William Collier: Synopsis of a Memoir, Pt. 38 - Richard Hines Gallery Opening

May 12, 2016

The move went well. Our new space was amazing, very open with lots of natural light. We had the usual discomfort associated with any move, nothing major. The activities of the gallery downstairs created much excitement in preparation for the Grand Opening. We continued to stay focused, in spite of the energy being directed to the evening gala that was only a few weeks away. Richard was scheduled for a hair shape-up, as well as his wife who was scheduled for haircut and color. By now I had gained access to the gallery via a back stairway, which gave me visitation privileges to the gallery. There were many times prior to the opening's, that visitors involved in the process of preparing for a particular exhibition would be engaged in meetings at the gallery. On these occasions I was often introduced to a variety of interesting people in the local Art community, that would include installers, local artists, art critics, and important collectors.


I had been caring for Virginia Wright's hair for a couple of years. Jinny and her husband Bagley were considered "patron saints" of the local art community. Her visits to the salon often included conversation about the artists that were participating in a particular exhibition. She offered insights into the work of the artists, some of whom she was personally connected.  I enjoyed the pleasure of visiting their home, as an invited guest to a gathering in support of the local art community. Their home was graciously understated with a collection of premier artists of achieved importance.

Many years later, while out for a rare lunch with local artist and friend Robert Maki, we decided to pay a quick visit to the Virginia and Bagley Wrightrobert-maki-4_4_2015

Gallery at 407 Dexter Avenue. As we approached the entrance and were able to read the visiting schedule, we realized the gallery was closed that day (Monday). We decided to try the door which was open; approaching the reception area we noticed the lights in the gallery were off. The person at the desk was very cordial and expressed her apology for our timing, clarifying the closure of the gallery on Monday's. We chatted briefly and were about to leave when Bagley appeared from his office. Recognizing Robert with a delightfully abundant welcome, he instructed the reception person to turn on the lights and gives us full access to the current exhibit. I had met Bagley on a couple of occasions, quite a charismatic individual. My personal earliest recollection of space needle

Bagley was his involvement with the construction and part ownership of the structure that has distinguished Seattle since the early 1960's, our "Space Needle". I must note that I had the pleasure of celebrating my 21st birthday at the revolving restaurant. That will be 54 years ago, the 28th of this month (May).

Unfortunately I am not recalling the names of the artists involved in the first opening, though I am fairly certain it was a group exhibit. Heizer, Frankenthaler, Motherwell, Nolan are names that come to mind -- anyone having more accurate information please share it with me. I have not been able to track down information regarding the sequence and the artists in the exhibitions at the Richard Hines Gallery from opening to closing. There are several that have very special significance for me. My next few blogs will include Ed Ruscha, breakfast and shopping at the Pike Place Market; Rauschenberg, cocktails and dinner; Serra, confrontation in the gallery prior to his exquisite installation.



Back to blog