The Wright Gallery is a traditional fine art gallery in Kennebunkport, Maine that has been in business for 30 years. The gallery was opened in 1985 by Charlie Wright with the help of local artist, Nancy St. Lawrence, who assisted in selecting the original dozen artists to be featured. Located in a 19th century post and beam building in Cape Porpoise Square, pine paneling and hardwood floors provide a perfect backdrop for the traditional artwork it showcases. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy a second floor deck with its view of the harbor and lighthouse. A property expansion in the 1990’s enabled this Kennebunkport art gallery to feature more artists on the gallery’s second floor, by adding a third floor office and living space to the property.
Ahead of his time, Charlie also expanded the gallery’s online presence, building a website for it, as well as linking a web camera placed on the property, showing daily views of Cape Porpoise Harbor. Additionally, he offered to maintain a camera placed by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust on nearby landmark, Goat Island. The KCT’s web camera is located at the lighthouse but controlled from the 3rd floor of the gallery; providing viewers the opportunity to check out weather conditions, tide activity or simply catch a glimpse of Cape Porpoise Harbor when they are missing it.
Over the years, Charlie has also outfitted many local restaurants and hotels with artwork, just one of many ways he is an active member of the Cape Porpoise and Kennebunkport communities. A man of many talents, he is also one of the artists whose work also appears in the gallery. He is an accomplished photographer who enjoys taking photographs of local scenery.
Daughter Bree grew up with a deep appreciation of art and Cape Porpoises’s incredible beauty. In 2000, she began an interior design business, operating next door to the Gallery, and enabling her to be close to her dad. Wright Interiors offers a full range of design services for residential and commercial projects – including arranging existing furnishings, space planning, and new design conceptualization. Bree’s love of her work, fine décor and furnishings and Cape Porpoise’s natural beauty lead to her wanting to create a way visitors could experience all of these things while here. Conversations with Charlie churned the idea of expanding upon the Gallery and combining businesses to further enhance the guest experience.
In late May 2015, The Wright Gallery began offering unique, coastal gifts and décor in addition to fine art. With this partnership, Charlie and Bree are seeking to provide a friendly atmosphere for summer residents, tourists and locals to embrace their love of the southern coast of Maine. They will continue to offer fine art, photographs and prints as well as jewelry, other gift and home accessory items.
In 2020, Alison Smyth, an artist with ties to the gallery going back decades, is taking charge of the gallery bringing it into its next era. Her artist’s eye and fresh approach to this long standing institution will be a welcome addition to Cape Porpoise and the art community here. Alison grew up in Cape Porpoise and Charlie and her have the same love of this wonderful community. Bree will still be next door focusing on Interior Design.