When outdoor clothing shop Denali shuttered its location in downtown Branford two years ago, it left a hole in the community. Until a new tenant moves in, the Branford Arts & Cultural Alliance (BACA) has stepped in to transform the space into a pop-up art gallery for the summer.

Among its initiatives to make art accessible for all, the alliance is putting the finishing touches on the pop-up at 1004 Main Street. The BACA Gallery will host 35 area artists showing all kinds of media from photography to paintings and sculpture July 1 through the end of August. Hours will be Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 to 5.

Frank Carrano, alliance president, said they organized a holiday window display in this space in December, with the landlord’s blessing, that was very popular. They also displayed art in the streetfront windows for a few months this year before getting permission to use

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Jen Hatcher has always believed in embracing the present moment. And that appreciation led the local yoga teacher and environmental volunteer to explore the world of photography.

It seemed a creative way of capturing these precious pieces of her life for posterity.

“I’ve always loved taking pictures of people and places. As I got older, I got more into places, memories of our family trips and then fell in love with macro photography too,” she said.

“In the early 2000s, I started a photo blog and was able to connect with other photographers to expand my photography interest and knowledge.”

Hatcher continued to develop her skills, branching out to create cards and works of art featuring her images.

“I started making cards with my photos and had many friends and family buying them so I started sharing with the public online and at festivals. I even had some

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A sampling of kitchen utensils made by Orran Scruggs. Scruggs is an artist both a painter and musician. He also does ceramics, creative marketing, photography, and advertising graphic work. He had always explored different artistic mediums whether acrylics, watercolors, oil, or clay. He even made jewelry for a minute. And, now, he makes and sells spoons and other wooden cooking utensils. (Jay Hare/Dothan Eagle via AP)


When his favorite spatula broke, Orran Scruggs decided to recreate it from some wood he had on hand.

“I took on the task of making it myself and it came out looking really good,” Scruggs said.

Scruggs didn’t have much woodworking experience beyond helping his friend and mentor Charlie Mato-Toyela make Native American flutes. The two met at an art show and clicked. Before long, Scruggs was helping his friend make wooden flutes and taking home the leftover

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