The High-Hand Nursery complex on Taylor Road in Loomis houses a variety of shops, including the High-Hand Art Gallery. The shops and gallery are located in a renovated fruit packing shed located in downtown Loomis. The fruit packing shed was responsible for much of the fresh fruit shipped to the Eastern U.S. from California in the first half of the 20th century.
The High-Hand Nursery complex is a “destination”. In addition to the first-rate nursery, various shops and the High-Hand Art Gallery, the High-Hand Café is also located on the premises. Loomis is about 24 miles from Sacramento.
On a recent visit to the High-Hand Nursery complex, a friend and I met our mutual friend who lives in Loomis at the High-Hand Café for lunch. The two of us arrived a bit early and we took advantage of the time to take a brief tour of the various shops in the complex. I had never been there before, while it had been years since my friend had last been there.
After an enjoyable lunch the three of us explored the various shops located on the property and the High-Hand Art Gallery.
See related (upcoming) post: High-Hand Café in Loomis.
The shops in the renovated fruit packing building offer a variety of intriguing and unique items – including garden art, pottery, fountains, locally crafted olive oils, rugs and antiques.
Gladding, McBean and Company
One of shops that was particularly interesting (historically and otherwise) was the Gladding, McBean and Company Pottery Shop. The Gladding, McBean and Company factory, located in nearby Lincoln, has been in business since 1875 and is still creating terra cotta pipes, facades, sculptures and art.
Gladding, McBean and Company has created works of Art Deco art that adorn buildings all over the country and some examples were on display in the shop.
As for the pottery – the company website states “No ordinary pottery, these are pieces meant to be handed down as heirlooms for generations. The pieces are solid; the detail intricate and the glazes are absolutely gorgeous”. Agreed!
High-Hand Art Gallery
The High-Hand Art Gallery, opened in 2008, is an artist-owned cooperative gallery located in the High-Hand Nursery complex. The gallery is in the oldest section of the historic fruit-packing shed – built in 1901. The cooperative represents about 30 local artists from the Sierra Foothills, Placer County and the greater Sacramento area.
After our visit, I was interested to learn more about the High Hand Art Gallery so I visited their website.
The High-Hand Art Gallery features a wide variety of mixed media, and I learned from the website that the cooperative is highly selective in the acceptance process “to assure the highest quality work in each media area, as well as assure a balance of media types”. I was also interested to learn that each member of the cooperative staffs the gallery approximately two days each month.
In order to keep things “fresh”, at the start of every other month the High-Hand Art Gallery holds a “re-hang” where all the art comes off the walls. While some is rehung, other works of art are replaced as new items come in and any new member’s art makes its debut. This seems to me to be a very smart way to run a business of this type – potential customers are more likely to return time and again.
The High-Hand Art Gallery website also includes the back-story as to how the gallery came into existence. The story just goes to show how happenstance can impact the turn of events. In this instance, a multi-media artist hired the High-Hand Nursery to landscape her yard, and the owner of High-Hand Nursery saw the metal artwork she had displayed there. An offer of space in the former fruit-packing plant followed. The rest, as they say, is history.
Have you visited the various shops and the High-Hand Art Gallery housed in the renovated fruit packing shed building? Do you have any additional comments or observations to add?
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