PLEASE HELP US MOVE BACK TO OLGA AFTER THE JULY 2013 FIRE.
INVEST IN OUR FUTURE AND OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY.
The Artworks is a not-for-profit cooperative gallery founded in 1981 to provide a high quality showcase for a unique group of Orcas Island artists and craftspeople, its goal being to encourage artistic creativity and excellence in craftsmanship, and to promote handcrafts as a means of livelihood. Everything in our shop is made by local artists and craftspeople, currently numbering 45 and representing handmade jewelry, furniture-making, painting, sculpture, textiles, printmaking, glassworks, leatherwork and other crafts. Our permanent location is in the bucolic hamlet of Olga on Orcas Island, in the San Juan Archipelago of NW Washington State. Participating members mind the gallery and manage all its financial, organizational, and promotional aspects.
The old strawberry plant housing the gallery is a charming rustic setting owned by the Olga Strawberry Council, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to maintain the building as a gathering place for social interactions and a venue for local businesses. It is further protected by a San Juan County Land Bank historical easement, and is on the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places.
On July 19, 2013 a devastating fire caused severe damage to the historic building and its businesses just before the height of the tourist season, which is the mainstay of island commerce. The subsequent weeks were extremely challenging, requiring a great deal of dedication and mobilization in order to relocate the Orcas Island Artworks and James Hardman Gallery to 217 Main Street in Eastsound and keep them in business. Likewise, the Café Olga has relocated to 18 Urner Street in Eastsound until the Olga building is rebuilt. The fire was classified as “suspicious” and investigated by the ATF in addition to local police. The building was insured and will be repaired to code, but additional funds will be required. To make a tax-deductible donation for the restoration of the building structure, please go to http://www.olgastrawberrycouncil.org for further instructions, building updates, and an excellent slideshow of the aftermath of the fire. Donations made directly to the Orcas Island Artworks cooperative will help the not-for-profit establishment itself recover from the costs of relocation and help the membership move back into the Olga building when repairs are completed. Though our insurance covers material artwork losses and some of the gallery business property in the building, it does not cover cost of relocation or loss of operating income needed to pay bills. Donations made directly to the Orcas Island Artworks cooperative are not tax deductible, but will earn our gratitude and our pledge to restore the cooperative to its original historic location. To donate directly to the Artworks (orcasartworks.com), please click on the “Donate” button or send a check to Artworks, PO Box 125, Olga, WA 98279:
All contributions will be allocated according to our greatest need:
Movable partitions Café / Gallery boundary wall
New gallery sign
Porch renovation, stairs, courtyard
Fire suppression system
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT! We will post new images of our progress as we make our way back to Olga.