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Sandpiper hosts first Friday show after gallery redesign

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POLSON — The Sandpiper Art Gallery celebrated its first non-juried open show of the year in their newly remodeled space last Friday.

The Sandpiper is a nonprofit organization that encourages participation in and appreciation for the fine arts. Local artists display their work in the professional Main Street gallery. With over 50 members, the Sandpiper holds six shows a year to feature a variety of artists from across the valley, as well as several fundraisers to create scholarships for Lake and Sanders County students studying the arts. 

One of two shows per year are open to non-member artists from the surrounding area, Gallery Director Margery Christensen said. The current show “Picture Perfect” - which runs through March 17 - includes far more than photographs. One artist featured that stuck out in Christensen’s mind was retired optometrist Dr. Ofstad, one of the first to bring in pieces for display. Ofstad arrived early in the submission window with his handcrafted wooden flutes. “They’re very unique, and most people who knew him would never have suspected that he did art on the side,” Christensen commented. 

Those interested in seeing Ofstad’s art, along with the work of numerous other talented artists, can visit the display during any of the gallery and gift shop’s open hours Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This show also provides a good first opportunity to see the gallery renovations that took place during their annual January closure. 

“(Denise Zemke and I) had just a great month putting the gallery together,” Christensen said of the renovations, which included painting, floor refinishing, and moving and building shelves. “She’s gift shop director and I’m gallery director so we’re in charge of the visual of the whole thing.”

Zemke and Christensen’s mothers were Sandpiper members together and were responsible for getting the two involved. Since Christensen retired to Polson from her career as an art teacher in 2009, the pair have become close friends and very involved in the gallery. “I’m really pleased with the turnout from the public and our community and I’m also just delighted to work with (Zemke),” Christensen said. 

The next Sandpiper Art Gallery show will be “Last Best Place,” an invitational exhibit with artists selected by Christensen herself that will run from March 21 to May 12. 

Information about the four remaining shows, including another non-juried open show for community members, can be found throughout the year online at: Those interested in learning details about the shows or becoming a member with the option to display their art at every show throughout the year, can learn more about the membership options online or at: 

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