The audacity to sell art: Brackenwood Gallery opens in Langley

The art is pouring in as the Brackenwood Gallery gets set to open.

Bruce Morrow's 'Wistful Thinking' is on display at Brackenwood Gallery's debut show 'Reflections' in Langley.

Bruce Morrow's 'Wistful Thinking' is on display at Brackenwood Gallery's debut show 'Reflections' in Langley.

The art is pouring in as the Brackenwood Gallery gets set to open.

“Reflections” is the name of the first show of this newest art gallery in Langley, which took over the spot previously occupied by Karlson/Gray Gallery. The gallery’s grand opening and an artists’ reception is from 5 to 8 p.m. today.

Gallery owners Rene Neff and Anne Waterman have been giddy with the business of readying the gallery’s opening.

“It has been a whirlwind month and a half, and we are very excited,” Neff said. “And we are cautiously optimistic about the business. We are in this for the long haul.”

“We are first-time business owners with a lot to learn, but a great deal of passion,” she added. “We have been greeted with open arms by the community, and people around town are very anxious for the gallery to stay open and succeed.”

The owners said that the idea for the name of the debut show stemmed from a word that has a variety of connotations, such as the reflections one has of the past, the reflection of lights or of water, or the contemplation of what lies ahead in the new year. They are curious to see what the stable of artists have come up with regarding such a theme.

The artists who will be shown at the Brackenwood Gallery include Nola Allen, Rebecca Bashara, Anne Belov, Francy Blumhagen, Buffy Cribbs, Jeff Day, Diane Divelbess, Bridget Fischer, Georgia Gerber, Michael Gesinger, Joan Govedare, Pete Jordan, Gary Leake, Joyce May, Bruce Marrow, James Patereau, Sharon Spencer, Sue Taves, Pat Tolle, Michele Tsouris, Gail Weir and Carys Ann Hammer.

Sculptor Taves said that she was sorry to see the Karlson/Gray Gallery close, because she liked working with owners Wendy Sundquist and Brain Lowey very much.

“They were a joy to work with, and I’ll miss the passion and thoughtfulness that they brought,” Taves said.

But she said she is thrilled to see a new gallery in its place, and is happy to be a part of it. She said Neff and Waterman are doing a wonderful thing for the community.

“Maybe it is both a wonderful and crazy thing they are doing, and as such I support it wholeheartedly. We all could use a little more of that,” Taves added.

Crazy or not, their energy is positive.

Neff and Waterman have great expectations for the gallery, with plans to organize art lectures at least once per quarter, and to work with other galleries and art schools in Langley to coordinate events in order to draw a bigger crowd to town.

They’ve set out to post an aggressive advertising campaign, which includes a new Web site, a blog and help from both local and Seattle advertisers. They are also happily onboard the new Langley PR Initiative, a group of business owners who have put their heads and funds together to push Langley as a target destination.

“Of course, the most important thing we can do is make the gallery an inviting place to come and explore,” Neff said.

To make the place their own, they’ve repainted the interior, installed a Sharon Spencer sculpture outside the gallery for a bit more visibility from the street, and have made some other improvements inside the gallery.

“We are friendly, outgoing folks and look forward to meeting the clients of Brackenwood Gallery soon,” Neff said.

The Web site will be launched this week at Brackenwood Gallery is at 302 First St. in Langley.

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