DeVito. Their gallery is a converted 1850 carriage -house behind their 1859 Victorian home on Main Street. Mr. Maxwell maintains his own painting studio in a loft space above the gallery while Ms. DeVito’s studio is on the third floor of their home.
Their gallery philosophy is to exhibit small and affordable work so anyone can become a collector. They will specialize in two-artist exhibitions, and each artist will be asked to create work that relates to the other artist. The resulting exhibition leads to a visual dialogue between the two artists’ work. Mr. Maxwell and Ms. DeVito see this as a way of opening up the visual language of the art they exhibit to a broader audience.
Mr. Maxwell and Ms. Devito decided to locate their business in Peekskill after visiting the city on an open studio day, when most of the city’s galleries are open to the public. “We both met a number of artists who moved from New York City to Peekskill, which is what we were considering,” said Ms. DeVito. “We saw that the city of Peekskill was extremely supportive. We were very optimistic because Peekskill was a small community that was bringing itself back. We both had a good feeling about living here.” Mr. Maxwell went on to say, “We started in a loft space a few blocks from here, and after about two years, we decided that we liked Peekskill so much that we would invest in the house and studio we own today. The community is very much behind us. It’s not just the support from the artists’ community. We also have the support of the businesses and residents who all seem to like our gallery.”
This community support is important to any artist, and it seems that there are many ways artists can give back to the community, Ms. DeVito said.
She said that Mr. Maxwell is on the board of the Peekskill Arts Council and she is on the Visual Arts Committee for the Paramount Center for the Arts, which shows art films, stages concerts and offers a gallery upstairs.
Having a gallery and a studio in Peekskill and being in an artists’ community have other benefits as Well. “It’s our whole social life,” Ms. DeVito said. “For me, I made a lot of my friends through the Paramount. These are the people we get together with to share ideas. I really feel a strong sense of community here.”

Excerpted from The New York Times, Sunday, June 3, 2001