More than 300 people turned out to tour the latest entry into Maryville’s art community, the Pistol Creek Gallery.
Gallery owner, artist Heather Whitestone, was pleased with the crowd that browsed through the gallery during the grand opening event on Sept. 6. While the event premiered the new gallery, it also was a fundraiser for Blount County Humane Society.
“I thought it was great,” said Whitestone of the opening. “What a wonderful turnout. I would guess about 300 people came.”
Whitestone said the community has welcomed her gallery. “It is a great opportunity to bring these artists into the public eye. Maryville is a wonderful place to showcase,” she said.
Whitestone said artists from Blount County would be featured as well as a mix of other artists from East Tennessee and the southeastern United States.
The artist/entrepreneur said Pistol Creek Gallery has a warm and friendly environment that’s very comforting. “It’s very comfortable. One of the things I heard from people during the reception is that this it isn’t snobby at all,” Whitestone said. “It’s not going to be your typical gallery where people feel intimidated. It’s not that at all, and I think people can come in and have cup of coffee and enjoy art work.”
Whitestone was enthusiastic about her new venture. “I’m really excited to be here, and I’m looking forward to many good years of business in this community,” she said.
The gallery owner, a California native, has been a painter for 20 years. “It’s absolutely a passion I’ve had all my life. They say you do what you love, and, for me, this is what I love to do and what I’m good at,” she said. “If you work long and hard enough at something, you succeed.”
The gallery will be Whitestone’s working art studio as well. “It’s fantastic to be able to share that with people. So many people love to see art in progress, and they can come into the gallery and watch me paint and see my latest work,” she said.
Whitestone said she has fallen in love with Maryville. “What a neat, neat town,” she said. “The people are so wonderful and friendly and welcoming.”