Artists of the Rim, a new co-op gallery of 22 local artists on Main Street, had its first customer Tuesday.
"A couple from England were driving by, stopped in and bought one of Dolores Hartless' paintings and he bought some of Dick Wolfe's jewelry, " said Glenda Roark, who spearheaded the co-op.
"That was pretty exciting even though we were three days from opening," she said.
Artists of the Rim, at 408 W. Main St. in Payson, officially opened for business at 10 a.m. today, Friday.
Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, and Wednesday through Saturday. They are also open Sundays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Each of the 22 local artists will show art in the gallery.
Customers can shop for art in a variety of media, including jewelry, pottery, fused glass creations, dinnerware, handmade cards, sculpture and furniture.
For ceramic artist Carolee Jackson, to finally have a local venue for her creative works means "success."
This month will give the artists time to fine tune the workings of their enterprise in preparation for their grand opening, planned for the Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and 17.
Roark envisions monthly art receptions, year-round.
Last spring, Roark said she wondered, "People build these huge mansions here and go to the Valley (to buy their art). Why?"
A scant three months later, on July 23, the co-op had a commitment from 22 artists to move forward with the gallery.
Since then, Roark and others have been hard at work.
"We put this together in three and a half weeks," Roark said, gesturing expansively at the gallery.
"Its amazing to get 22 people to see one vision," Jackson said. "There has been no arguing, no negativity from anyone involved. It has been nothing but cohesiveness. Even though we are all diverse and different, here we are."
-- To reach Carol La Valley call 474-5251 ext. 122 or e-mail