Although the one-of-a-kind offerings will be ever-changing, the gallery strives to offer a variety of thought-provoking and accessible work; a little something for everyone.
Real Eyes Gallery is located at the site of the historic St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church, originally built as a Congregational Church in 1848. The Congregational Church, purchased by Irish Catholics, relocated down the street to become the first Roman Catholic church in the early 1870s. In 1902, the church’s spire was removed and a storefront replaced the front half of St. Charles by the Simmons family. Chair and casket makers, the Simmons family opened the space as a furniture store. In 1973, the Riley family purchased the store from the Simmons, continuing to run the furniture store until 2013 when Real Eye Gallery owner Bill Riley took ownership of the building. The 15,000 sqft space acted as Riley’s residence studio while undergoing renovations until the opening of Real Eyes Gallery in June 2018.
About the Owners
Bill & Francie Anne Riley come from 30 years of Theater experience in NYC. They have worked on projects in forums such as Broadway, film, television, and the Metropolitan Opera. Through Fine arts networking, the Rileys found an overwhelming underrepresentation of fine artists in their work. In addition to producing their own artwork, the Rileys have admired, met, conversed with, and mentored artists throughout their careers, the accumulated experiences now influencing their gallery work.
The Rileys have completely renovated the gallery with extensive upgrades including floating walls and built-in gallery lighting. Francie Riley said, “We are elated to provide a space for local and international artists to display work, much of which has never before been seen.”
“This has been a dream of mine since I was very young and my mother, Phyllis, owned the store here. I would look at the architecture and think, I would love to make art in this amazing place” Said Bill Riley. That dream has taken many years of hard work and perseverance but it has finally manifested and Real Eyes Gallery opened June 2nd, 2018 with two (2) art gallery spaces which are open to the public and private artist studios for the new owners.
Berkshire Fine Arts