It couldn’t have been easy (and the work isn’t quite complete yet), but Clearwater Gallery owners Dan and Julia Rickard opened their new Sisters headquarters last week, just as the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show crowd was arriving.
It was fascinating to watch the new gallery take shape this spring. The work was completed in what seemed like record time (you can see photos of the building process on Clearwater’s Facebook page). But until today I had no idea just what the new digs encompassed.
So I was very pleasantly surprised at what I found when I stopped by the gallery (located at 303 W. Hood) to take a quick peek. I was greeted at the door by a smiling (but admittedly weary) Julia Rickard, who gave me the grand tour of the space — which includes not only a gallery and frame shop but also a wine bar/lunch spot and outdoor courtyard. The wine bar is known as The Open Door, and it serves beer, wine, paninis, salads and dessert. The cozy bar space seems ideal for pondering the finer points of fine art, but there’s also a cozy fireplace-fronted cubbyhole that seems designed for curling up with a good book (see additional photos below).
The Open Door actually extends beyond the gallery to an expansive outdoor courtyard. The inviting outdoor space/hangout features two separate groups of seating (an assemblage of umbrella-clad patio tables in the courtyard plus a cluster of bar tables on the covered porch nearby) plus a cheery blooming garden populated by whimsical metal sculptures.
Some day in the not-too-distant future, Julia says, the courtyard area will also house several small artist’s bungalows (you can see where they’ll be placed in the photo below). There’s also going to be live music outdoors.
Clearly, Clearwater’s fan base has already gotten word of the move: The gallery was quite busy, especially for a Monday, and the courtyard was filled with diners. It was also abuzz with workers putting on the finishing touches — the Rickards were committed to opening for Quilt Show weekend, come hell or high water — so pay no mind to the minor missteps here and there (a bit of trim work missing here, a fallen directional sign there). Those flaws should be history in no time.
Meanwhile, the original Clearwater Gallery, located at 391 W. Cascade, is still open (it closes at the end of July). The works in that location are primarily textiles (including the Quilt Show’s impressive multi-panel collaborative piece, “Quilt for Two Rivers.”
Here are a few more photos from the gallery:
About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.