Voices

Antique shop doubles as gallery for area art

Artists Emma Randolph, left, and Melinda Melvin talk about Melvin’s work hanging on the wall Friday at Heart of Spokane. (Jesse Tinsley)
Artists Emma Randolph, left, and Melinda Melvin talk about Melvin’s work hanging on the wall Friday at Heart of Spokane. (Jesse Tinsley)

Spokane artist Cecile Charles is at the helm of a new gallery and antique shop on North Monroe Street called Heart of Spokane, featuring works by a couple dozen regional artists and artisans.

The shop is already open but the grand reopening celebration is planned for Jan. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“We were across the street when this building came open,” said Charles, who’s a longtime gallery owner.

Heart of Spokane is located where Fabulous Finds and Julie Button’s used to be.

“Those were great businesses and I think we get a lot of traffic from their customers still coming in here,” Charles said.

Among the artists with works in the shop are Dian Allison, Linda Malcon and Charles herself.

“I do everything from hither to thither,” said Allison about her paintings that were featured for First Friday last week. “What I love about this shop is that you think you’re going to be here for five minutes, and then you just keep finding things and you stay and stay longer.”

There’s a wide variety of glass and porcelain, as well as smaller pieces of furniture and some really funky stuff such as handbaskets made out of old cassette tapes.

Charles said every artist is allowed to bring in two expensive pieces of art, but most of the pieces are less than $250.

There are six antique and vintage vendors at Heart of Spokane.

Charles is launching “Notable Spices,” which lets well-known Spokanites share their secret recipes for barbecue rubs and marinade spice blends with customers. The proceeds go to Inland Northwest Baby, which collects and distributes diapers and children’s clothes to low-income families.

So far, business has been great, Charles said.

But isn’t it insanity to open a shop like this in a slumping economy?

“No, I don’t think so,” Charles said. “The concept is that the vintage stuff draws people in who may otherwise not see the artists’ work – and then everyone benefits from it.”



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