A stylish red barn can be found at 6456 Collamer Road in East Syracuse. Outside, old-fashioned brick-red and black benches complement this large structure from the 1860s. Decorative wooden birdhouses sit on top of white columns along an adjacent parking lot. A small gazebo and a shallow pond will push you to wonder: What’s inside?
Ceiling lights create a white glow. Music, from Latin to soft rock, plays softly. Wooden floors creak quietly beneath your steps, and colorful artwork lines white walls. Take a seat around a table made of wood or stone or walk up to the counter for a beverage, snack or meal. There you’ll meet Eve Troncone, founder and sole employee of the venue.
This barn, better known as Eve Galleria, combines the familiarity of a café (equipped with free Wi-Fi) with the elegance of an art gallery. Brooklyn-born Troncone, who’s lived in Central New York for 20 years, opened Eve Galleria about five months ago.
“I love coffee and people, and I’m an interior designer and an artist,” says Troncone. “This is a great location to bring it all together. It’s a place where people can meet, socialize, and enjoy art and food.”
Eve Galleria emphasizes local products and local talents. Coffee is supplied by Shamballa Café & Coffee Roasters in Baldwinsville, and breads come from Green Hills Farms in Syracuse. Pastries, the majority of which are made from scratch, are baked every other day and range from the simplest chocolate chip cookie to an elaborate quiche of vegetables and cheese. Try a Panini, a Belgian waffle or soup. There’s also fresh fruit and salad available.
“I shop every day, so it’s fresh every day,” says Troncone. “Customers make suggestions like meatball sandwiches or tortellini soup, which usually become the ‘Special of the Day.’” Perhaps what makes Eve Galleria so warm and welcoming is its display of art, which changes every month or so. Currently, Syracuse artist Ross Deacon has wall space dedicated to his woodworked portraits of homes, landmarks (including Yankee Stadium) and colleges. Tully artist John Bishop has a corner dedicated to his digital photography with very colorful and geometric-looking characteristics. Troncone’s artwork spreads across a wall—a mixture of modern, abstract and impressionistic work in acrylic painting done with a palette knife.
Aside from artwork on Eve Galleria’s inner perimeters, there’s artwork throughout the room crafted by other Central New Yorkers. Dorothy E. Wilcox’s large feather earrings in bright blues, pinks and purples, and Carol Gibbons’ long, lightweight necklaces with pendants in dull grays and shiny peaches are for sale. Troncone also sells her own handcrafted handbags, made from burlap coffee bean bags and leather, and hand-painted drinking glasses.
“There’s just so much talent here,” says Troncone. “Even though all of this art is from this area, people have also contacted me from California. I’m open to anyone coming in here.”
Craigslist has helped Troncone find talent, she says. When an artist contacts her, she interviews them and discusses a potential art show or a display of their work. In addition, Eve Galleria welcomes all kinds of receptions, such as a bridal shower and an 80th birthday party in June. May’s artist will be Syracusan Barre Hunt ONeill.
Although Troncone is technically her sole employee, she often receives help from designers who work on the second level of the barn, including interior designer and decorator Cheryle Jepson from LaFayette. “Some people have their own businesses here, so if I’m ever in a bind, they’re always around to help, which is really great,” says Troncone. “But as time goes on, I’ll probably need somebody—maybe an artist here that wants some more involvement or a student.”
Troncone also teaches an adult education program at BOCES in Liverpool, where she has been an art and interior design teacher for the past four years. She began painting in the 1980s in Syracuse, and has had artwork purchased from places as far away as California and Australia. She graduated from Syracuse University and taught art and design classes to children, from ages 5 to 12, in the Say Yes to Education Program for one year.
“It feels like I’ve been painting my whole life,” says Troncone. “It’s one of those things that just seem innate.”
While Eve Galleria is currently only using the 1,500-square-foot café area, it is quickly expanding to fill the entire 5,500 square feet of the barn. Upstairs, across from the designer station, there’s a larger area available for art shows. There are also four loft areas, which will be used as meeting spots throughout the three-story barn.
Chuck Stebbins, from East Syracuse, visits Eve Galleria once or twice a week. “I like the cookies and muffins and everything else that goes with a cup of coffee,” says Stebbins. “I like the ambiance and the camaraderie with Eve. Anyone can go in there, play some Scrabble, converse over coffee and sweets. It’s great.”
Sharon Rose, from Syracuse, watched from the very beginning as the old barn morphed into Eve Galleria. “I stopped in to see what was happening,” says Rose. “I met the proprietor and immediately bonded with her. I love the atmosphere and the different artwork. There’s something here for everyone: cookies, coffee or conversation.”
Troncone’s inspiration came from a place that’s now closed: The Jerry Mill in Manchester, Vt. As a child with her parents, she often visited this barn that was full of food, art and gifts that were brought in by local vendors. “I thought that sometime in my life, it would be cool to have such a destination,” says Troncone. “So here I am trying to give it my best shot.”
Eve Galleria is open Mondays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meetings and receptions are held outside those times as well. For more information, contact Eve Troncone at 463- 0216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All about Eve: Owner Eve Troncone has transformed this red barn in East Syracuse into an eponymous art gallery and café.