La Conner Artists Gallery Celebrates 10th Anniversary

La Conner Artists Gallery will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary in March. “Every Saturday, we will have Artists Meet & Greets, Artists in Action, special sales, refreshments, and live music,” says Lisa Judy, Chief Founding Officer, La Conner Artists Gallery. The Gallery is open daily in March from 10-5:30 with Live Music Saturdays 12 – 6 and Artists Demonstrations on Fridays and Saturdays from 11-3. Daffodils will be for sale in the Gallery to celebrate the La Conner Daffodil Festival and support the La Conner Kiwanis.

10th Anniversary Celebration

Joy Ann Lajeret, Dave Nichols, and Ted Pickett will perform at the La Conner Artists’ Gallery 10 year celebration on March 19 from 3 – 6 pm. Joy Ann Lajeret studied music all of her life and learned to play the flute, accordion, piano, and guitar. She and her husband had a country band in Seattle for 15 years. In 2018 she joined the Redmond Band and the Northshore Senior Center Band. She performed at senior communities and jammed at various venues throughout Seattle and the eastside with notable musicians in the area.

Dave Nichols, recognized as one of the top guitar players in the area, plays various musical styles. Dave has played in bands for many years and has backed up several national acts, including Chuck Berry and Carey Bell. Since arriving in the Seattle/Tacoma area, Dave has played in several local groups and frequently sits in to round out other lineups.

Ted Picket is a musician and vocalist who has recently taken up the task of playing acoustic guitar and singing as a Neil Diamond Tribute artist. In addition to Neil Diamond’s songs, he has added music from Frank Sinatra, Gene Autry, Johnny Cash, Andy Williams, Frankie Lane, John Denver, and more. Ted has been playing in bands since he was 17. In addition to playing bass, acoustic guitar, and singing, Ted also can play keyboards.

Joy Ann Lajeret

Kevin Summers will be playing at the La Conner Artists’ Gallery 10 year celebration on March 12 from 12 – 3 pm and March 26 from 12 – 3 pm. Kevin has played tenor saxophone professionally on street corners and with multiple bands for 40 years, and he has played the I-5 corridor from Tacoma to Bellingham at farmers’ markets, festivals, and streets. He has enjoyed being the Saxman for such bands as The Cruise Brothers, RiverTalk, Wishbone Alley, and most recently Mary Ellen Lykins and The C.C. Adams Band.

Mark Goldberg will be performing on March 5 from 3 -6 pm at the La Conner Artists” Gallery 10 year celebration. Mark has been playing guitar, keyboard, and performing as a solo artist in the Seattle area since 1999. He has explored many genres of music, including blues, R & B, acoustic folk, jazz, pop, rock, among others. Some of his credits include a stint in the El Comino College Jass Band and several other bands in the LA area before returning to his hometown of Seattle.

Joining us in celebration on Saturday, March 5, and again on Saturday, March 19, from 12 – 3 pm is (Torg) Torgerson. Torgerson performs instrumental/vocal music on the Weissenborn and acoustic lap steel guitars. His range includes originals, Hawaiian, blues/traditional tunes. Torg has been active musically in the Skagit Valley for many years, playing with the Stilly River Band, Lane Fernando, and other bands. He currently is tickled to be playing Dobro in the Pacific Twang band.
Joining us in celebration on Saturday, March 12, and again on Saturday, March 26 at 3:00 pm is el Colonel.

La Conner Artists Gallery History

In late 2011 a nonprofit arts organization specializing in creating, owning, and operating affordable spaces for artists called “Artspace” was asked to come to La Conner but needed nine properties to view. The townsfolk who requested Artspace did so, intending to develop the dilapidated property at the south end of town. Lisa Judy’s family owned the Pier 7 building and was invited to be part of the process. The family was not interested in selling their building, but Judy was encouraged by their approach and offered up an available empty space in the southwest corner of the building.

Two weeks later, starting with nothing, Judy applied for business licenses, and That’s Knot All an Artists Cooperative was born. “The original intention was to create a 501(c)3 and eventually hand the business over to the artists but found that that business model was not going to be successful with the vast variety of opinions and for it to be successful it needed one person to drive the ship and be the ballast” says Lisa Judy.

Over the last ten years, the Artists Cooperative has been through many hard times; the creation of the boardwalk forced them to close for an extended period, but they carried on, and in 2017, the 5th year, they moved to the northeast corner of the building which is nearly double the size of the former space. “2020 and Covid nearly closed us, but with the help of a small business Cares Grant and relief from the building, we will be celebrating ten years in business,” says Lisa Judy.

What Makes La Conner Artists Gallery Different?

The Gallery conducts business in a cooperative spirit. “We are dedicated to providing our artists with the security of no direct competition in our shop and the town as a whole,” says Lisa Judy.

Their happy customers comment most on how the friendly artists provide excellent customer service, fun atmosphere, variety of quality original art sold at a great price which is typically much lower than typical gift shops.

This shop is a feast for the eyes filled with unique works of art. It is our go- to place for gifts while supporting local talent. We have three new items ready for our spring garden.

When asked what is most challenging at the Gallery, Lisa replied, “Turning interested jurying artists down when they want to join our group. With respect for our artist family, we work very hard to create an environment of no competition so each can shine in their creativity.”

La Conner Artists Gallery is an eclectic mix of artistic mediums presented daily by La Conner and Skagit Valley local artists. The artists host a yearly garage sale in August and regularly scheduled events. During the busiest times of the year, the Gallery extends the hours and offers special deals and holiday sales.

The Galleries customers and guests love the tiny town of La Conner. Many guests comment that it’s a joy to meet the artists, as they are local, every time they visit. “They also love that vast ever-changing selection of affordable art,” adds Lisa. “When guests find out that we are still the co-op that was in the opposite corner of our building, they get excited to know that we are still in business..even with a slight name change.”