Co-founder of Main Branch Gallery in Grayling retires but still will have photos on display
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
A co-founder for the Main Branch Gallery in downtown Grayling is moving on to explore future endeavors in life, but his work will still be on display for art lovers to admire and purchase.
Ken Wright founded the Main Branch Gallery in 2011 with internationally known wildlife artist Kim Diment of Grayling.
Wright retired as of December 31 as a gallery owner, but is still staying involved as an artist with his photography on display.
“I’m still going to be involved with my work here at the gallery, and I will be available to help out when somebody needs help,” he said.
Wright started as a photographer in 1956.
“My dad gave me a 35-millimeter camera when I graduated from high school, and I’ve been an avid photographer since then,” he said.
He started his career as a professional photographer in 2006. At the time, Wright, Diment, Terry Dickinson, and other artists had their art on display at Apollo’s Lyre. Dickinson moved on to become the director of the AuSable Artisan Village.
In 2007, Wright closed down Industrial Controls, located in the Grayling Industrial Parks, where he served as manufacturer’s representative for electrical and electronic products, which were sold statewide.
The Main Branch Gallery opened in the Gamble Corner Building on May 11, 2011. The gallery features 25 artists from the Great Lakes region whose work is related to animals and nature.
The Main Branch Gallery moved to its current location at 208 E Michigan Avenue in September 2013.
Wright, who will turn 82 in May, said it is simply time to step away from the day-to-day operations of the gallery.
“I think it’s time to back off a little bit,” he said.
Wright is engaged to Clare Spaulding, who is an artist and jewelry maker, and would prefer to focus on other activities.
“I would like to not be tied to the gallery full-time like I have been,” he said.
Wright will continue as staff photographer for Author Quest, which is an educational camp run by his son, Christopher Wright, also known by the pen names Johnathan Rand and Christopher Knight. He will also be continuing as the photographer for the Senior Gazette, a monthly publication put out by the Crawford County Commission on Aging and Grayling Senior Center.
Main Branch Gallery employee Marge Schreiner is stepping up her duties, handling data entry for accounting purposes as well as tracking inventory.
“Those are two big responsibilities that I’ll be glad to turnover, because those are really important,” Wright said.
Gallery employees Marcia Koppa and Jerry Gosnell are also taking on additional duties.
“We’re super lucky to have people who want to come in and help,” Diment said. “It’s very much feels like a family.”
Diment is pleased with the art scene established through the gallery and at the AuSable Artisan Village.
“I think the arts in downtown Grayling has done really well and it has a lot to do with a core of artists that we have here,” she said.
After completing activities for the end of year, Diment plans to close the galley in late February and most of March, when business is slow, for maintenance on the interior of the building.
“It’s just to refurbish and do a couple things to freshen it up in here,” she said.
The gallery, however, will be open by appointments during that time prior to the start of the spring and summer tourist season.