Local arts shop to close

A small shop with a distinctly local flair will be the scene of a farewell party during this Friday evening’s Gallery Cruise.

A small shop with a distinctly local flair will be the scene of a farewell party during this Friday evening’s Gallery Cruise.

The shop, SAW — an acronym for Starving Artists Works — is slated to close April 8 and may reopen in another location, said its proprietor, Heather Brynn, a local artist who also works full time as a realtor.

Brynn has been running SAW for about a year, with help from her son and daughter, Colin and Kelly Brynn, as well as shop co-founders Maggie Smith and Sophia Stendahl.

The shop featured an array of work by an all-island roster of 52 artists.

Currently, however, the store’s one-year lease has not been renewed by its landlord and next-door neighbor, The Hardware Store Restaurant. The eatery’s owner, Melinda Sontgerath, said that she had intentionally only offered SAW a one-year lease because she had other plans for the space.

Sontgerath said that she is not quite ready to reveal those plans, but she will be soon.

“It’s a concept that has been in the works for a long time,” she hinted. “It is food and beverage related, and it will complement what we do at the restaurant.” She added that she expects her new venture to open in May or June.

Sontgerath said she had been working with Brynn to help find a new location for SAW.

But Brynn said she hasn’t seen any spaces that were quite right, though she will continue her search.

“It’s disappointing there is nowhere uptown to move right now,” she said.

The shop  has been an outlet for such well-known island figures as photographer Ray Pforter, woodworkers Curt Minier and Richard Beck, jeweler and garden artist Steve Zartman, painter Ilse Reimnitz and multimedia artists Mary Margaret Briggs and Charlotte Masi.

The small shop was filled with examples of Vashon’s eclectic artistic output — hand-made goods and gifts that included leather earrings, gourd art, hanging terrariums, watercolors, wooden bowls, handbags, silk scarves, beeswax candles, mirrors and more.

Brynn urged islanders to stop by the shop one last time on First Friday and through the weekend.

“I hope people come in if they’ve had their eye on something,” she said. “I’m not sure where people will be able to find those things after we close.”





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