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One might ask, “What do a retail fuel oil company and an art gallery have in common?”
In the case of The Consumers Fuel Company and The Finch Gallery, both situated at the bottom of Main Street in Belfast, the answer would be “marriage.” John Holmes, born and raised in Belfast, and Jerri Finch, who moved to Belfast in 1981, met, fell in love, and got married. Together, they have changed the face of that particular triangle of land.
The iconic 1869 Consumers Fuel building is arguably the most photographed building in Belfast. Jerri maintains the signage on the brick façade. John tends the espaliered volunteer apple tree growing up the rear of the building. And together, the couple plant the window boxes and the side garden. They also rent space to the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce, helping further to welcome people to Belfast.
John continues to operate The Consumers Fuel Company, a family-owned business. The business, started in 1911, has grown with the times. Initially they offered delivery of coal and wood. Today, with 14 employees, Consumers Fuel provides heating oil and L.P. gas to homes and businesses alike in Waldo County.
Jerri opened the Finch Gallery three years ago, between Federal and Main Street. She has revamped the former garage that John’s father moved from the Route 1 bypass in 1961. The interior is well lit, and her paintings hang gracefully on the walls that she installed in a manner that preserves the integrity of the rustic building. The gallery is a seasonal one. This year, the Finch Gallery will open June 22 through the end of September.
Jerri has developed a reputation in the midcoast area as a fine arts painter. Her new work continues to reflect the life around her. The gallery offers a collection of her original oils, as well as prints and cards of her work. Also showcased are the works of sculptor Jay Hoagland of Rockport.
You can see more of Jerri’s work at jerrifinch.com and on Facebook. She can also be reached at 207-338-1060. You can explore the services that Consumers Fuel offers at consumersfuel.com, call 207-338-2000, or stop in anytime.
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