07/20/2008 -- Silver Heron Celebrates Its Extreme Makeover

Where families once stood tossing fish to barking seals, there is now one of the Oregon coast's most elegant galleries. This summer marks the first anniversary of Silver Heron Gallery and the extreme makeover that converted the famous Depoe Bay Aquarium building into a fine art experience. The transformation is a tribute to the vision of owners John and Talley Woodmark. It took nearly five years of extensive remodeling and architectural challenges to transform the dowdy, aging aquarium into a beauty queen of an art gallery. Working with the structural elements of the historical building, creative solutions were required for the transformation. Parts of the original concrete seal pool have now become a ledge for sculpture and the long time coastal attraction's built-in aquarium displays now are jewelry showcases. The beautiful 3000 square-foot gallery features sculpture, art glass, painting, fine art furniture, jewelry and mixed media works. The upper floor, from which visitors used to enjoy the antics of the aquarium's seals below, is now The Artist's Palette, a wine, cheese and chocolate salon and piano bar, perfect for receptions, special exhibitions and artist demonstrations. Not all of the changes are on the surface. Talley mentors emerging artists, provides lodging to exhibitors through the Artist Retreat program and created a series of arts and education programs to benefit area youth and artists at large in partnership through the Wade J. Woodmark Foundation, created in memory of the son they lost in a tragic accident. From June through September, the gallery is donating 10 percent of all sales to the foundation to celebrate this first anniversary. This past spring, Silver Heron Gallery was a 2008 nominee for the Niche magazine top retailer awards. Silver Heron Gallery is located at 15 SE Bay Street in Depoe Bay, (541) 765-2886.

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