7 It all started back in 1977 in Pam and Jim Martin’s garage. Pam was looking for a way to be a work-at-home mom. One day, while watching the traffic pass by on Reeder Bay Road, the thought hit her. She had a great business location for a gallery! So she and Jim set up a few pedestals, and invited a few local artists to show their work. Stand back and “Voila!” - like magic The Entree Gallery was born. (Wasn’t that easy?) For sure, the Martins knew it would take a lot of hard work, not magic, to turn a garage entryway into a prestigious fine arts gallery. First, the original entryway would need to be remodeled, the cement floor carpeted, walls prepped for hanging art, shelving and lights installed. Beautiful rustic tree stumps would be brought in from the nearby woods to be used as pedestals. The old wood room would be re-purposed as the Features Room. Whatever exposed wiring and outlets couldn’t be relocated would be hidden behind framed art. (“Just ignore that hangy-down wire, and the ugly electric meter on the Features wall, OK? And don’t ask why the light switch is behind the steps.”) The four antique windows Pam had salvaged, and envisioned as a focal point for the gallery’s entrance area, were installed. But (and there’s always a “but”, isn’t there?), at the last minute, Jim and his crew decided among themselves to be artistic, and had hung them diagonally. Oh. Then there was a matter of the name. It was to be called “The Entry Gallery”, what with being in the Martin’s entryway. Jim was put in charge of making a road sign. Feeling creative (it was an art gallery, after all, wasn’t it?), he coined the name Entree, in honor of the trees in the surrounding Kaniksu forest, and the many branches of art shown at the gallery. And, so it was, that the gallery’s distinctive crooked windows and its misspelled name became the Entree Gallery logo. (And why, for the past 40 years, the gallery staff has been telling the clientele it’s pronounced EN-tree, not on-TRAY.) At first, business was slow. Most days, Pam and her original crew (Catherine Simpson and Ricarda Schenk) could be found upstairs in the kitchen, canning pickles. Newspapers, spread on the kitchen floor to contain the canning mess, became sticky. When a buzzer in the kitchen announced that a customer had arrived, it was like watching a fly on flypaper as one of them fought off the newspapers in a mad rush to assist the customer. With its continued success over four decades, the gallery has grown from its original five local artists (Steve Dennis, Tony Rinaldi, Dorothy Garlinghouse, Steve Adams, and Pam Martin) to over 100 of the Northwest’s most accomplished artists and craftsmen. New rooms have been added, along with a deck, and outdoor art areas with a meandering walkway. (The “hangy-down” wires are no longer a problem, but the electric meter is still there if you know where to look.) From its humble beginnings, this little country gallery has promoted art through monthly feature shows, demos, artist receptions, art classes, artists on the grounds and special events. It has become so much more than what’s on the shelves, it has evolved into a community gathering place for art and artists; a beautiful, inspiring place to bring Mom on Mothers’ Day; a family tradition where original customers now bring their grandchildren; and a favorite place to drop off out-of-town house guests who are driving you crazy on rainy days. To celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2002, thegallerybegan“Artsmart”,aprogramcreated to underwrite the Priest Lake Elementary School’s art program. Together with gallery staff, community volunteers, regional artists, and generous public support, the gallery held its first Artsmart benefit auction. It was a resounding success, raising funds for a ceramics kiln and art supplies. Artsmart has continued to assist the school’s arts program for the past 15 years, enabling our emerging young artists to learn self-expression through the language of art. Regional artists donate their time to teach the students, while Artsmart provides funds for basic supplies, paper, brushes, paints, glazes and clay for that hands-on art experience. Now celebrating its 40th year, Pam credits the gallery’s success to the continued support of dynamic area artists, a loyal clientele and a dedicated staff. “They have made The Entree Gallery,” she says. This year, the gallery is taking a look backward with a season-long showing, “A Blast from the Past.” The gallery has invited favorite local and regional artists who have shown through the years to return with their newest work. A special “Artists Appreciation Day” is planned for Labor Day Weekend. Former gallery employees are encouraged to join the celebration. For forty years, Pam and Jim Martin have made it look so easy. It’s amazing what you can do with some tree stumps, a few local artists and a great pickle recipe. The Entree Gallery Celebrates 40Years