When Kat Houseman describes the Allery as off the beaten path, she means it. The art gallery is, as the name suggests, down an alley off of Magnolia, between Cornwall and Commercial. Just past the drive-thru exit of Peoples Bank, you’ll find the ornate sign that marks the entrance to the far-flung facility for fine arts.
The gallery is owned by Houseman and her husband, Corey Urlacher. Both are products of Montana State University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program, though they have different focuses; where Houseman is a painter, Urlacher is a sculptor.
The two of them add to the eclectic collection that makes up The Allery, ranging from Houseman’s idyllic wildlife pieces to Urlacher’s occult sculptures, with artists from all over the country in between.
But by no means is The Allery a vast and sweeping collection of art, nor is it occupied by famous or out of reach artists. Instead, the intimate, L-shaped gallery is populated with pieces crafted by friends of the Houseman-Urlacher duo. Before the gallery opened in October 2016, the two worked tirelessly to gather pieces that would be displayed. If anyone knows the work half as well as the artists, it’s the pair, who are never far from The Allery.
Houseman hopes to rotate the pieces every two months or so, which will give people plenty of time to view the displayed work. Many of the pieces featured are priced in the thousands, making the deliberation as to whether or not to purchase a difficult process. “We want to give the art a chance to be seen and sell,” Houseman said.
This is just one of the many ways The Allery is structured for the benefit of its artists. Compared to other galleries, Houseman and Urlacher take a smaller commission from each piece sold. The money goes toward bills and keeping The Allery running. Artists also don’t have to worry about non-compete clauses, which means they can continue to display their work in other locations.
The New Year is bringing changes for the gallery. The pair is currently working to plan out features and shows. This month will feature a number of local artists, including large scale oil paintings by Houseman, glass sculptures by Randy Walker, and a collection of fine furniture by Terra Firma Designs.