Secrets.  We all got ’em. But when someone shares one, it’s really hard to keep hold of it, especially if it’s surrounded by great expectations.

It’s like the trip to San Francisco back in March, a couple of times I caught myself almost slipping when talking to Jim.  Somehow, JD, Erin and I kept it under wraps, despite the mounting excitement.

But now, the cat’s outta the bag.  I haven’t blogged about it, and will soon be sending news in my not-quite-monthly newsletter.  SMILING TURTLE.

smiling-turtle-logoSmiling Turtle Art Spot is my dream ’boutique’ turned art gallery & studios, and it’s real.  The lease is signed, we’ve done quite a bit of work. Ok, let me rephrase that, I’ve done a lot of cleaning, Funky Jim’s done a lot of WORK.  The gallery space is almost ready for (more) art, and we’re digging into the studio space now.

Bug guarding the Gallery

Bug guarding the Gallery

How did it start?  A few years back I really wanted to open a little boutique.  In fact, I had the perfect place picked out, and it came up for rent. (I envisioned painting it periwinkle and hanging big bright wooden Painted Daisies everywhere) boutiqueLike all of my major decisions (some day I’ll explain why I shouldn’t do this, especially with cars), I thought about it a lot, for too long.  The day Jim said, “why don’t you call?”, I did. And it was rented THAT DAY. Sniff.

But, I see opportunities where doors are closed.  This wasn’t the end of the dream, it was the start of digging deeper and watching things change.  I landed in the Hot Shops for a year.  And then, not long after leaving, I learned about Gallery 92 West in Fremont.  For me, Fremont isn’t a bad drive, 20 minutes.  But for my adoring fans (yeah, youz guyz), it can be a long haul, and I found that most of you didn’t want to drive all the way to Bennington or Fremont to take classes.

So I went looking for other locations that would be more convenient.  More closed doors.  Folks afraid of competition.  What’s a girl with a dream to do?

Smiling-Turtle-Facebook-ProfileMake it real!  And that’s when it went from dream to reality.  I started telling everyone what I wanted to do, I researched, met new folks, and even did something way out of my norm, I hired professionals to do stuff for me.  Gasp.  Yes, even a lawyer.  EEK.  Smiling Turtle LLC was born on April 24th.

Check out our new (in progress) website – www.smilingturtleartspot.com, courtesy of co-founder, Rowena Yvette Valentine.  As soon as we start having regular hours, they’ll be listed there.  We’re also having a big all artists, all media show in August/September – the call for art is on the website too.

In the meantime, our Facebook page is active. Like us. Follow us. And when we’re at the Smiling Turtle Art Spot working, we post our hours.  Guests are always welcome to check out our space and progress!


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