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Be there or be squared

B2 Fine Art Gallery and Studios set to open in Tacoma

B2 FINE ART GALLERY: It will celebrate its grand opening Aug. 13. Photography by Paul Schrag

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Gary and Deborah Boone could have dropped their new art gallery in the middle of Pioneer Square. But they chose Ledger Square instead. Ledger Square is in Tacoma, by the way. It will soon be home to B2 Fine Art Gallery and Studios. "B2" usually is pronounced "Bee Too". But in this case, it's "B-squared". Like an exponential "B", which stands for Boone. Two Boones. Got it?

A year in the making, B2 will fill 4,200 square feet of 711 St. Helens Ave. Listening to Gary Boone describe the array of artists, amenities and services soon to be available made me dizzy. Gary is a nice man. He gave me advice for treating the tail end of a cold. He knows about art too. In fact, these people seem to be professional artists. Originally from the East Coast, the Boones moved to Washington 20 years ago and fell in love. Then they fell in love with Tacoma.

"We heard about the work the city of Tacoma was doing relating to art and development," says Gary Boone. "Living in Seattle and Olympia, we were always curious about Tacoma. We thought about opening our gallery in Pioneer Square. We thought long and hard about it, and decided to open it in Tacoma."

Boone's wife Deborah works with notable organizations such as the Pacific Northwest African American Quilters and the Northwest African American Fine Arts Group. Locals may remember some of her quilt work from a 2007 showing of works by Pacific Northwest African American Quilters at the Tacoma Art Museum. Both have worked as arts professionals for the past 25 years.

"I've been a collector for more than 25 years," says Gary Boone. "My mother said that I could find art any place; that art is all around us. She said if you reach out to it, it will reach back to you. That left a big impression on me."

The Boones also hope to leave an impression on Tacoma's art scene. Their Tacoma gallery will be an "artist-run, contemporary art gallery and creative space dedicated to bringing an array of the most provocatively, relevant, emerging and established artisans throughout the Northwest, and around the globe." That's from the website. The gallery will host work in all media, including painting, drawing and printmaking, sculpture, photography, fiber, film and video. The space is ample, and will present an anticipated eight to 12 exhibitions per year, accompanied by periodic artisan lectures and workshops. By the way, the Boones use the words "artisan" and "artist" interchangeably.

Beyond traditional gallery showings, B2 will be churning out quite a bit of arts business. Want to know how to make money selling art? Copy everything the Boones do. For example, B2 will offer an arts lease and rental program, offering select works for short or long-term stays in select hallways and living rooms. Or offices. Or events. Art rental. Genius. B2 also will offer a full range of promotion and marketing services for local artists. For local corporate types, the Boones will help develop private collections and corporate collections. They'll also offer framing, installation services, and a couple more things I can't remember.

Like I said - the Boones' excitement made me dizzy.

B2 will celebrate its grand opening Aug. 13 with a diverse showing of artists from the Pacific Northwest. Expressive Facets of Nature will display the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest through the works of seven northwest artist working in mediums ranging from threads to leaves to Chinese brushwork. The one of a kind collaborative debut will be on exhibition for six weeks, closing Sept. 25.

B2 Fine Art Gallery

Grand Opening Aug. 13
711 St. Helens Ave., Suite 100, Tacoma

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Comments for "Be there or be squared" (2)

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Lisa Lambert-Carter said on Aug. 08, 2010 at 2:01pm

Gary i wish i could be there to support you and your wife. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS.

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Nanci Woodson said on Aug. 09, 2010 at 4:17pm

CONGRATULATIONS Gary! Much success to B2!!

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