About the Purple Easel Gallery
For years, the manager of the Gallery, Celeste Graham, had a dream to create a place for artists to display their art and to serve as a hub for the creative community. With encouragement and help from friends and artists, this desire came to fruition with the creation of the Purple Easel Gallery. The artist co-op consists of artisans from Lemhi and Custer Counties.
In 2008, the gallery began in a house at 1001 Main Street, Salmon, Idaho. There was room enough for only 15 artists to display their work, but it was a start.
In the spring of 2009, a larger downtown location became available. The 15 artists moved to the new location at 402 Main Street. The new location offered the opportunity to expand the services to include framing as well as space to offer art classes. The number of artists increased to 32 and the space allowed display of jewelry, woodworking and glass.
Although this location was an improvement over the previous location, it had its limitations both in lighting and classroom space. The classroom was used for both framing and classes. Consequently, when the workshops were in progress, the framing was stored away. The number of artists grew to 32 and the space had once again become cramped.
In April 2010, the gallery moved two doors east when its current location at 408 Main Street became available. The new space allowed for dedicated spaces for framing and a workshop/meeting space. The gallery space increased to allow 50 or more artists to display their works.
The gallery has become a center for the creative community, hosting the Lemhi County Art Guild weekly on Wednesdays, and the River of No Return Photo Club on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Other groups have used the meeting area to hold meetings, such as sororities and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Annually the gallery hosts an Open House in May, inviting the community to come in and meet their local artists and neighbors. In 2012, the gallery joined with the Salmon Arts Council to sponsor an Artists Studio Tour. In 2012, the gallery sponsored a watercolor workshop featuring the internationally known artist Tony Couch which drew students from as far away as Canada and Washington.
Be sure to stop by the next time you’re in town; you won’t want to miss experiencing the PEG, a one-of-a-kind art gallery.