Hundreds celebrate new Siskiyou Arts Museum in Dunsmuir
Parking was scarce in downtown Dunsmuir Friday evening when hundreds of art patrons packed into the Siskiyou Arts Museum for its grand opening. Doors opened at 5 p.m. and within an hour people stood shoulder-to-shoulder trying to see the exhibits on the walls.
In the back room, called the museum, was a 30-year retrospective of Weed artist Anne Kinkade's paintings and weaving.
In the front room, the gallery, people crowded in to see photo prints by Jon Rife, paintings by Stephanie LaFortune and Kim Preseley, and intricate boxed artifact collages by Rajiv Hotek.
"We had two people counting heads," said executive director Lauri Sturdivant in her office the next day. "More than 350 people showed up. Over 100 signed up to be members of SAM, raising about $700, and we received $245 in donations." Additionally, she said they made about $800 in sales of art and gift store items.
People from all over the county converged on Dunsmuir to celebrate the arts that night. Most of the comments heard centered around the size of the crowd filling the 5,000 square feet of restored wood plank flooring.
"This is just like a gallery opening you'd see in New York City!" exclaimed Rebecca Maze of Mount Shasta. "The turnout is absolutely amazing!"
"I think it's Dunsmuir gone Soho," laughed Mount Shasta musician Carolyn Hedger.
Landlord Peter Arth, who stopped by while in for a Saturday afternoon poetry reading in the gallery, said his restaurant, the Dogwood Diner, was so crushed by business Friday night he had to call his chef back on shift from home.
The Siskiyou Arts Museum is open Thursday-Saturday from 11 to 4. In addition to the gallery and the museum, which together currently display more than 50 pieces of artwork, the adjoining gift store offers photographs, books and jewelry by a dozen local artisans. For more information call 530-859-5554.
-- More of this story will be published in the March 13, 2013 edition of the Dunsmuir News.