A store anchoring the corner of Bay and Scott streets in downtown Beaufort is reopening as another art gallery.
The Gallery closed in fall when owner Deanna Bowdish became curator of ARTworks and moved her gallery to the nonprofit art organization in Beaufort Town Center.
Since then, the space has been used periodically for special events, but the 802 Bay St. store has remained mostly empty.
A group of downtown business owners will open Salt Gallery, which will show a variety of art for sale. Renovations are underway, and the gallery is expected to open March 1.
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"I just hate to see an empty storefront," said Lundy Baker, one of the owners. "I want to see downtown thriving, and I believe we have a great art community."
Part owner Kelly Davidson, who moved her Greenfish Gallery from 1001 Bay St. to 812 Bay St. last summer, will continue to operate Greenfish as a separate "sister gallery." Along with selling art, Salt Gallery will rent display and studio space to artists, Davidson said.
Interviews are underway for prospective tenants, and those interested should contact Greenfish in person or at 843-379-1122.
Artist Hank Herring will run a framing workshop in the back of the gallery, and the second-story alcove will have a large table for classes and other meetings, Davidson said.
Baker said the long-term plan is to expand the gallery concept to include an online auction, where art can be sold and nonprofit groups can hold silent auctions or advertise their prizes online.
The name is a bit tongue-in-cheek, Davidson said. Not only does it pay homage to the Saltus building the gallery is in, but also recognizes "artists are the salt of the earth," she said.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.