Arts and Entertainment

New gallery to open in February

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Sequim artists will soon have a new place to display and sell their work.


Shirley Mercer, herself an artist, is setting up a gallery at 166 E. Bell St.


Mercer said she first pursued the idea because she wants a permanent place to hang her own work, “but I wasn’t finding anything.”


A summer spent at the Open Aire Market convinced her there was an opportunity to sell her art, but funding her own gallery was going to be tough.


In her new gallery, other artists will share the cost by paying for space where they can hang their own works. The fee: $11 a month per linear foot.


Mercer noted that most galleries charge a sales commission. “I felt that kind of punishes the artist for doing well,” she said. “The more they sell the more they have to pay.”


To test the waters, Mercer put out a call to artists to gather Thursday, Dec. 6.


A number of local artists signed on, including Dee Green, Diana Miller and Bettye Tabain. “We rented out enough space,” Mercer said after the meeting. “We have a gallery.”


Mercer said the new gallery, which will open in February 2013, “isn’t a co-op.”


“It’s going to be a manned gallery,” she said. In addition to the artwork on display, the space also will be available for holding classes and meetings. Mercer also plans to have a small matting and framing room and will offer discounted supplies for sale to the artists.


“There are so many art organizations,” Mercer said, “and they do a great job, but they’re more about what the artist can do for the organization. I’m more about what can I do for the artists.”


With the contracts in hand, Mercer is sprucing up the space, including fresh paint and new light fixtures.

For more information, call 460-9874.


Reach Mark Couhig at



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