Arts & Entertainment - November 30, 2011

Artscene: New art gallery opens in downtown Menlo

by Jane Knoerle

The new Erricson-Himmelberger art gallery at 855 Santa Cruz Ave. in downtown Menlo Park has reclaimed the former site of, Reclaim, an eco-friendly home furnishings store, which closed earlier this year.

"We made very few changes to the interior," says co-owner David Himmelberger. "The space had a warm feel. The walls, painted in three different colors — yellow, sage green and auburn — are a wonderful background for art."

The new gallery will display "all kinds of art: paintings, sculpture, graphic works, photography ... a full range of what people in the artistic world create," says Mr. Himmelberger.

The gallery features those who have created their own identity, he says, mentioning the late Leo Holub, former head of the department of photography at Stanford University, and John Mancini, a Peninsula artist noted for his oil paintings.

The owners are pleased with the reception their new business has received. "The response from the community has been great," says Mr. Himmelberger, who says the partners hope to create a space and environment in the gallery that people will want to revisit.

While some galleries flaunt their famous artists, the paintings at the Erricson-Himmelberger do not carry the artists' name. "We want you to come and look and just see what you like," says Mr. Himmelberger.

The owners intend to reach out to young people on a budget. "You don't have to mortgage your house" to buy good art. It's possible to begin collecting with a few hundred dollars, they say.

Mr. Himmelberger and his business partner, Louise Erricson, are longtime gallery owners. They had Gallery Europa in Palo Alto for several years, then moved to Sutter Street in San Francisco. They closed that gallery when the lease expired two years ago.

Ms. Erricson is the real artist in the partnership, says Mr. Himmelberger. "Louise is trained as an artist, but I think I have a good eye. And I know everyone (of our artists) personally."

Erricson-Himmelberger gallery is located at 855 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park. The phone number is 566-1006.


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