In your coverage of our plans to replace the Ann Coleman Gallery dated April 11 , Sue Spengler states that we have an obligation to people who made contributions to the Ann Coleman Gallery Rebirth Fund and “assumed” that we were going to be replicating the building that was swept away by Irene, as shown on the sign on our empty lot. We all know that in making any assumption you put yourself on a slippery slope. But moving beyond that, the Ann Coleman Gallery Rebirth Fund was created by Nancy Plunkett, a lifelong friend of Ann’s from Hinesburg. In creating the fund in less than 24 hours after Irene hit, it was Nancy’s intent to help Ann get back on her feet from having lost all her work and newly renovated building and hopefully have another gallery, in Wilmington or anywhere for that matter. If Ann did rebuild on the existing site, she had no expectation that the building would be the same, instead, that it would be better and safer from any future flooding.
Ann and I are extremely grateful to Nancy and to all the people who have made contributions to the fund. Some are our personal friends and family and others are from points far and wide who we have never met. Out of respect for them we wish to say that if they feel that they have made a contribution toward something that they would prefer not to support, we will without hesitation or hard feelings return it to them.
Truly, Joe Specht and Ann Coleman