K. Saari Gallery opens new downtown Steamboat location | SteamboatToday.com

K. Saari Gallery opens new downtown Steamboat location

Nicole Inglis

Coming Sunday

Read a story about the future of the Pilot Office Outfitters building in the 10th block of Lincoln Avenue on the business page in Sunday's Steamboat Pilot & Today.

"I feel right back at home, where I'm supposed to be," Kimberly Saari said of her new downtown gallery. The K. Saari Gallery opens its doors today at 1025 Lincoln Ave.John F. Russell

— With every swipe of the paint roller on the beige brick wall, Kimberly Saari's new art gallery felt more like home.

On Thursday, Kimberly Saari and her husband, Ben, spent the day painting, cleaning, retouching and hanging art on the walls of the gallery's new location at 1025 Lincoln Ave.

They painted the exposed brick wall a stark white and hung canvas curtains in the arches that open to a consignment store, which occupies the other part of the Pilot Office Outfitters building.

"I'm loving that white," Kimberly Saari said, clasping her hands to her heart. "It's going to look really big."

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In the new 1,000-square-foot space, which maintains the owner's sleek, austere style, K. Saari Gallery will host an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. today in celebration of the gallery's re-emergence in the downtown art scene.

"I feel right back at home," Saari said, "where I'm supposed to be."

Saari moved her gallery from its original Lincoln Avenue location, between Eighth and Ninth streets, to Wildhorse Marketplace Plaza in October 2009, expecting the effects of downtown construction.

But it was always in her head to return downtown.

"I've learned I have to be very light now," she said about her recent moves. "I can't be sentimental about a certain space, because it's all about the art. As long as I can have white walls and room to hang."

She said she's looking forward to the foot traffic offered by the new location and the opportunity to be a stop on the First Friday Artwalk.

The new location also offers the opportunity to work alongside the neighboring Artists' Gallery of Steamboat.

"This is a great community to own a business in," she said. "And with everything going on in the art community … being next to the Artists' Gallery of Steam­boat is such an honor. We can just keep building. It's not about competition, it's about community."

The opening will feature works by local, regional and national artists.

Ben Saari said the community of artists and art enthusiasts has been the driving force behind the business during each move.

"It's the loyalty of the community to her," he said. "Steamboat is about local people rallying behind local people."

Susan Oehme, a Steamboat-based artist, has worked with Kimberly Saari since she opened her first gallery three years ago.

Oehme said she's thrilled about the move, which is an improvement in both shape and location.

The Wildhorse location "is a beautiful space, but it's hard for people to find," Oehme said. "Also that this new space is really a nice shape. I think it's more conducive to showing art and allowing people the ability to step back from it."

After the opening, Saari said she is considering tearing out the back wall of the gallery and adding another 500 square feet of what now is being used as storage space.

For now, she said she would feel relieved to have the space open with a flavor that is uniquely hers.

"I'm going to embellish as I go on," she said. "I'm going to keep making it better and better."

Coming Sunday

Read a story about the future of the Pilot Office Outfitters building in the 10th block of Lincoln Avenue on the business page in Sunday’s Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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