Hello Esteemed Readers,
Tieton’s local art gallery, the “Boxx”, occupies a commercial space at 616-A Maple Street that was once a building without a long-term purpose. In past years, the original owner had used the abandoned storefront as a storage space for his vintage car collection. But after the building was sold to new owners with more artistic and community-based values, the interior was transformed into a new distribution center for the previously displaced Tieton Food Bank, and room was also set aside to accommodate temporary pop-up art exhibits that warmed and brightened the overall ambiance of the shared space.
Soon, two more “artistic pioneers” from Seattle approached the owners with a unique idea: Why not reimagine the building as a more formal gallery, with art sales commissions set aside to support the Food Bank? It sounded like a Win/Win for all involved. The building interior was remodeled with the Food Bank occupying a different room, and the Boxx Gallery proper opened its doors in 2015. It joined 11 other Tieton businesses that surround the tidy, tree-lined town square.
And then more artists began to arrive.
From its beginning, The Boxx gallery was an artistic treasure that took pride in making its byline—"The Little Gallery with a Big Heart”—a model for community-based engagement. All gallery commissions were indeed funneled to our local Food Bank to help support those less fortunate in the town. And by accessing the gallery’s unique, free-entry exhibits that are open to all, Tieton residents began to realize that everyday life in a small town could be enlivened and enriched by the welcoming cultural resources that the Boxx provides.
Past exhibits have featured work by accomplished local artists as well as renowned art luminaries whose creations are revered in the larger world far beyond Tieton. Upcoming plans for the Boxx include visiting artist residencies, presentations, and classes.
This February, 2023, the Boxx hosted a special, seasonal, “pop-up” exhibit that featured an array of all ages, hand-made valentines, along with two displays of unique, vintage valentines from private collections. The result was a fun, community-based Hit all around. As an invitation for artistic exploration, the Boxx set up a table in the entry that held an array of irresistible art supplies so that even walk-in viewers could add their own personal valentines to the exhibit mix.
You can scroll through the visual gallery highlights below with this musical accompaniment in honor of Valentines’ Day.
You can’t go wrong when you design valentines to honor Tieton City Council members and other staff heroes:
For 37 years, Jane Gutting and Terry Martin have been making and sending valentines to their biological and chosen families. This photo shows examples of their cards and ceramic hearts:
I hope your Valentine’s day was as lovely as this unique Tieton-made exhibit.
With all Best Wishes,
Sandra Dean, Visual Artist
Tieton, Washington USA