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Howell takes reins at Evergreen Gallery

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By Sara Miller

The Evergreen Gallery, in existence for over 20 years, has found a bustling home tucked amongst the businesses of downtown Evergreen.

The gallery, founded in 1987 by Meryl Sabeff, is packed with unique art and has developed a following for its themed shows, during which Colorado artists create two- and three-dimensional pieces that fit a particular topic. Now, as the gallery enters its third decade, exciting changes are on the horizon.

This month, Sabeff announced her retirement and transition of the gallery’s ownership. Valerie Howell, Sabeff’s daughter-in-law, will take the reins as the owner/operator of The Evergreen Gallery. Howell has been managing the gallery for eight years and is well-equipped to lead the team in the gallery’s next phase.

“Meryl and I both view the gallery as a staple in Evergreen. We wanted it to continue to be just as wonderful as it has been for the past 21 years. Having been with the gallery for eight years, I’ve really grown into this position over time. It has always been a family-run business, so it just seemed logical to keep it in the family,” says Howell, who lives with her family in Evergreen as well.

During her first month of ownership, Howell has adopted a “why mess with a good thing” mentality. The gallery has enjoyed a steady stream of visitors over the years and has grown its representation to over 90 Colorado artists.

“The customer won’t notice many changes at the gallery. Visitors will still see the same smiling staff that has been here for years. And we’re acquiring new artists just as we always have,” says Howell.

The real changes to the gallery will be behind the scenes where Howell hopes to streamline gallery operations and make improvements to the technology used to track inventory, communicate with customers and market the gallery.

Meanwhile, although Sabeff has officially started her retirement, she will be busier than ever. Her pottery endeavors will become a full-time vocation, and she hopes to spend even more time with her grandchildren.

“Meryl is already talking about new designs and new glazes that she wants to experiment with,” says Howell. “This transition will give her the opportunity to focus on her passion and take advantage of this great community that we live in.”

The Evergreen Gallery will have a retirement/new ownership celebration as part of the Last Friday Gallery Walk from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 26. For information, call The Evergreen Gallery at 303-674-4871 or visit www.theevergreengallery.com.