Alta Luna Gallery in Bristol is a place where art lovers can get lost, and found

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As an artist, Jane Dever recognizes that artists don’t create their works because they want to, they do it because they have to.

“It’s the artist’s blood on the page,” Ms. Dever said. “When you share a piece of art, you share a piece of yourself.”

Ms. Dever recently opened a new salon-style gallery in Bristol called Alta Luna, where she and other artists can share their works. Since opening the gallery in November, she said that some of the best local artists have shown interest.

“I am attracting good art and good artists,” Ms. Dever said.

The name, Alta Luna, which translates to “high moon” was chosen nearly as quickly as the decision to open the gallery above Green River Silver Company at 297 Hope St.

“I was taking down a show I had at Angelina’s (coffee shop) and saw the space next door. I wondered what was going on up there,” she said of the idea to turn the spot into a gallery.

Within a few weeks, the idea came to fruition and Alta Luna became Bristol’s latest contribution to the local art scene.

“We had a huge turnout for the holiday stroll. People love the light, the spirit and feeling of the place,” Ms. Dever said.

Besides Ms. Dever’s own paintings that depict the bond between mother and child, the gallery holds a variety of works including paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures and mixed media.

Opening Alta Luna was a lifelong dream for Ms. Dever.

“Nine years ago I turned to painting as a hobby to gain a sense of relief,” Ms. Dever said. “Only when I paint, I find the answers that I need. I lose myself and I find myself. It’s ridiculous, but that’s how it is.”

On Jan. 12, the Alta Luna Gallery will begin a juried exhibit entitled Mid-winter Blues. The theme is designed to capture the mood and colors of the season. From Feb. 4 through March 10, the gallery will host works from “four of the best” illustrators of children’s books, with artist events scheduled throughout the show.

The gallery, said Ms. Dever, is not a co-op, which is also an attractive feature that draws talented artists. The carpeted space is bright, open and airy, with a sitting area that is inviting to guests who want to view the works of art in a comfortable environment.

“I don’t want it to be restrictive,” Ms. Dever said of her gallery style. “People just come up to sit and rest.”

Exhibit pieces can run from $10 to several thousand dollars, Ms. Dever said. The gallery also serves clients who want to see more works of a specific artist or who need help in selecting artwork to complement their home or business décor.

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