Galactic Panther is spreading creativity and goodwill from the far edge of Westover.
Artist Eli Pollard didn’t want to leave Morgantown when he lost his work at WVU a year or so ago, so he did just what anyone would do: bought a building in Westover and opened an art gallery.
“I’ve run galleries in the past and have always enjoyed it,” Pollard says. “It’s something that I’m passionate about and love, so I decided to go for it.”
Galactic Panther opened in December with the start of what promises to be an interesting mix on the walls and shelves. Pollard has a soft spot for “outsider art” and for established and emerging local artists—but he also has eclectic, enthusiastic tastes and doesn’t limit himself geographically. So you’ll find familiar names and styles, but you’ll also find artists you won’t see anywhere else around: like Maryland musicians and brothers David Fair, who paints, and Jad Fair, who makes paper cut-outs, both doing arresting work.
“I have some work coming in from Tennessee that’s beautiful landscapes and abstract figurative works,” Pollard says. “And I’ve got some gorgeous work coming from Greece—beautiful use of color, somebody who you can tell is just in love with the landscape, in love with the figures that they’re painting and creating gorgeous work I can’t resist and I hope other people won’t be able to either.” He’s excited to receive a first delivery soon from an artist in Africa, a sewing machine repairman who makes incredibly detailed drawings of sewing machine and typewriter parts.
Galactic Panther also carries locally made items that are beautiful and functional, like pottery by Lisa Giuliani and furniture by Scott Frederick.
Supporting artists feels good, but there’s more than that to feel good about at Galactic Panther: Pollard donates a portion of revenues to organizations that fight hunger and poverty locally. After just its first month in business, the gallery donated more than $130 to local food pantry Pantry Plus More.
At the time of this post, Galactic Panther doesn’t have a big sign yet. Look for it just past Grandma’s Kitchen and on the other side of Dunkard Avenue, near the Westover–Granville line. Check the gallery out 4–7 p.m. any Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday—and post-COVID, look for art openings, film screenings, live music, and more.