New owner buys Palisade’s Blue Pig, will move art gallery

Tina Kleespies, left, director of Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade, announces the gallery’s move from 119 W. Third Street to a new location at 101 W. Third St. The reopening is slated for mid-October, and the gallery space will expand to 2,900 square feet.

One of western Colorado’s largest art galleries will remain in downtown Palisade after a new owner announced Monday that he will move it to a new location.

Mike Goodknight, 34, said he has purchased the Blue Pig Gallery from former owner Marla Wood and will move the gallery to the 101 W. Third St. building he owns.

Mumzel’s Crumpets Cups and Cones now is the lone tenant of that building, but a remodel and renovation will enable Mumzel’s to relocate to the back, giving Blue Pig the wide-open front area with its high ceilings, original hardwood floors and large windows.

An antiques shop had previously been inside the building.

The Blue Pig also will use the upstairs area for expanded studio and classroom space, said Blue Pig Gallery Director Tina Kleespies.

“It’s a great partnership,” she said of the Blue Pig and Mumzel’s.

The Blue Pig won’t move out of its current location, 119 W. Third St., until Colorado Mountain Winefest ends Sept. 18.

An opening date and list of artists who will show at the new Blue Pig have not been released, but Goodknight and Kleespies said they hope to reopen by mid-October. In addition to keeping Kleespies on as gallery director, local artist Dianna Fritzler was named art director to help oversee the art displayed in the Blue Pig. Fritzler, who shows her art at the Blue Pig and will continue to show it at the new location, said she is hoping to increase the number of artists on display because the new gallery space will expand by nearly 600 square feet.

“It will have a different look,” Fritzler said.

The announcement Monday that the Blue Pig will remain in downtown Palisade ends several weeks of uncertainty surrounding the future of the gallery.

Goodknight and Wood have been in conversations about his purchase for weeks, but it wasn’t official until Monday. The purchase price was not disclosed, but Goodknight’s purchase of the gallery’s name included most of the materials inside the existing space, he said.

“Our goal was to keep the Blue Pig in Palisade,” Good- knight added.

The Blue Pig had to relocate after Westwood Rental LLC, which is owned by Wood’s family, sold the 119 W. Third St. building to the Mesa County Public Library District in July.

The library will gradually begin to move into its Palisade branch from 711 Iowa Ave. after the closing date of Sept. 1, but won’t officially take over the retail space until Winefest is over, Wood said.

The relocation of the Blue Pig and the arrival of Oakley Gallery in downtown Grand Junction means two large fine arts galleries are slated for autumn openings.


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