Art gallery opens in downtown Grand Junction

A grand opening celebration is scheduled for 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9 for the new Oakley Gallery in downtown Grand Junction.

Located at Sixth and Main streets in the Interiors etc. building, Oakley Gallery displays the works of more than 40 artists in a range of mediums, including acrylics, ceramics, encaustics, glass, oils, sculptures and watercolors.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with every one of these artists and they are remarkable professionals — not only capable, but inspired,” said Sara Alyn Oakley, director of the Oakley Gallery. “And downtown Grand Junction? A work of art in its own right.”

The Oakley Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Extended hours are planned for the upcoming holiday season.

The gallery serves as an artist collective. Artists pay monthly rents for display space and also work one day a month to staff the gallery. Oakley has used the same approach with other operations in the past.

Following the advice of Jon Maraschin, executive director of the Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction, Oakley worked with Karen Moore, owner of Interiors Etc., to lease three showrooms for the gallery. Interiors etc. also provided at no charge a space for a small studio in the front window so visitors and passersby can watch artists at work.

When a local gallery and artist collective closed, a number of artists began considering their options. At about the same time, a location with the local business came up for lease.

“When I saw the announcement that the local art collective was closing, it just seemed natural to put entrepreneurs like Sarah Oakley and Karen Moore at Interiors together,” Maraschin said.

“They both understand that a thriving art community is one of our community’s most valuable assets. Having the Oakley Gallery located on Main Street in the heart of the community representing such a wide variety of local artists is simply awesome,” Maraschin added.