Go! reporter Jessica Drake interviewed Donnie Johnson, co-owner of Pan’s Grotto (with Stephanie Bohart) via email.
WENATCHEE — As an alternative shop with an art gallery that is a regular participant in downtown First Fridays, Pan’s Grotto, 3 N. Wen- atchee Ave. Suite 2, Wenatchee, makes a monthly call to artists for a themed art showcase. The call to artists for February’s art gallery theme is “Love Magic.” All forms of art are accepted, said the Facebook post, “from prints of digital work to mixed media and traditional mediums and sculpture” for a 30% commission back to the gallery.
Q: When did the business begin to open?
A: We acquired our lease in February of 2018 and opened our doors in late March 2018. We’ve grown so much since those early days with tons more merchandise and more art.
Q: Is it best described as a mystical shop or other words?
A: Semantics are a funny thing, mystical, new age, gifts, eclectic. We really aim to be a little bit of everything and mystical is probably as good a term as any. We carry a little bit of everything, from divination tools and crystals to incense and statuary.
Q: How big is the shop, and what history is there to the building?
A: The store itself is about 1,100 square feet, divided into four spaces. The front is the store then we have my office where I do readings and energy work. (Johnson says he practices Reiki, oracle card, crystal therapy, shamanic traditions and chakra systems.) After that we have the rainbow room where we host classes and guest practitioners. And then in the far back there is the creation room where I do some of my art and making for the store. Now the building itself was built around 1939 and comes with the spirit and character of a building of that age. It’s fun, some days the music will change on its own and the smart speakers will talk without being prompted. It makes for an interesting, fun environment. There was a while in the store, we marked a spot on the floor where everyone seemed to drop whatever was in their hands. It became a game to see who would drop what when they walked over it. So the location has character to say the least.
Q: How did the First Friday events of 2022 do for the business?
A: First Friday events have always been big for us but they were especially critical in a post-pandemic economy. We pride ourselves on being part of the art community, and are always looking for ways to get artists more involved. Unfortunately we saw a slow down in First Friday attendance for 2022, but overall the interest is still there and we’re setting our sights on 2023 to be big! We’re starting to hear from artists and patrons who are excited to get back into it.
Q: What sections of the bookshelves are most popular?
A: Our Most Popular books are those on folklore, folk magic and women’s studies. The next section favorite would be books pertaining to starting your own personal path in different spiritualities.
Q: How are the arts present in Pan’s Grotto?
A: We’ve done our best to incorporate art into the shop in ways that will showcase our artists’ talent. We accept all forms of media so you’ll find sculptures, paintings, prints, mixed media and more all throughout the store mixed in with merchandise.
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