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Hatching new art opportunities in Spearfish

May 8, 2019

SPEARFISH — The owners described it as a “bucket list” item, opening an art gallery in Old City Hall on Spearfish Main Street, and Anita McCord, Mae Gill, and Laurie Williams-Hayes invite everyone to stop in and check out The Art Nest Gallery.

Located at 722 Main St., Suite 1, the gallery officially opened Wednesday, about a month and a half after the owners decided to take on the endeavor.

Williams-Hayes explained that they had started a group called Art Meet, which grew to a dozen women artists, and when they saw that the space was available, they approached the group about the opportunity.

“So we just decided to jump in,” Williams-Hayes said.

All three owners are artists themselves, with their artwork included in the gallery, which currently has the work of about 10 artists on display, from cards and small pieces to larger pieces. They described that they plan to include a variety of artwork, from jewelry to leatherwork, and The Art Nest Gallery will also offer art classes beginning June 1.

The gallery owners have complementary talents: Williams-Hayes is a retired teacher; Gill currently teaches in Belle Fourche; and McCord has been involved in different businesses, including a framing shop. They all plan to teach classes, as well as have other interested artists teach, and the classes would take place in the gallery, for all ages.

The owners described that they came up with many names for the gallery before settling on The Art Nest Gallery, which was fitting for many reasons, especially in how they are teaching classes and encouraging artistic growth.

They are most looking forward to meeting the people who come into the gallery, having art for people to view on the north end of downtown Main Street, and meeting other artists. The owners have already heard many positive comments about the space.

“They really like it. They like the feel of it; they love the light from the windows,” Williams-Hayes said.

Gill added that the hardwood floors, antique radiators, and historic safe in the space add to the ambiance.

“It’s comfortable. It feels cozy,” she said.

The owners also see the outdoor, grassy area in front of the building, as well as their neighbors, Leones’ Creamery and the newly-open Artifacts Antiques and Arts, as an opportunity to coordinate activities, such as music and art.

“We have our own little Main Street Square out there,” Williams-Hayes said, adding, “It’s just such a nice place.”

McCord added that the space held more artwork than the owners originally thought, which was a nice surprise, and they plan to change things up, keeping the space “fresh.”

Currently, the gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The owners plan to be open during Downtown Friday Nights, offering children’s activities like face painting, etc., and they may opt for summer hours, depending on how things go.

They’ve had many artists interested in getting involved, and they also thanked their husbands and supporters who helped to get the space ready for its opening.

“It’s a real community feel, trying to involve as many artists and people as we can,” Gill said. “We’re real excited. It’s been fun so far. … We have a lot of support, which is really nice.”

All of the artwork in the gallery is juried by the three owners, and for more information, visit The Art Nest Gallery on Facebook or stop in to check out the art and enjoy a cup of coffee, the owners said.

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