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Looking lively in LARC
by MATTHEW NASH
With so many artists in Sequim, Shirley Mercer felt one gallery in town wasn’t enough.
Her Local Artist Resource Center, or LARC, opened its doors Friday, Feb. 1, to much acclaim from interested art connoisseurs. The new gallery hosts more than 25 artists working in a variety of mediums.
“We’ve had great support and encouragement so far,” Mercer said.
“The artists are very happy that they have a good place to show their work and it’s affordable for them.”
Photographer Judy Larimore said she’s excited for the opportunity to display her work again in a gallery.
She retired here 10 years ago from Monterey, Calif., where she owned her own gallery.
“I figured it was time to get back into it,” Larimore said. “People always ask me about where to get my photos. This is that opportunity.”
Husband and wife LeRoy and Janet Beers said it just felt right to display their photo-realistic watercolor works in the new gallery.
“It’s a good ego trip,” Janet Beers joked. “But it’s a necessary thing. It took a special amount of time developing this (her art), so I need to show it off.”
Carol Yada, a painter for 20 years, said all of the artists are excited for the opportunity to be in a new space and that their excitement will continue for the foreseeable future. She is branching out to display her watercolors in the gallery despite usually working primarily in oils.
“I had taken some time off, but I thought now was the time to be back in it,” Yada said.
The gallery is currently full with a waiting list available.
Mercer said her first goal to open and fill the gallery is complete and she next wants to focus on developing art classes and an affordable frame and mat shop with some basic art supplies.
All artists rent wall space, but are not juried to join.
Mercer said she leaves the amount of participation in the gallery to each artist.
“If they want to come and help, it frees me up to work on other things,” she said.
Yada plans to visit often and help out and hopes others take a sense of ownership and want to volunteer, too.
LARC is a member of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, Sequim Open Aire Market and Sequim Arts and plans to continue participating in the First Friday Art Walk.