It is as of yet unnamed, but final preparations are taking place for the grand opening of a new addition to downtown Lakeview amenities – an art gallery.
Located inside the vacated building on F Street adjacent to the Alger Theater that previously was operated by KBE, the building has sat empty since KBE was purchased by the Cow Creek Tribe. Cow Creek was approached by Lakeview Community Partnership (LCP) to utilize the space, which as of Dec. 1 will relaunch as a community art gallery.
Under control of LCP’s Economic Development Committee, operations are being overseen by Sandy Watts, as well as a Bend-based artist – Summer Spitsbergen. The opening of the gallery will coincide with the first night of the Festival of Trees, and after the festival closes on Dec. 7 the gallery will remain open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am. – 5 p.m.
“A year ago we talked about it, and the idea sat on the backburner,” said Ann Logan, president of LCP. “After we did a partners group and vision planning brainstorming event for downtown Lakeview, a gallery was one of the ideas that came up several times. We seriously got started on the gallery after that.”
While Logan and Watts worked to develop the base idea of a gallery, Spitsbergen was reaching out on her own to find local Lake County artists. It didn’t take long until she found out about LCP’s efforts and agreed to come aboard.
“It has been a really good response no negatives against a gallery so far,” said Spitsbergen. “This seems like something people have been wanting for a while.”
The initial collection to be showcased will include some of Spitsbergen’s oil paintings, as well as works from local Lake County artists past and present. Some items will be for sale, other historic pieces will be on loan for display only.
Spitsbergen hopes to be able to feature different artists monthly, and bring in different genres of artwork. She also hopes that local artists will be able to host workshops at the gallery, showcasing techniques in their field of expertise. Suggestions have also been made for youth art showcases in collaboration with Lakeview High School.
While the gallery first and foremost will feature local artists, Spitsbergen is very open to showing artwork by regional artists as well from Modoc and Klamath counties. A committee vote determines whether or not to include submitted works.
The former KBE Building provides ample space for works initially, though Logan noted that they are considering another building for the gallery potentially in the future. In the meantime, the gallery provides a welcoming site to view works of art, conveniently located adjacent to the Alger Theater as a place to browse prior to weekend film screenings.
“The goal is to be open every week, I think we will start with Thursdays through Saturdays and see how it goes,” added Spitsbergen. In summers it might be slower, so we’ll start with winter and gauge the interest.”
“We are really excited to get the gallery going,” added Logan.
The unnamed art gallery is located at 14 S. F St. in Lakeview. For more information about the gallery contact Spitsbergen at 619-889-7770 or Sandy Watts at 406-845-9694.