Marion dentist office shows off local artists with in-house gallery

Aug 16, 2020

MARION — Here’s a riddle: A patient walks into a dentist’s office, but ends up in a miniature art gallery and sees the work of a local photographer. Are they lost? 

No, they just walked into All Hands Dentistry on Route 6.

The new family practice, opened by wife and husband duo Dr. Allyce Sullivan and practice manager Andre Sullivan, has a waiting room that doubles as an art gallery and features a local artist from the Tri-Town and beyond.

“It adds a little color to our waiting room,” Andre said.

He came up with the idea from a gallery he visited while living in Rhode Island. The owner had his own pieces on the walls, but would create a miniature gallery in the middle of his space for other artists. 

“I said ‘hey maybe we can adapt this,’” Andre said.

With notes hanging on the wall next to each photo that contain a description and price, patients can not only view the photos, but buy them as well. 

Andre plans to have an opening reception for each new artist that is featured, much like how a normal gallery would.

The current artist hanging in the gallery is Wareham photographer Russell Saunders.

The canvas prints hanging on the walls all featured coastal subjects, like seagulls, a lighthouse and shorefront. 

“I was tickled pink to be able to put my work up here,” Saunders said.

The freelance digital photographer has been shooting photos ever since he was a kid. His mother worked for Polaroid and would bring home products for him to test out.

He went on to work for the company for 33 years. In the ’90s, he made the switch to digital photography.

His snapshots of the South Coast, Italy, Aruba, the Cayman Island and Dominican Republic have been displayed throughout the Southeastern region of the state, including the Marion Arts Center.

“This is wonderful — no question,” Saunders said.

Andre plans to rotate out the artists every three months. 

In the meantime, business has been going steady for the practice since it opened up six weeks ago.

Although Andre was a bit nervous about if people wanted to be seen, he said it has been the exact opposite.

It helps him and the other workers that new state and federal regulations for coronavirus prevention are not far off from how they normally operate.

“It’s what we’ve always been trained to address,” Andre said.

Securing an office space to open in was a completely different task.

Andre said it was hard to find a space that can accommodate the spatial needs of a dentist’s office.

From Bourne Bridge to Bellingham, there were only 10 office spaces that the practice could open in.

Ultimately, the two chose Marion because the two felt the town needed a dentist.

And now it has a new art gallery, too.

The opening reception for Russell Saunders exhibition at All Hands Dentistry will be on Friday, Sept. 11 from 3 to 7 p.m. The grand opening of the All Hands Dentistry will be on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.