ART HAPPENED! The new art gallery exhibit in town pretty much says it all: We’ve been awfully busy chasing down an ever-growing To Do List on a short schedule (is there any other kind?). We finally secured a lease for a gallery space—1500 sq ft in the old Bank Building on a prominent Main Street corner—through the generosity of the new building owner. Gasp! A real exhibit space! What do we do now?
A whole lot of heavy lifting is what we’ve been doing. At least that’s what it has felt like at the end of the day. Gathering up display fixtures and furniture, making sidewalk sign-boards, creating promotional materials, signing up artists, and persuading volunteers to help (and volunteers still sought, BTW). Earlier this year we enlisted the fiscal sponsor-ship of Artists of the Okanogan (AOK) to serve as our non-profit umbrella so we could make another run at a grant from Arts Washington (we’ll know in August). Broad community partnerships have also been necessary to help sustain the long-term effort toward the goal.
So there it is: TaDa! An elegant, spacious exhibit space in a historic (1919) building on the most visible corner of Main Street. Five local artists brought their artwork for the July 1 opening: Dan Hulphers’ wood sculpture, Justin Haug’s photographs, Jim Weaver’s watercolors, Barbara Conner-Reed’s abstract oils, Delia Severin’s glass pagodas and Tina Tharp’s iconic Okanogan multi-media works. Whew!
The original plan has been to open the exhibits for one-day only as a “pop-up” art experience on every-other Saturday. Each Saturday event would feature a different roster of five or six new artists. This schedule offers the most exposure for the most artists over five weekends of July & August. Not every Saturday, mind you–time to prepare for back-to-back new installations, Yes? And, anyway, we’re experimenting with the traditional notion of a gallery—what if no one comes
We were wrong. Visitors streamed into the gallery on July 1st — about 65-70 in the six hours the exhibit was open! Clearly, with that kind of response from the public, it didn’t make any sense to take down the abundance of fine Fine Art after closing time and wait two weeks for another show. The artists agreed—well, demanded–to continue the existing show for another Saturday. Our second show on July 8th was likewise a smashing success, so onwards we go!
Therefore: the 49º North Artists Gallery will continue to be open every Saturday through July and August, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Come on downtown and see whaa s’up.
Bring friends & relatives.
Main Street could use a crowd.