Best of the bohemian life returns to Bayview

Artist Sandra Whiting will be showing her work at the brand new Open Door Gallery + Coffee opening in the Bayview Cash Store this week. Whiting will also be managing the gallery along with fellow artist Susanne Newbold.

Artists and entrepreneurs are putting the best of bohemia back into Bayview.

With a new restaurant, a new writing studio and now, a new gallery and café, the Bayview Cash Store is getting back to the days of hanging out, drinking a long latte and enjoying the sights and sounds of art and business at its best.

The Open Door Gallery + Coffee will be open for business from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, starting Thursday, May 1.

Owner Louise Long and artist managers Susanne Newbold and Sandra Whiting had the good sense to create a gallery where Whidbey Island residents and visitors can look forward to a comfortable and creative atmosphere in which to relax, enjoy some art and hang out with friends over a good cup of coffee.

The gallery will sell a diverse range of original art works by established Whidbey Island artists including large pieces like furniture, masks, paintings and sculptures.

The majority of the gallery, however, will be devoted to smaller, more affordable pieces such as ceramics, glass, jewelry, turned wood and handmade books and cards.

The Open Door will offer locally roasted Mukilteo Coffee and teas that can be enjoyed in and outside at the Bayview Cash Store at its variety of tables and garden respites.

Customers can enjoy traditional Italian-style espresso including cafe latte, cappuccino, caffé mocha, ristretto, machiatto, breve, Americano, iced latte, iced mocha and Tazo teas. Pastries will also be available for breakfast and mid-afternoon snacking.

Whiting said that Long, a longtime patron of the arts, has finally realized a dream by being able to show support for the artists of the island while giving locals and visitors alike a place to hang out with a cup of coffee.

“Louise wants to bring back that sense of a gathering place at Bayview,” Whiting said.

“And with summer approaching, we will keep the doors wide open for browsing the gallery and for a cup of coffee in the sun.”

With more than 100 regionally and nationally recognized artists, it is fairly common knowledge that Whidbey Island is a mecca of sorts for artists.

With its sale-on-consignment format, the Open Door Gallery indeed opens many new doors for local artists with its goal to establish a profitable venue for island artists to sell their work.

The gallery’s mission also includes room to feature artists in specific shows in the Front Room Gallery, an emerging artist and student series and a year-round exhibition of the Island Arts Council’s Whidbey Island Open Studio Tour artists at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.

The Open Door also plans to be open late for Cash Store event nights in order to meet the caffeine needs of Bayview Corner visitors.

An official grand opening reception will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17.

Interested artists can e-mail Whiting at opendoorwhidbey@gmail.com or call 321-3020. A Web site is presently under construction at www.opendoorwhidbey.com.