A sleek, gray Squid greets visitors to Yachat’s newest art gallery, Laughing Crab Gallery, at 2334 N Highway 101.
“Squid, the cat, is king around here,” co-owner Kim McLaughlin said. “He loves to greet everyone who comes inside.”
The gallery features mainly coastal and ocean art, created almost completely by Oregon artists, many of whom are local to the area.
“We represent more than 50 artists,” McLaughlin said. “There’s jewelry, driftwood art, paintings, photography, wood art, ceramics, seaglass art and metalwork by co-owner Gary Manos. We’ll have at least 20 of the local artists present for our grand opening on June. 8.”
In addition, local artist Charlie Munroe will do a painting demonstration during the grand opening, which runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday.
“There will be wine and music,” McLaughlin said. “We are going to have food catered by Silver Surf Bistro, and musicians Zeora and Sage and Margo and Richard Petro will perform. This is kind of our celebration to say thank you to the community.”
She said the community has been very supportive of her, Manos and the gallery itself.
“We’ve never had a gallery before,” she said. “We moved here from Eugene so we could have a gallery. We’ve been welcomed with open arms. The people here are extremely friendly and supportive. We feel so blessed to make this move here.”
McLaughlin started the gallery after more than 30 years in the child care field with Manos. who built a following through his brand, Steel Knight Designs.
“I owned a child care center for 21 years,” McLaughlin said. “The world of child care was great, but it was time to switch gears. This feels like the perfect segue. My first degree was in retail marketing, so I’m going full circle in a way. I enjoy being around art and feel at home in this place.”
She added she wants everyone to feel that way in the gallery.
“We have a wonderful back parlor, and we serve coffee, teas and pastries in the mornings,” she said. “We want people to cozy up by the fireplace and be comfortable. Our mission statement is we are a comfortable, eclectic, fun gallery, with affordable art to adorn your home and body.”
Even the name of the gallery reflects the sentiment.
“The idea just came to me,” she said. “It’s fun, and it portrays the whimsical, fun and approachable nature of this gallery. We want people to feel comfortable and hang out here.”
In the future, McLaughlin said they plan to sell wines, ciders and beers and have tastings in the parlor.
“We are working on our outdoor courtyard, too, and we hope to add garden art and plants,” she said. “Every week I find another artist to add to our repertoire, as well. We hope to be here for a really long time.”
More information can be found on Facebook at The Laughing Crab Gallery. People can also call the gallery directly at 541-521-9430.