I decided to dive headfirst into my blogging experience by doing an interview with an art gallery owner in Bordentown. I originally thought I’d try to speak to the owner of The Artful Deposit about the new Tom Kelly exhibition. The more I thought about it though, the more uncomfortable I became. I could not help but think as a young broke college student just getting into journalism I would feel completely out of my element at a gallery that was so far out of my price range and artistic taste (though I do appreciate the artistic talent of those showing in the gallery.) That is when I landed on the eclectic gallery that is Square Peg Round Hole.
My own brother, Ryan Moore, 26 of Bordentown, has been drawing since as far back as I can remember but his artwork is tailored for a specific type of audience and would normally not fit into the galleries in Bordentown because of their particular aesthetic qualities.
Then one day he happened upon a chance to show his artwork to Cindy Ridolfino, a co-owner of Square Peg, an artist herself, and a recovering addict. He landed two spots in the gallery and, more importantly, received what every artist is looking for: validation. The idea that knowing someone out there actually sees something worthwhile in your stuff.
I suppose that’s what I like so much about Square Peg and the owners. They have the ability to make you feel supported in your endeavors. I called the gallery to request an interview (my first real attempt at journalism outside of the Rowan University campus.) I was nervous, I repeated myself a lot but when I asked, co-owner Woody Speakman responded immediately, “Absolutely. When can you be here?”
Woody Speakman is also a recovering addict, having successfully been sober for 12 years. He informed me that the gallery has been open for about a year and is a two mission store. Half of the store is for art consignment. Anyone accepted into the gallery can hang their art on the wall, free of charge and at their own pricing. The commission from any piece sold is split, for the most part, 50/50 between the artist and the gallery.
The other half of the store is for recovery. The recovery side contains gifts, coins, apparel and literature for all the 12 step recovery. An idea which is heavily influenced by Ridolfino’s and Speakman’s pasts with battling addiction.
When I asked Cindy what particularly interests her when deciding to choose a piece of art she said, “I don’t particularly look for traditional art because you can put that anywhere. I like stuff that’s different because it helps a person,” a theme that goes along with the mantra of recovery. But don’t get it wrong, anyone can come to the gallery to try to show their art whether they are recovering from addiction, currently using, or never even touched any substance in their life. Square Peg Round Hole is about the art itself. “We are just like everybody else,” says Ridolfino.
Square Peg is very connected to the idea of positivity and good vibes. It’s a bright gallery with a mixture of art mediums as well as lovely jewelry display. The thing I noticed most of all, however, was the amount of people who stopped in to say hi. The store seems to radiate a welcoming glow for anyone from any walk of life. According to Ridolfino, “We have art here from a 13 year old girl to a 90 year old woman.” There’s no elitism and no attached stereotype of what someone would typically expect an art gallery to be like. Square Peg Round Hole is what it is, it’s as simple as that.