Several years ago, I wanted to create a cultural arts center in a beautiful, albeit older bank building in our former hometown. The idea was to bring together art, photography, and music under one roof, but the timing wasn’t right, and the concept was set aside. While disappointing, the notion of doing this never left my imagination, and the first week of October will finally come to fruition. We’ve named the store “The Crossroads Guitars & Art”, as in many ways it represents the intersection of creativity. We moved to Gilbertsville PA last November, a small but growing community about an hour northwest of Philadelphia and leased a 3,600 square foot facility on busy route 73. After months of renovations, we are ready to open the doors to the public. The dream has become reality!
An “Arts Experience” Like No Other
There is a driving motivation behind opening the store, and that is to help find an audience for my incredibly talented son Derek, showcasing his original digital art. We’ve also brought back to life a collection of stunning photographs taken in and around La Paz, Bolivia in 1986 by my wife Alejandra Palenque and will be presenting her outstanding newer works as well. Other artists will be invited to engage in a “Gallery Takeover,” including an opening event and access to the lovely room depicted above. And yes, there will be guitars, both nylon and steel string, cajons, digital pianos and accessories. Add to that music lesson rooms, a live performance stage, workshops, master classes and educational seminars, and you have the making of a true experiential space for our patrons. I’ve traveled the country these past 40 years and haven’t seen this combination of products and services anywhere. But what you won’t find is clutter, or every square inch attempting to be monetized. It’s a sizeable and inviting showroom, beckoning people from all walks of life to come in, relax, and enjoy themselves.
Contributing to the Community
It was five years ago that I was diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer and underwent intense chemotherapy and radical surgery to save my life. That was followed by two difficult years of chronic infections until a second surgery repaired the problem (thankfully that one was covered under warranty). While I’m still the same “Type A” salesman I’ve always been, building Reflex Marketing, Music Ship and Bodhi Guitars over the past few years, cancer did change something in my world view, especially concerning money. For now, and in the future, earnings are only as good as what they can do to help my extended family, coworkers, and now the local community. The opportunity to facilitate pleasure and learning in an inclusive environment drives my own happiness these days, and my hope is that those in the surrounding area respond positively to all we have to offer.
Inviting, Accessible and Welcoming
Without question, COVID kept us apart, and now it’s time to come back together. If you are anywhere near our area, please stop in, pull up a chair and grab a guitar. Spend some time pondering the various art that fills the store. Take a lesson, attend a gallery opening, participate in a master class, or just relax and enjoy the chill vibe. My new corporate office is here, so most days when I’m not traveling, I’ll be here to greet you. Indeed, good things sometimes take time, and this was one of them. Years after conception, we open our doors with great anticipation and joy in our hearts. Whatever additional time I am granted on this earth will be spent spreading a positive message of cultural activation and creating a meaningful experience for arts enthusiasts of all ages. If you’re not nearby, please do me a big favor and “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. Peace out!
P.S. – please take a few moments and enjoy this short reel from our recent open house!