Grand Opening Of Lifelong Dream

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Art lovers are invited to the official launching of a dream at Down the Street Gallery.

Just after 4 p.m. Friday, founder and artist Minette Richardson will break a champagne bottle on the business sign to start the celebration of the co-op gallery's grand opening.

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"My father used to say, ‘If the floor is dirty, it has been a good day. A dirty floor means customers have been in'," Richardson said.

Five artists were officially on board last fall when Richardson and Dan Basinski started planning the new gallery.

"We could have had a lot more artists," Richardson said.

"We have juried out more than we have juried in," Basinski said.

"We are keeping our standards high," Richardson said.

Now, Down the Street's 17 members represent a variety of media, offering a unique art experience to the Rim Country community and enlivening Main Street.

All 17 artists will be present for the launch.

Helen Tennent will be demonstrating with her pottery wheel.

Ink and graphite artist, Tyler Kilbourne, will draw caricatures for a fee.

The public will have an opportunity to win work from a participating artist.

Members of the Payson Community Orchestra will perform during the evening.

Gallery ownership is a dream come true for founder Minette Richardson.

The 100-year-old Platt House once held her hair salon.

Now, the walls of the historic home are covered with a variety of contemporary, realistic and abstract paintings and drawings by Richardson, Geri Gittings, Ene Locklier, April Bower, Chris Reynolds, Teri Kennedy, Angela Cockle, Pam Fandrich and Kilbourne. The photography of Pia Wyer and the textile art of Mariska Stoddard also adorn the walls. There are several cases of contemporary and Southwestern silver jewelry from Patricia Allebrand, Tim Hummer, Kennedy and Bower. There are intricate beaded necklaces and other items from Gwen Storybead. Realistic sculptures by Gail, Tennent's pottery, Bower's gourds and fountains, Gittings' gourds and Dan Basinski's hand-carved ergonomic cooking utensils.

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