Racing to finish construction by show opening

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SHERIDAN — Sheridan Artists Guild Et al will host its seventh annual National Juried Art Show, with a reception and awards event at the Sagebrush Community Art Center’s new space at 21 W. Brundage St. from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, but the organization is still working on getting settled into the new space.

“We still have painters here, so it will be a photo finish to get everything done by Thursday,” SAGE Executive Director Kate Harrington said. “Everything is done in the Fine Art Gallery except a tiny bit of electrical work. The floor needs to be waxed downstairs and we will be hanging some more members’ art down there. Otherwise we are good to go.”

According to Harrington, businesses are not allowed to be open without sprinklers, and SAGE is waiting for its to be ready, but the city of Sheridan approved a special ordinance so that the show opening could occur at the new location. Other spaces of the Montgomery Ward building are still under construction, but the sprinklers should be ready to turn on within 10 days. Until that, time SAGE is offering private viewings by appointment. 

The new space was chosen for the artists guild because the location is in the center of the community — the WYO Theater is next door, the Chamber of Commerce is across the street and the Downtown Sheridan Association is just a few blocks away. 

“Art has to be in the middle of things and this is in the middle of things, so I think it’s perfect,” said Dianne Wyatt of Outback Studio; she has been showing with SAGE for more than 10 years.  

Harrington said the location is perfect for foot traffic accessibility, providing a user-friendly “just open the door and come right in” kind of space and creates a great opportunity to enrich, educate and expose the public to regional art. 

Construction to finish the space began in October. When it was purchased, it was a raw space with nothing on the walls, just beams and old floors. SAGE chose TSP Inc. and Mark Averett for the architect and O’Dell Construction won the contractor bid. 

The project has consisted of putting up drywall, painting, adding lighting, designing office space in the loft and soundproofing the ceiling and walls. Storage spaces were added to the layout including one that took the place of a staircase going down to the basement. The basement has a Terrazzo floor from the 1940s that has been polished in preparation for classes and workshops. There will be lights in the Members’ Gallery just like those in the Fine Art Gallery, but they haven’t been ordered yet. 

Because it is a permanent space, Harrington said SAGE was able to create a custom space that is specifically suited for hanging fine art, with high ceilings and lights that are specific to fine art. Ledges for viewing work were installed in the classroom and a quadrangle of lights will be installed specifically for still-life drawing. 

“The depot was a really nice space, but having our own space that’s especially for our purposes, that’s fantastic,” Wyatt said. “The new space has more of an art look to it rather than something that is adapted like the other space was. I think the size is nice for both galleries, the soundproofing will be very beneficial for gatherings and I even like the exposed pipes.”

The new space will be a lot handier than the depot when it comes to balancing visits from Jentel Presents, workshops and classes. The new floor in the basement will not require a tarp to protect it because it wipes down easily. The larger space will also accommodate more programs, and allow SAGE to cast a wider net and bring in more new people.   

“SAGE has been around for 75 years and has never had a permanent home until now,” Harrington said. “It ensures that we can be here for a long time.”

The show that opens Thursday, Feb. 2, is curated by local artist Heather Plank, who chose 35 pieces of art for the show out of 82 submissions. 

One of the paintings chosen is a pastel landscape by Wyatt. The painting is displayed on the west wall of the Fine Art Gallery, second from the inner doorway. 

“I entered three paintings in the competition,” Wyatt said. “I chose the paintings I thought were the best ones and I like the best, hoping that the juror would feel the same way.” 

Wyatt said that she enjoys doing plein air work using oil during the spring, summer and fall when it’s nice enough to go outdoors, and pastel pieces during the winter. The pastel pieces are typically larger than her oil paintings. 

For more information on the show, see

By |February 2nd, 2017|

About the Author:

Kristin Magnusson grew up in a rural town near Louisville, Kentucky. In 2003, she moved to Denver to earn a bachelor’s degree in multimedia studies and broaden her horizons. In 2009, Kristin moved to Sheridan , where she worked in video, as a ranch hand and veterinary assistant. In April 2016, she started a new adventure at The Sheridan Press.