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A perfect morning graced the lake on Sunday, September 4, with blue skies, wispy clouds, and none of the wildfire smoke that had been choking the atmosphere since the Kootenai River complex of fires broke out in the preceding week.

Forty-five years of dedication to art and art education here at Priest Lake culminated in a perfect celebration of the Entree Gallery's history on Reeder Bay Road. What began as two young women, Pam Martin and Ricarda Schenk, made and sold preserves at one end of Pam and Jim Martin's home, grew to be the destination point for people seeking colorful, inspiring creativity, and remembrances of their time spent here at Priest. Live music, artists' demonstrations, classes, fundraisers for arts education at Priest Lake Elementary school, and the art itself, created by the very finest of local craftspeople, became the hallmark of this gallery. A gazebo filled with the pottery of Larry Clark and the photographic images of J. Michael Short became a focal point for the day, with Terry Martin serving libations, and the Martin granddaughters serving exquisite small bites, lovingly prepared by Marcia Warren.

The grounds on Sunday hosted artists demonstrating their craft, and live music. The gathering was joyful, as friends reconnected with friends, and the Martin family received the love and appreciation of the community, whose lives they have enriched since 1977.

There were tables filled with albums commemorating previous anniversaries of the gallery as well as a table to honor the arts education program at Priest Lake Elementary School. The imprint that the Martins have made upon Priest Lake and beyond, with this cultural gift, will last forever. We send our thanks and wish Pam and Jim a long and happy retirement!

- Melissa Quilter

Photos Pecky Cox VIEW all photos HERE

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