Browsers and buyers are both welcome at the newly opened Sapphire Gallery in Jamestown.
"It is a kind of an exciting opportunity to come home and start a business in my hometown," said Jill Edinger, Sapphire Gallery-Jamestown owner. "We just want people to come in and see the talent that their neighbors have."
Prior to deciding to open an art gallery, Edinger, a Jamestown native was looking to purchase a store downtown.
"That kind of fell through but in my business plan I had included the gallery in the space that was vacant next to the store," Edinger said. "As a photographer, I am always looking for different avenues to show my work. The gallery seed had been planted, the space was available so I just decided to continue down that path and pursue the gallery."
Sometime later the storefront Edinger was originally looking to purchase became available. The extra space has allowed Edinger to expand the gallery and add a few more local artists to the lineup. The gallery, located at 109 1st St W was originally slated to open the third week in March but the opening was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It definitely has been a challenge," Edinger said of opening a new business amidst a pandemic. "People have been so supportive and we've had great traffic. We are growing which is great but (the coronavirus) definitely does have an effect on our business and what is happening. I hope that when we get past this we see some consistency."
Edinger opened the gallery to the public at the beginning of May. The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Edinger said quarantining has posed challenges to the business, but appropriate sanitizing and disinfecting practices have been adopted and she is remaining optimistic about the gallery's prospects in Jamestown.
"I think we are going to do fine," Edinger said. "Jamestown has so many artists in our community and I do think that people support local business, I do think people support local artists. Downtown Jamestown has got a unique character to it. There are so many shops and the downtown association is really working to promote what is happening downtown so I think we are going to do just fine."
The Sapphire Gallery showcases work from 20 artists across the state of North Dakota. Edinger said patrons will see photography, oil prints, watercolor pieces, beaded jewelry and glasswork when visiting the gallery. Custom framing will become available to customers in the next couple of weeks.
"The beauty of this gallery is that everything is for sale," Edinger said. "We have pieces for businesses that have office space that they want to decorate, people who have homes and cabins -- we even have things that appropriate for a man-cave. We have such a wide variety of pieces that there is really something for everyone."