Our newest retailer is Olympia's Gallery Boom, a great place where local artists and crafters can sell their wares. Gallery Boom was voted by the people of Thurston County to be the Best Art Gallery in the South Sound in 2017, 2018 and 2019. It was also featured in the Washington Post travel article about Olympia published in September 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/lifestyle/vacation-ideas/things-to-do-in-olympia/
They have everything from paintings to stickers and it's changing all the time. Check it out in person or online if you can't get to Olympia, WA. www.galleryboomshop.com.
I met up with owner Christine Malek and talked about the art, the space and her vision for the future.
TO: So how did Gallery Boom come to be?
CM: Gallery Boom started life as the first all local art gallery in Tumwater, WA. It began in 2014 as part of the Tumwater Chamber of Commerce Business Incubator Program. It was located in the former Tumwater Chamber of Commerce Building in the Fred Meyer parking lot for two years. The BOOM in Gallery Boom came from the Island of Harmony Boom, an art project from former owner and artist P. Calavara and Christine Malek. The gallery started as a way to promote the books, stuffed creatures and other products of Harmony Boom. Over time, Gallery Boom developed into a dynamic and innovative way to promote and support local artists. The Tumwater gallery hosted art classes, events and a Sunday Art Market every Sunday during the summer.
TO: Tell me what you and Gallery Boom offer artists and how you are helping them get their art out to the world.
CM: Our goal is to help artists get their work out into the world in the easiest and most affordable way possible. We provide a full service in person and online gallery experience. We do all the icky stuff like label, photo, package, ship and pay WA sales tax. Interested artists email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we meet either in person or on the phone. We talk it all over in a pressure free info meeting. It's one of my favorite parts of the job where I can see the art and get to know the artist to learn if and how we can help. We are also working on getting our free art business meetings going again, the Art Biz Crowd. We met once a week for free to talk about all of it, from why we make art to business licences and ebay.
TO: It isn't the typical place you would find honey for sale, so what made you decide to include Lucille's Gourmet Honey in your gallery of artists and crafters?
CM: I am a bee enthusiast and studied bee keeping in college. I've always been an armchair entomologist and I appreciate how much work it takes bees and humans to cooperate to get honey to my table. I also come from a grocery buying background from working at the Olympia Food Co-Op for 8 years. So I've seen the hard work of small producers. I don't believe in a narrow definition of art. There is no limit to creativity. It takes creativity and skill to be a small business. It is a craft to start with a hive and end up with a jar of honey, just like you start with a sheep and end up with a beautiful shawl or clay and lovely bowl.
TO: Anything else you'd like to add?
CM: We are always accepting applications for new artist. You don't have to be exclusively from the South Sound. Go to https://galleryboomshop.com/pages/how-to-be-a-gb-artist to learn more.
A big thanks to Christine for thinking outside the box and bringing Lucille's Gourmet Honey to a unique place to be discovered. If you're an artist looking for an outlet to showcase your art, do yourself a favor and visit Christine at Gallery Boom