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What’s the Deal With: Gallery Alley?

Painted doors prettify the urban core

Painted doors share space with garage bins
Painted doors share space with garage bins (Amy Kepferle/Cascadia Daily News)
By Amy Kepferle Staff Reporter

Among the dumpsters, blue and green garbage bins, leaf-filled storm drains and ladders lining the alley between the Wild Buffalo and Mindport Exhibits on Holly Street, passersby might notice works of art hung along the brick walls.

Welcome to Gallery Alley, a collaboration between the Downtown Bellingham Partnership and the RE Store, wherein the recycling hub donates previously used doors, and area artists paint visions on them to bring them back to life. The refurbished portals spend a few months beautifying the urban core before being replaced by other works of art, so what you see on one visit may differ on the next. 

Downtown Bellingham Partnership Executive Director Alice Clark — whose flower- and bird-filled painting touting Mahatma Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world” quote is currently on display in the adorned alley — said artists aren’t given parameters, and that she used waterproof acrylic paint on her door. 

But what’s the deal with the empty spot on the “gallery” wall? Apparently, a painting was stolen from the alley and a cryptic note led to a treasure hunt in the county, where the door was eventually recovered. Stay tuned for more details about the art-related adventure in an upcoming issue of Cascadia Daily News.

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