Gallery Row to celebrate 25th year in downtown Gig Harbor

Lifestyles: Business is a collection of artists who paint, collaborate, learn from each other

of the GatewayFebruary 26, 2014 

Artist Kate Larsson sketches flowers at Gallery Row, which is in its 25th year. Larsson has worked there since it moved to Harborview Drive 12 years ago.

KAREN MILLER/GATEWAY PHOTO

What started as a group of painters has blossomed into a rotation of artists, from sculptors to glass blowers and more throughout the years.

Gallery Row, a collaborative art studio at 3102 Harborview Drive, has been in Gig Harbor for 25 years.

“We’re just a really good mix of people,” Sandy Newhouse, a watercolor painter, said of the gallery. “We get along great and have fun together.”

Newhouse, who has been with the gallery for 24 years, has been there for both locations. Gallery Row spent 13 years on the water at what is now Anthony’s Homeport. Then it moved to its spot on Harborview Drive.

It was a loss of a view, but a gain in foot traffic. The new location also opened space for more artists.

After the move, Kate Larsson auditioned to be part of the group of artists.

Larsson spent years working for Xerox. When she came to the gallery, she was part-time. She said the gallery has been flexible with her work schedules throughout the years.

Larsson paints watercolors and says her strength is in composition. She struggles with perspective, she said

Gallery Row has helped Larsson flourish as an artist. She said she appreciates how it challenges each artist to look for those who will bring something different to the space.

“I don’t think that anybody sits in the gallery and rests on their laurels,” Larsson said.

Newhouse is excited to have multi-dimensional artists’ work on display, such as glass, sculpture and wood carving, but the type of medium can change the environment for in-house participants.

“It’s really hard to get 3-D people because they can’t work while they’re here,” Newhouse said.

It’s a place that’s stayed for 25 years because it constantly changes. One of the rules around the gallery is to never write anything on a calendar in ink, Newhouse said.

Something rare happened when the inside was painted: Everyone agreed on the color.

“With 14 of us, getting a unanimous decision is tricky sometimes,” Newhouse said.

Newhouse has been painting all her life. She studied art at Lewis and Clark College and finished her degree at San Diego State University. In 1986, she joined with other artists as part of a painting group. They still meet, often in the back room at Gallery Row.

The gallery will hold its second annual March Mad Artist Sale March 1-26. It’s a “clearing out” sale for the artists. Pieces that may be damaged or those that are being off-loaded by artists will be available at big markdowns next month.

Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at karen.miller@gateline.com. Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_karen.

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