Gallery Boom, downtown Olympia’s new mega gallery, is opening with a bang.
Boom, formerly located in a 250-square-foot building in Tumwater, opened Oct. 1 in a 5,200-square-foot space on Adams Street Southeast between Fifth Avenue Southeast and Legion Way Southeast.
The space was already booming at Arts Walk.
“That tends to be a busy corner anyway, but that was the busiest corner all through the night,” said Pat Tassoni of Olympia, one of the gallery’s artists. “I think Boom had an impact already.”
Colleen Weston of Olympia, who demonstrated mask-making during Arts Walk, told The Olympian that she’d never been part of an Arts Walk location that drew as many visitors as Boom did.
With a few weeks to work out any kinks, the gallery celebrates its grand opening Friday (Oct. 28) with a masquerade party, including a silent auction, food and live music. The event will feature a show of work by painter Epiphanio Alexander and palm readings by Amelia Romoff.
“We’re really excited,” said gallery owner Christine Malek. “I’m hoping there’ll be a bunch of artists there so people can meet the artists and the artists can meet each other.”
Boom is home to the work of about 75 artists, including paintings, photography, prints, jewelry, fiber art, ceramics, carved stone, candles and books. Some of the more unusual offerings include handmade lip balms and felted-wood cacti.
“With the vastness of the space, we can have a very eclectic mix,” Malek said. “I’m really proud of our range.”
The gallery is also the new home of AntiMatter Gallery, successor to the recycled-materials gallery Matter, plus two rentable galleries, four pop-up shops and a classroom.
Boom’s business model is a cross between traditional gallery and antique mall. The gallery takes a percentage of sales, but artists also rent space by the square foot so they can display as much or as little as they choose.
Artists can rent space to show their work for a few days, as Alexander is doing during the grand opening, or to give demonstrations or sell from pop-up shops.
“It is a different model, and hopefully it is a more sustainable one,” said Tassoni, who’s known for his Space Needle-inspired lamps and other creative assemblage work. “I’ve encouraged other people to join Boom as well.”
Gallery Boom grand opening
What: Olympia’s newest gallery — showing work by 75 artists and artisans — celebrates its grand opening with a masquerade party featuring live music, food and a silent auction.
Where: 5-9 p.m. Friday (Oct. 28).
Where: 520 Adams St. SE, Olympia.
Information: 360-584-9091, galleryboom.squarespace.com.