Small space, big ideas

Aligned Gallery of Fine Art opens its doors on Cedar Street, reception slated for Dec. 19

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

When Rebecca Vader moved to Sandpoint from Boise, she wasn’t entirely sure what her life up north might look like. However, it didn’t take long for the avid art lover to decide how she’d contribute to her new home.

Gallerists Rebecca Vader and Claire Christy stand in their newly opened gallery on Cedar Street. Photos by Lyndsie Kiebert.

“I’d been checking out some of the [Sandpoint] galleries and some of the artwork, and I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of subculture kind of stuff — different things,” Vader said. “I went back to Boise on a trip to visit my family and had this epiphany — ‘Why didn’t I just open an art gallery?’ I know plenty of artists that would fit in really well in this city, so I did it.”

Now, Vader is the proud co-owner of Aligned Gallery of Fine Art — located at 502 Cedar St., next to Misty Mountain Furniture — along with fellow gallery owner and curator Claire Christy. The pair will host a reception 5-8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19 showcasing the work of Boise artist Jon Morse. 

Christy said she hopes the three-hour time block will allow everyone to view the art without creating a packed house inside the gallery, in an effort to follow pandemic social distancing protocols.

While the new gallery is admittedly small, Vader has given it some much-needed dimension with a set of hanging walls.

“It’s such a small spot, but I wanted to have as much usable wall space [as I could],” Vader said. “I kind of built it around Jon’s art, and because we’re going to be doing rotating artists, we’re going to do that for each artist that comes in — we’re going to make [the space] specifically for their art.”

Morse is a tattoo artist who was inspired by meditation to embark on his latest artistic venture: a collection of bright, geometric paintings titled The Download. All of the originals showcased at Aligned are for sale, and there are also a few prints available at the gallery.

“As an artist I look inside and bring something honest and vulnerable back to the surface for you to see,” Morse writes in his artist statement to accompany the collection currently on display. “I hope that when someone views a piece in person, their expectations and my execution meet somewhere in the middle. This space where my vulnerability and your acceptance meet is nothing short of magic.”

As Aligned hosts its first reception and the gallerists navigate their first season in business, it’s clear that Vader and Christy have their sights set beyond the walls of 502 Cedar St. Vader said there are “future plans to expand beyond the gallery.”

“We want the gallery to be us testing the waters of the public response and what people are looking for,” she said, “but come the summertime, we’re hoping to have some big things rolling that will contribute back to the community quite a bit.”

Aligned Gallery is currently showing the work of Boise artist Jon Morse. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert.

For now, the gallerists behind Aligned hope to foster a space that adds something new to Sandpoint’s art scene.

“I think [our gallery is] going to offer something unique,” Christy said, noting that the art already seen around North Idaho is wonderful in its own right. “There’s appreciation for that, too. But I think the art that we’re trying to bring in and the artists that we’re going to promote are just doing something different, and I think there’s a need for that and wanting for that among people who live in Sandpoint.”

Those who can’t make the Saturday, Dec. 19 reception but are still interested in seeing Jon Morse’s art in person can contact the gallerists via Instagram @aligned_galleryoffineart or email [email protected] to schedule a private viewing. Artists interested in showing their work at Aligned Gallery of Fine Art are also encouraged to reach out.

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