BY PATRICIA DUFF
Whidbey Life Magazine Editor
July 24, 2013
Two local artists bumped into inspiration and an art and healing gallery was born.
Not too long ago, island photographer and healing artist Sue Averett happen to meet island photographer Ron Roesler at a local farmers market. Roesler and Averett made a connection through their interest in photography and art. Once Roesler ‘fessed up about owning his own giclée printer, an idea was sparked.
Averett happened to notice a little space on Main Street in Freeland was available for rent.
“One thing led to another and this just seemed right,” Roesler said.
This week, the friends put the finishing touches on the 1,000 square feet space at 1689 E. Main St. Now, Inspired Arts Fine Arts Gallery & Gifts will have its grand opening from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 27 and an idea becomes a reality.
The gallery houses about 35 artists mainly from Whidbey, but with a few off-islanders, as well.
“We wanted it to be more than just photography and paintings,” Roesler said. “We wanted people to be able to come in and pick up a gift, and not all of it expensive; to make it affordable,” he added.
Lots of color and light and variety fills the cozy space with artisan-made cards, chocolates, mobiles, jewelry, wearable art hats and hand painted silk scarves, sculpture, photography, paintings, music, blown glass, body lotions, books and other sundry, in addition to a healing room in the back.
Healing touch, aromatherapy and reiki is available at Inspired Arts with healers Summer Ewart, Tammi Sloan and Averett, by appointment, or on a walk-in basis. Also housed at the gallery space is the office of Jerry O’Neill, who offers clients non-denominational sessions in spiritual direction.
On the west wall in the front room of the gallery are the paintings of the late Lee Wexler, a longtime Whidbey Island resident and artist and those of his wife, Fara Mazzola Wexler.
“For me having Fara and Lee’s work represented here is the highlight,” Roesler said.
Inspired Arts features the vast libraries of both Wexlers, whose portfolios span more than 40 years. And for those who can’t afford an original painting by the Wexlers or others, an inexpensive alternative is available.
“Ron has a giclée printer,” Averett said, “So we can be print on demand for the art that we have. So rather than buying an expensive original, based on the size, we can make it,” she said, “And then the customer can get the piece framed themselves if they want.”
Averett said that while they will feature many artists that are familiar to islanders, they’ll also introduce some off-island artists, such as James Hardman of Orcas Island; Linda Curtis of Santa Cruz; Coralee Campagnolo of San Jose; Sarah McCalmon of Camano Island; and Nori Green of Beverly Hills.
Other local artwork found between the walls at Inspired Arts is that of painters Lauryn Taylor and Mark Skullerud; the blown glass of LaChaussee; Stillfire Pottery; hand-painted silk scarves of Pam Winstanley and Fine Gelfand, as well as Fine’s hats!; and kinetic mobiles by Steve Sloan, among countless other crafts and gifts.
Everyone is invited to tour the eclectic gallery and healing space, and also enjoy live music in the parking lot from 4 to 7 p.m. with bands, Sarungano, The Muse and Eye and Piper Reva. Poet Joni Takanikos will perform a special chant to bless the space at 6 p.m., followed by a toast to the gallery’s launch. Enjoy delicious treats from Lavender Wind Farm and Sweet Mona’s Chocolates, while mingling with several of the gallery’s artists.
Check out the Inspired Arts website here or call (360) 331-2244 for more info.
Check out Sue Averett’s work at The Enchanted Studio www.the-enchanted-studio.com.
(Pictured at top is “Gull” by photographer Ron Roesler.)
Patricia Duff is an award-winning journalist, a freelance writer and the editor of this magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider becoming a member of Whidbey Life Magazine or show support by buying an ad, making a donation or becoming a sponsor.