Goosefoot brings art gallery back to Bayview

Nine years after closing, the Front Room Gallery is returning to the Bayview Cash Store.

And as part of Goosefoot’s efforts to bring permanent art installments back to the cash store, they’ve also recruited the talents of well-known glass artist KeKe Cribbs to turn the gallery’s closet into a curated “treasure trove.”

“With the financial success of The Goose, we are now in a position where we can offer something to local artists,” Goosefoot Executive Director Sandy Whiting said. “Our goal is to establish a community arts space with affordable rent where artists have the opportunity to show their work before they make it into a gallery.”

Front Room Gallery is located on the second floor of the cash store, in the space formerly occupied by Fine Balance Imaging & Printing. The gallery, which closed during the recession, will celebrate its return with an opening ceremony from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and will kick things off by hosting a returning exhibit, the XII x XII x XII Art Show. The show, which Whiting says was originally showcased in 2006, highlights works by 12 female artists on South Whidbey that features pieces no bigger than 12-by-12 inches.

Whiting says Goosefoot is reopening the gallery to give emerging artists a platform to showcase their work without having to pay a heavy price. She sees it as a potential stepping stone for artists before they make it to the galleries in Langley, Greenbank or elsewhere. In the future, she says the space could also accommodate lectures and community events.

“We’re trying to push local development here on the island, and this is one way we can help the artists here get their name and work out to the community,” Whiting said.

As a way to draw attention to the gallery space, Goosefoot has collaborated with Cribbs to make the most of an otherwise unused closet space in the gallery. Cribbs transformed the roughly 150-square-foot space into her own cabinet of gifts, knickknack and textiles, called KeKe Cribbs’ Treasure Trove.

It’s open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

The space features small pieces not only from Cribbs, but works from other artists as well. Cribbs sees it as a “creativity generator” where artists can experiment with new ideas and different mediums. Cribbs herself is utilizing the space to showcase her print work.

“My hope is to plant the seedlings for a whole new crop of makers because I believe that community is built and kept in tact with people working creatively together,” Cribbs said. “I felt it was time to tie into and support my own community in a creative fashion.”