local business

Meet Maura Matthews, Artist and Gallery Owner


Have You Had a Chance to Check Out Flourtown's Newest Art Gallery?

Meet local artist , Maura Matthews! You are sure to have seen her work hanging in area restaurants, shops, and peoples' houses. This fall Maura opened the "Pigs Alley Gallery" in Flourtown, realizing her dream to have a space to show work and lead painting classes. Check out this short video!

Describe Your Business

Pigs Alley is both a gallery and a painting studio. I offer painting classes for all ages, birthday parties, ladies' nights.

What Made You Decide to Open This Business?

My husband was looking to rent a new space for his business, and when I looked at one office with him, I started dreaming about opening up my own studio/gallery in the area. Two weeks later, I saw the "For Rent" sign at 806 Bethlehem Pike and jumped on it!

Why Did You Choose This Profession?

I never thought "artist" could be my profession, but I'm proud to say that it is! It definitely helps to have a spouse who is the "bread-winner" for our family, but I am hopeful that my passion for art will lead to a career that is both enjoyable and profitable.

What Drives You to Do What You Do? What Motivates You?

I love sharing my love for "seeing" the world in terms of contrasts, colors and compositions with others. Our world is becoming increasingly visual -- everyone with phones is a photographer now! -- and I love helping people translate that appreciation for what they see into painting. I'm driven to paint by a need to be creative, and the desire to make things appear 3-dimensional with paint (I love to see how much I can do with as little paint / as few strokes as possible). It's very rewarding when it goes right, and I love enabling others to experience that rewarding feeling too.

What Has Surprised You Most When Owning a Business?

At first I was surprised by the "grunt work" involved (taking out trash, cleaning toilet) -- I've been teaching a class at the Whitemarsh Art Center for the past 10 years, and have taken it for granted that someone else does that! But it's just a very small part of the business -- and I'm actually really enjoying the "business" side of things (communications, events, finances), since it makes use of skills gained in past jobs.

What Was It Like When You First Started?

My first official day -- September 19th -- started with an adult oil painting class painting pears in shades of brown and white in the morning, and ended with a birthday party for a bunch of 7-year-old girls painting rainbows and unicorns. Calm morning, crazy afternoon, but all in all a very rewarding day of getting brushes and paints into people's hands and seeing their unique visions. Since then, I've been going in on Mondays and Fridays from 11-1 for "gallery hours", a good time for me to paint and set up projects while being available for anyone who comes by. I'm teaching two classes per week (adult oil painting and afterschool painting), holding "First Friday" paint nights, private paint nights for groups, and birthday parties. I love the variety and hope to add a pre-k class in January.

What Is Something Most People Don't Know About the Business?

A lot of people don't know where the name comes from -- I lived on "Pigs Alley" in Fairmount when I first moved to Philadelphia, and when I moved to Wyndmoor, I registered the URL "pigsalley" to keep the address and created a virtual gallery for my art.

What Would Your Customers Say They Love Most About Your Business?

People seem excited to have a place to paint in the area; they like the feel of the space -- the combination of a working studio and a gallery area; they like that the art projects aren't prescribed (I'm referring to the open-ended nature as "Painting with a Maura twist").

What Are Some Odd Requests You've Had From Clients?

At the studio, the craziest it's gotten is a pinata for a birthday party -- the ceilings are low, but there is a great spot for hanging one!

​​​​​​​In my commissioned painting business, I once thought a customer asked for a painting of "cats on ice", but they meant "Caps -- as in DC hockey team -- on ice". I never did that painting, but I'd be open to it! It's fun to get challenging assignments from people.

What Are Your Goals Over the Next Year?

Right now I have a 6-month lease, and I hope to be able to continue for another 6 months and offer more classes, have a student show, and do summer "camps"/workshops.

What Are Your Greatest Challenges?

Getting people in the door! The space is a little off the beaten path but there is plenty of parking, and I think it's inspiring once inside!

How Long Have You Lived in the Neighborhood?

12 years -- my husband and I moved here from Fairmount when I was pregnant with our oldest daughter.

What Were the Factors That Made You Choose This Neighborhood?

Mostly geographic -- we chose Wyndmoor because it's in walking distance of Chestnut Hill and the train into the city, where I worked at the time, and near my husband's job in Oreland.

What Do You Love Most About the Neighborhood?

What we didn't know when we moved to Wyndmoor was that it is a really special place with a wide range of housing that attracts a diverse group of friendly people who are urban-minded but enjoy "small town" life.

What Are Your Favorite Restaurants in the Neighborhood?

I'm a big fan of Tamarindo's -- and grateful to owner Fernando Sauri for displaying my paintings!

What Is Something Most People Don't Know About You?

I can speak a little Japanese, and I've met Bono.

What’s the Most Memorable Experience You’ve Had Working With a Customer?

A few people have shared comments with me this fall that makes me so glad to be doing this:

- a paint night attendee told me a month later that she had been seeing so many things she wants to paint

- a parent told me their child chose my painting class over any other activity

​​​​​​​- a child in my painting class said "it looks like the sunflowers are dancing" -- a simple but beautiful observation!

Where Are Your Favorite Places to Go in the Neighborhood?

Anything outdoors -- Cisco Park, Morris Arboretum, the Wissahickon, Ft Wash State Park.

Do You Have Any Exciting Plans for the Future That You Want Customers to Know About?

- On view now: "Small Works" (original oil paintings that are 16x20 or smaller and $350 or less)

- Parent/teen paint night Dec 8

- Winter classes (adult oil painting, pre-k painting, afterschool painting) start Jan 5

- First Friday paint nights Jan 5 and Feb 2

Where Can People Buy Your Art if They Aren't Local to the Area?

I do have an etsy shop for online sales.

Pigs Alley Gallery


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Kerry makes it her priority to provide each and every client with dedicated personal service coupled with in-depth market knowledge, experience, and the tenacity to deliver the most favorable terms and best possible price.

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