The walls have a fresh coat of white paint, the sign is on the building and the artists are present at the new location for Gallery Moab, the city’s local artist co-operative. The six-year-old gallery has moved down Main Street to a new home in the McStiff’s Plaza and will be holding a Grand Reopening on March 14. 

“All the members were involved with the move,” says Moab artist and Gallery Moab member Deborah McDermott, adding that upgrades included heavy construction and building walls in addition to aesthetic changes.

“We wanted to make it look really fresh and upgraded,” she says. “We have twice as much space and high ceilings so it feels airy. The lighting is better and we also have a classroom in the back so we’re planning workshops.”

Peggy Harty, pastel artist and the gallery’s general manager, agrees.

“Everybody who sees the changes loves the new gallery, they just can’t get over how lovely it is,” she says. The gallery was open to the public for a soft opening in January. “Everyone says that it truly is an upgrade.”

McDermott says the new classroom and future skills workshops are particularly exciting, as the mission of the Moab Gallery was to “promote art in Moab and Moab artists.”

Founded in 2014, the co-operative promotes and hosts over 40 local artists, featuring a guest artist and a featured owner-artist every month with a special reception on the second Saturday of the month.

For this month’s Grand Opening on March 14, the gallery will be showing work by guest artist, JC Borders, a local pastelist, and our featured gallery artist, photographer Deborah Hughes.

“JC is going to have one of his works-in-progress set up at the event. He says he’s not much of a conversationalist, but he’s excited to share his process with attendees,” says Harty.

Beginning at 1 p.m., other member artists will be showing off their varied practices throughout the day, including Barb Gregoire throwing ceramic bowls, Larry Christensen creating portraits, Karen Chatham demonstrating alcohol ink painting techniques, and Deborah McDermott showing her printing process.

A formal reception will begin at 5 p.m. with refreshments, music by Sand and Sunnie Sheff and door prizes.

“There may be a few more surprises in store for the day,” Harty says. “We hope during the busy weekend, visiting our gallery will be one of the must-do activities.”

“We want to make sure that the local people know that we’re open and better than ever,” says McDermott. “It’s really a celebration, with music and food and excitement. It’s a big deal for the art community.”