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Artists joining downtown scene, as of Saturday

By: Carol Feineman, editor
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I learned a new meaning this weekend for fab. A Rancho Cordova musician told me that music lovers in the ’60s and ’70s called Sacramento fab or “totally awesome.” That same word can be used to describe The Place!, a fine-arts retail gallery and antiques store that opens Saturday in downtown Lincoln. Up to 25 Lincoln-area artists in all genres will have works displayed and available for purchase at 505 G. St. The venue will also host monthly artist receptions, special events, workshops and art demonstrations. I’m excited that in just three days, residents will be able to share in art at The Place! five days a week. Since April, The Place! partners Kathy Dorsey, Bonnie Dunlap and Jean Cross have worked before and after their day jobs to turn the site of a former candle shop into a fine-arts gallery. For the last year, the three partners have searched for the best location for their new venture. When 505 G St. recently became available, the three knew they had found the best possible location. This 700-square-foot space has been home to several businesses since 1864, including a former grocery store and the Bank of Lincoln. That means Dorsey, Dunlap and Cross have now spent hundreds of hours scrubbing and scraping the floor and walls, and tearing out two false ceilings to highlight the building’s original 15-foot ceiling. Not to mention the days spent by two of the partners’ husbands, Dan Cross and Terry Dorsey, as they tore out layers of floor coverings while the thermometer jumped above 100 degrees, just to honor the building’s former appearance. To me, a city’s downtown is a reflection of a city’s overall well-being. Every city that’s a desirable place to live has a vibrant mix of galleries, shops, banks, service businesses, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. These venues serve as gathering places that keep us in touch with neighbors we might not otherwise meet in our daily routines. In other words, the locations create community. The Place’s! three partners wanted to be downtown, according to Cross. “I want to see 12 galleries or more in downtown Lincoln. I want to see 12 restaurants or more downtown,” Cross said. Besides displaying works by local artists, The Place! will also sell Gladding, McBean terra-cotta fragments and tiles made into garden art and home decorations, according to Cross, a sculptor there since 2001. Her husband, the Gladding, McBean sales manager, is helping her create these new works. In addition, old photographs Cross restored as a Lincoln Area Archives Museum volunteer will be sold at The Place! The nonprofit Archives will receive a percentage of the sales. The Place! will complement the Sierra Hills Framing shop four doors down that sells western art and the Lincoln Arts gallery a block away on 580 6th St. “There has always been a love of art by the community and now we’re a new resource,” Cross said. “The timing is perfect. When the bypass goes through, the city will be more pedestrian-friendly.” Simple Pleasures owner Diana Burke, who grew up in Lincoln, is also happy that The Place! will open Saturday. “I’m excited by Jean’s, Kathy’s and Bonnie’s whole vision,” Burke said. “They’re bringing very unique and affordable art to Lincoln. Their whole structure is to bring local artists here and to bring in regional visitors. That’s very cool.” The Place! is definitely fab. It’s also a great reason for residents to celebrate more art and business in the downtown area. Know and Go What: The Place! opening-day celebration When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday Where: 505 G St. Info: 434-0505 Carol Feineman can be reached at carolf@goldcountrymedia.com