Story and photos by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
That’s Diane Venti (left), who owns Alki Arts with her husband, Tom Wyrick, who is also a metal artist whose work is currently featured in the gallery. She told me this afternoon that their first day is going very well. There was certainly a steady stream of visitors while I was there.
She said that even before they opened, while they were in there painting the walls, people were knocking on the door to ask about it. And she said she has had to clean plenty of “nose prints” off the windows as people have apparently been peeking in to get a better look. They had their garage-style doors fully open today.
Venti tells me that she came up with the idea for a gallery in early June. (We first reported on the new business last Tuesday.) She is an artist herself, has experience working in galleries downtown, and wanted to own a space for real West Seattle working artists. The current crop of artists was assembled in about ten days. The way the system works is that artists rent the wall space from the gallery by the month. The gallery takes no commissions on whatever the artist sells. In addition, each artist can host an event/opening there on one night during the month their art is on display. The gallery can also be rented by the night for anyone who wishes to have events there.
Venti says the mission of Alki Arts is to feature West Seattle artists, sculptors and glass artists (but not photographers). Artists wishing to sell their work at Alki Arts are welcome to send an e-mail for more information, though there currently is a waiting list. Venti says that she works to carefully curate the art to make sure it is right for the gallery. Wall spaces rent out for between $500-$700 per month, though she said she has the flexibility to work with artists on a case-by-case basis if they just want to display a couple of pieces on commission. She said she is hoping to find some more sculptors and glass artists to fill some of the open floor space in the gallery. Venti says their goal is to have pieces that range in price from $200-$2,000.
Hours will be 12-8, Wednesday through Sunday.