Somerhill Gallery

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Somerhill Gallery
Somerhill Interior Feb2009.jpg
Somerhill Gallery Main Salon
Location303 S Roxboro St, Durham, NC, North Carolina,  United States
Coordinates35°59′29″N 78°53′58″W / 35.99138°N 78.899581°W / 35.99138; -78.899581
TypeContemporary art
DirectorJoseph D. Rowand
ArchitectPhilip Szostak

Somerhill Gallery was a contemporary art gallery based in Durham, North Carolina owned by Joseph D. Rowand. Founded in 1972, the gallery shut its doors due to bankruptcy and failure to pay its artists in 2010.[1]

Abstract and representational artwork in all visual disciplines was on display in the gallery's 9,600-square-foot (890 m2) setting. Somerhill featured fine art glass and jewelry, a contemporary photography gallery, an open-air glass atrium which stood at the center of the main salon where featured exhibitions were shown. The gallery also featured white oak floors, fabric walls and over 40 skylights.

Exhibited artists include Herb Jackson, Maud Gatewood, John Beerman, Claude Howell, Carol Bechtel, and Peter Butler.



Somerhill Gallery was founded in April 1972 by Joseph Rowand.[2] Its first location was in a small shopping center called "StrawValley" between the cities of Durham, NC and Chapel Hill, NC. The gallery expanded three times in this location.


Somerhill Gallery moved to 1800 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1989. It was located in the Eastgate Shopping Center[2] and built by architect Phil Szostak. The gallery stayed in this location for over 18 years. During this time they employed Howard Franklin. Not the whole time, but for a specific subset of this time often referred to as "the good times".


In June 2008, Somerhill Gallery moved to 303 S Roxboro Street, The Venable Center, Durham, NC. As of 2010, Both Somerhill and its owner Joe Rowand have declared bankruptcy and Rowand was the subject of a feature article in Durham's Independent Magazine, which divulged the history of years of failure to pay his artistic stable their due, all the while paying himself in excess of $15,000 per month. The final debts owed by the gallery and Rowand approach well over a million dollars.[3]



  1. ^ Historic Preservation Society of Durham: "Brighter Leaves: Celebrating the Arts in Durham, North Carolina." Pages 197 and 216. Historic Preservation Society of Durham, 2008. ASIN: B001G6NLVM
  2. ^ a b "Art galThe Chapel Hill News April 6, 2008". Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved 2009-03-09. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Somerhill Gallery Moves Into New Space in Durham, NC -- Carolina Arts July 2008". Retrieved 2009-03-07.

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