When Katherine Khile bought the Scott Milo Gallery in 1994, it served the community as a framing shop. They still offer framing services, but the space has grown into much more. The cozy gallery is divided with wall sectionals, creating dedicated spaces for featured artists’ work. This layout also ensures the utmost wall space for hanging paintings and photography. There is something to look at everywhere: framed work covers all eye-level space, mobiles hang from above, handcrafted tables topped with sculptures are at waist height, and the occasional piece sits on the floor. The front window ledges house bronze cast crow sculptures: one of which picks into a clam while another spreads its wings as if frozen mid-flight. One-of-a-kind metal and handmade paper jewelry is part bodily adornment, part sculpture. Rectangular glass platters add bold infusions of color. There’s something to look at everywhere!
Think back to when you were little and your parents took you to a new place: maybe a bustling area of the city, a carnival, or even a new toy store. Recall staring wide-eyed at everything around you, trying to take it all in while deciding what you should examine in detail first. That’s what the Scott Milo Gallery is like; it’s visual stimulation at its finest, where excitement trumps feeling overwhelmed.
Khile, a University of Washington alum, worked as a property manager in Seattle for 35 years before relocating to Anacortes in 1994. She bought the framing shop and two years later remodeled the space to add the gallery element. Not only does Khile run the gallery, but she’s an intricate part of the local art community. She coordinates the First Friday and Chamber of Commerce art walks, and serves as a liaison between local galleries and regional artists. She takes pride in her role of filling “other peoples’ walls with art.”
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
Scott Milo Gallery serves a wide range of price points, selling artwork by regional artists mostly within a 60-mile radius. Customers will find smaller items perfect for gifts like coasters, or can invest in a statement art purchase. Khile has around 40 artists on contract and hosts numerous shows throughout the year, with the intention of “Try[ing] to represent a lot of different types of art and artists.” All originals hang on the wall. At any given time there are paintings and photographs by five different artists in addition to 10 artists who always have their art on display, like Lanny Bergner’s steel mesh tables, where he uses a blowtorch to color the metal into swirled, flower-like designs, or Gary Leake’s custom-wood tables. A cross between sleek and rustic, they’re the perfect addition to any Pacific Northwest home.
While Khile couldn’t pick a favorite piece in the gallery, she did admit to being somewhat of an art addict. Her go-to pieces? Landscapes and florals with recent branching to abstract art.