It’s tucked among a barber shop, a driving school and a counseling office, across from a church and down the street from Kennewick High School.
It’s set to open June 23, and when it does it’ll be more than a gallery.
It’ll be an oasis of art — a place to celebrate art, to take it in. To discover new artists, make connections and find inspiration.
“It’s a place solely dedicated to artwork — to experience the artwork, commune with the artwork and each other,” said Cameron Mills, who’s opening Candy Gallery with his wife, Kathryn.
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The gallery is designed as a place “to be able to sink into a pure experience,” he said. “It’s lovingly tailored. It’s a lovingly tailored experience.”
A grand opening celebration is set for 7 p.m. June 23 at the gallery, 5 S. Dayton St.
The Mills plan to show their own work there and also highlight pieces created by other Northwest artists.
It’s a place solely dedicated to artwork — to experience the artwork, commune with the artwork and each other.
Cameron Mills, Candy Gallery
The opening show, for example, will feature paintings by Cameron and Kathryn, along with sculpture and other work by Sena Clara Creston and Shepard McCallum.
In the coming months, the Mills said to expect everything from paintings and photographs to music and video on display at Candy Gallery.
The gallery’s regular hours will be 5 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; it’ll be open outside those times by appointment.
The Mills, who live in Kennewick, are acclaimed artists who’ve shown their work throughout the Tri-Cities and beyond. One of their most recent exhibitions, displayed at DrewBoy Gallery in Richland and the Richland Public Library, featured paintings of scores and scores of shoes. It paid homage to a protest by environmental activists in France and explored the ability of art to enlighten and make a difference.
Cameron’s work and artistic process also memorably were featured in the 2015 documentary Faceless Fields of Colour.
The Mills used to own Kennewick Coffee Co. in downtown, so opening Candy Gallery — the name is a nod to a friend — is a homecoming of sorts.
“It’s been fun bumping back into old neighbors. There are lots of colorful characters, a lot of wonderful people here,” Kathryn said.
Taking the leap of opening their own gallery is thrilling, she and Cameron told the Herald. They started talking about it a few months ago and it came together quickly.
With the gallery, “I’m excited to think about things in new ways, to think about different processes and different ways of looking at artwork,” Cameron said.
Kathryn said she’s excited “for the opportunity to come (to art) as a child again. I’m excited to play.”
Just knowing how much art can speak to people and say something different to everyone — I’m excited to see how that ripple effect takes place.
Kathryn Mills, Candy Gallery
She also looks forward to building community and connections through the space. “Just knowing how much art can speak to people and say something different to everyone — I’m excited to see how that ripple effect takes place,” Kathryn said. “And, art can be healing in so many ways. I hope that this is a space where people come and feel a really healing, whole presence.”
Davin Diaz, who owns DrewBoy Creative and directed Faceless Fields of Colour, said the Mills are exciting artists and their gallery is a welcome addition to the Tri-City arts scene.
“I think it’s amazing and essential to the Tri-Cities and the arts community and the region,” Diaz said. “The more galleries we have, the better. The more people we have showing art and talking about art — that’s in the best interest of the Tri-Cities. I’m really excited for their gallery.”
At the new gallery on a recent evening, Cameron and Kathryn worked on finishing touches. Their vision includes not only curated art, but a curated viewing experience.
Candy Gallery will be free from distraction. A place where the art takes center stage.
The Mills are excited to welcome people. And they hope their passion and story touches others.
“(We look forward to) showing something unique to the community, giving them the chance to see something they wouldn’t normally see,” Cameron said.
“For us, this (represents) a bigger and deeper commitment to making art,” Kathryn added. “We want to inspire. We want to foster community. To connect with people and bring more beauty into people’s lives.”
For more information on Candy Gallery, including details about the grand opening, find the space on Facebook under Candy Gallery.