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Boom!

It's Olympia's newest gallery

Gallery Boom interior with display case featuring Julie Lane’s show sculptures. Photo credit: Gabi Clayton

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Downtown Olympia's Gallery Boom is the newest art gallery in town. But some might question if it's really an art gallery or if it's a flea market for artists. It is jam-packed with paintings, prints, post cards, and craft items of every imaginable sort. The craft items are generally of much better quality than the paintings I saw on a recent visit.

There are many of those wonderful Space Needle lamps and other sculptural objects by Pat Tassoni that so many Olympia area art lovers came to know and love when he showed them at the old Matter Gallery. They are unique, inventive and well crafted.

From Tom Boucher's Science Artifact Co., there are tiny tools embedded in plexiglass, some lighted, which are like miniature butterfly collections only made up of little hand tools, some almost microscopic in size. They are fascinating and attractive.

There are attractive etchings and woodcuts by feminist artist Remi Winona.

There are funky, funny sculptures by Julie Lane made from old shoes that are painted and stuffed with all kinds of oddities and/or stuffed into various containers. Buy one of these and stick it on a shelf at home and you'll be guaranteed to have a conversation starter for years to come.

There are Popa Dick the $10 Painter's $10 paintings -- what appeared at a brief scan to be more than a hundred unframed paintings priced at $10 each. They're sloppy and amateurish, and I suspect some people might buy them as a joke.

There are professional quality photographs by Larry Buckley of detritus seen in urban and rural settings. There's one of a rusted old truck parked at a seaport with boats in the background and a great photo of a purple bike in a garden.

Craft items range from handmade dolls to funky clocks to scarves, coffee mugs, knitwear and more.

You never know what you might find inside Gallery Boom.

The gallery originally opened in Tumwater in July 2014 as part of the Tumwater Chamber of Commerce incubator program. It was in the little blue building in the parking lot of the Fred Meyer in Tumwater, that housed the Tumwater Chamber of Commerce. It was there for two years before relocating to Olympia.

Currently, there are works by 140 artists from the South Sound area. There are three rentable spaces for events, art shows, and classes, as well as the Art Parts used art supply store where you can purchase canvases, old frames galore, and books on arts and crafts, all used and all cheap. And there's a rentable psychic tent -- that's right, a psychic tent -- and the Artful Rabbit, a vintage art store.

If people are interested in being artists with Gallery Boom, they can send three pictures of their art to Galleryboomolympia@gmail.com to set up a date and time to meet and talk for about an hour about the gallery and the best way to work with them. There is also a helpful pamphlet at the gallery that walks people through the process.

With a large selection and reasonable prices, Gallery Boom is a great place for holiday gift shopping.

Gallery Boom, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, winter hours starting Jan. 2 are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday; closed Monday, 520 Adams St. SE, Olympia, 360.259.3412, galleryboom.com 

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Chang Thai

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