26 Oct Meet Anne Sobbota of Sage Place
Many have driven past Sage Place on their way to the hospital or to Bandon Supply, but perhaps not everyone knows just what it’s all about. Sage Place is much more than just an art gallery, although it does feature several different artists’ work. It is also a busy glass studio, a center where glass artists with zero to lots of experience and talent can have time, space, and materials to work on projects independently or receive instruction and guidance in scheduled workshops or private events and parties.
Anne Sobbota, owner of Sage Place, spent many years as a high school and community college art instructor in the Los Angeles area. When her husband retired from the fire department, the couple saw an opportunity to leave Southern California and find a new way of life elsewhere. They had discovered Bandon on vacation in 2003 but explored much of the rest of Oregon and Washington before finally settling on our fair town, buying their home in 2004, and becoming full-time residents in 2009. “It was perfect,” Anne says, “We just felt like we found home.”
Even though they had chosen a smaller town and quieter life, Anne wasn’t ready to stop being active in the art world. She opened Sage Gallery in 2007 in Old Town’s Port Building and hired Kathy Blohm as manager. For about 4 years, she featured a different artist every month and in total had about 90 artists. She did some workshops, but it became apparent it lacked the electrical capacity for the kilns and tools needed for the glass work she wanted to help others do.
At the same time Anne opened Sage Gallery, she bought a 1949 cottage built by the Perry family on SE 11th St. Remodeling began in December, 2009 and in less than a year had drawn out its original charm, opened up some spaces, added windows, and created a sunny and cheerful space for the gallery and studio. The new Sage Place opened there in 2010, and both locations stayed open for a while until the decision was made to close the Port Building gallery in 2011.
The space in her new location has worked out well for Anne and those who come for workshops and drop in sessions. There is enough space for a small gallery, a retail area with many glass and bead options, and a large room with a huge table and all the tools and materials necessary for a variety of workshops and drop-in projects.
In their new space, Anne is shifting her focus from gallery and retail to providing studio experiences for others wishing to be glass artists. Anne will keep the retail area and will continue to feature and sell several artists’ work, but she is taking time for her own creations and is putting some of her own work out. She has an extensive background in glass and now wants to take some time to develop and share her own techniques.
Anne, along with her assistant Karen Nelson, schedule about 2 workshops a week covering a wide range of topics. Some are project classes where participants learn a new skill such as glass fusing and walk away with a unique project they’ve done themselves, where others are focused on just the skill or technique. Some Sage Place workshops require completion of a glass cutting class first.
Drop-in sessions at Sage Place are perfect for out-of-town visitors or locals looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon. Guests ages 7 and up, even with no experience, can just drop in Thursday-Saturday from 1-5 to create a glass project. Projects range from beginning to advanced and cost as little as $8-10, depending on the materials used. Anne or Karen set folks up with supplies and are available to offer instruction and give one-on-one help. Many people return to Sage Place several times as they develop their skills and create more advanced, time consuming projects.
For those looking for an activity to do with family, friends or co-workers, Sage Place also offers private studio experiences for groups, and these can be scheduled for most any day. Depending on the project, groups can be up to 18 people (ages 7 and up), and Anne can even personalize the experience to fit with a theme.
Anne is an amazing artist, glass and otherwise, and is well-versed in a number of different techniques working in glass. Some seem extremely complicated; in fact, they seem like magic to a non-artist like me. However, Anne has a long history teaching and knows how to be flexible and meet individuals’ needs. What she organizes for the public and for private parties at Sage Place can be tailor-made to people’s skill levels, even if their skills are zero.
Gallery and Store hours 11-5 Thursday-Saturday
Call to schedule private parties
525 11th St. SE
Find them on Facebook!