Local Art Gallery Advances from Unique Ownership

Top Row L-R Beatrice Rudolph, Debbie Tamblin, Vicki McCargar, Raine Green, Liz Williams, Inara Rudmanis, Alesa Lockhart, Cindy Kuck, Steven Huth Bottom Row L-R Marge Brodahl, Deb Groesser, Cecilia Fuller, Julie Grillo, Judi Sevel, Rhea Ferranti Floor Michelle Rudolph Image Credit - Marge Brodahl Artist & Owner, Blue Moose Art Gallery

The Blue Moose Art Gallery in Fort Collins is succeeding under a fairly new change in ownership as a result of being one big family.

Now owned by 21 owners, the Blue Moose Art Gallery was opened back in October 2016 by 2 of the 4 original owners, mother Deb Groesser and her daughter Julie Grillo. They currently run the Blue Moose Art Gallery along with another art gallery called Blue Goose Gallery in the small town of Chester, California, originally opened in 1991.

From pine needle-woven baskets to acrylic wall paintings, pottery, glass, and photography, the gallery represents over 90 Colorado artists throughout the store. The Blue Moose Art Gallery has exclusivity with artists in Fort Collins, meaning no other galleries in the city have the same artists.

”I thought it was possible because I like to go out of the box. I knew we needed more people to run this. I put an email out to everybody on the mailing list and said who wants to buy a gallery and the rest is history,” said Groesser.

The gallery not only has art for sale but offers 15 classes a month featuring over 30 instructors, all who are professional artists. The classes range from beginner to advanced and include topics like Solar Light Diffuser Pottery and Glass Suncatcher classes during March.

“Every student gets individual attention,” said Grillo. “We are really good at knowing our artists and really believe in them,” she said.

The work of the Blue Moose Art Gallery is only possible through their unique business model of 17 committees made up of 21 owners. The day the transition from 4 to 21 owners became official was May 31, 2019.

“We had the gallery coming along, but nowadays a small business requires so much personal attention, social media, marketing, advertising, classes, there were so many opportunities we were running out of steam,” said Marge Brodahl, Artist and Co-Owner of Blue Moose Art Gallery.

The committees are all essential and vary ranging from the organization of the gallery to marketing and advertising. With 21 owners required to work 3 days a month, the gallery has a large selection of backgrounds that fit within their committees.

“I have a fabulous opportunity to not have a full-time job but still have my hand in the business,” said Alesa Locklearm, co-owner of the gallery. Locklearm has a background as a certified public accountant and is a member of the marketing and finance committees for the Blue Moose Art Gallery.

Stephen Huth, the one male owner of the Blue Moose Art Gallery, does the scheduling. A total of around 30 people staff the gallery, and some people do it simply because they like to according to Huth. “Many galleries feel remote, but we’re willing to talk about the artists because we know them,” said Huth.

The owners and customers keep the gallery alive. Each person and committee helps keep the Blue Moose Gallery on its feet, while it may not be a routine way of doing business, it works for them.

“We have pulled in some phenomenal people and with the experience they bring to the table, most are retired but have a wealth of life experience,” said Brodahl. “We don’t want drama we just want to have a good time,” she said.

For more information about the Blue Moose Art Gallery, including class price and information, please visit their website at www.BlueMooseArtGallery.com or call at 970-825-5704.

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