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Greensburg’s new Green Beacon Gallery gallery aims to encompass art, music, more

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Shirley McMarlin

From left: Kevin Carpenter, Phil Harrold and Steve Harrold are planning to open Green Beacon Gallery, an art and music space in downtown Greensburg.

Three young entrepreneurs have ambitious plans for a new art and music space in downtown Greensburg.

The name is painted on the window and art already fills the walls of the Green Beacon Gallery at 235 W. Pittsburgh St., but there's no date yet for when the doors will open.

That's a matter of finishing the permit process and inspections, say the founders — brothers Phil and Steve Harrold and their friend Kevin Carpenter, all of Greensburg.

The three, all in their early 30s, envision a space much like the former Keynote Cafe in Jeannette, where musicians too young for the bar circuit can play, where local artists can sell their work and where people can gather in a creative atmosphere for events like paint nights and classes.

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Shirley McMarlin

From left: Steve Harrold, Kevin Carpenter and Phil Harrold, co-founders of Green Beacon Gallery in Greensburg.

The building has upstairs rooms that are being rented as artist studios and a basement they envision as a recording studio. There's outdoor space in the back where they plan to stage more music and other events.

Proximity to the Seton Hill University Art Center, visible from the rear of the building, helped draw the partners to the site.

They are are working on launching a livestream entertainment series using Twitch, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook that would feature not just music, but all kinds of entertainment, from comedy and magic to and performance art and what Carpenter calls "odd one-acts."

Phil Harrold admits that the undertaking is "a multi-headed monster," but it brings together the trio's many creative interests under one roof.

"It's the culmination of many ideas, and a place to do that on our own and with other people — and not bother our roommates or neighbors," Carpenter said.

Calling all artists

The Harrold brothers, both Hempfield Area High School graduates, started playing in bands before they hit their teens.

Phil started booking local bands as a teen and went on to study show production and touring at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla., which specializes in media and entertainment-related degree programs.

He and Carpenter were "Craigslist roommates" in Pittsburgh, where the latter was studying graphic design at the former Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Steve has an associate of arts degree in photography from Westmoreland County Community College and has studied business and engineering.

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Shirley McMarlin

Co-founder Kevin Carpenter views art for sale in the Green Beacon Gallery in Greensburg.

While preparing for the gallery opening, the Harrolds and Carpenter are looking for more artists to display their work and for performers interested in the livestream concept. They've rented two of the six studio spaces and Carpenter currently uses a third.

Their first studio tenant is Stephanie Oplinger of Hunker, who is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree from California University of Pennsylvania and whose work has been seen in numerous shows and galleries around the area. One Green Beacon wall displays works she is offering for sale.

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Shirley McMarlin

Work by Stephanie Oplinger of Hunker, the first tenant of an artist studio at Green Beacon Gallery in Greensburg.

Oplinger created "The Spoon Dress," a full-length mermaid gown covered in plastic spoons painted gold, silver and black for an ombre effect. The piece won the Sculpture Award in this summer's virtual Westmoreland Art Nationals WCCC exhibit.

Egalitarian approach

The gallery location was a big draw for Oplinger: "Being in downtown Greensburg will definitely help me get my name out there and, hopefully, sell some art."

The Harrolds saved one corner of the gallery for an homage to their father, the late Keith Harrold, known in Greensburg as a drummer, DJ, and supporter of The Palace Theater and Westmoreland Cultural Trust. The elder Harrold also was a longtime sales representative for Word Records. A gold record he earned for his work hangs amid the photos and other memorabilia.

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Shirley McMarlin

From left: Steve and Phil Harrold with memorabilia from their father, the late Keith Harrold, in Green Beacon Gallery in Greensburg.

But there's still room on the walls. Steve says they first considered curating what they accepted but ultimately decided to take a more egalitarian approach.

"A lot of galleries decide what you see and what's good, but we weren't comfortable doing that," Carpenter says.

"We're not art snobs and we're gonna keep it that way," Phil said.

They're banking on the recent growth of Greensburg's art and music scene continuing when pandemic restrictions end. The initials of the gallery name, "GBG," give a nod to the popular shorthand reference to the city.

Artists interested in renting a studio or displaying their work, or anyone interested in seeing available works can call 724-237-2737 or visit greenbeacongallery.com.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Art & Museums | Westmoreland

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