Michael McCoy has a long family history in this region. His grandfather and great-grandfather were farmers in the Oaksdale/Rosalia area.
Michael started Essential Glass Works, the jewelry and sculpture lines of his business, in Moscow in 1992. For the past eleven years his daughter, Heather McCoy Saltarella, has been working with him. Two years ago they moved their gallery from the Silos to “uptown” (northern downtown Moscow), where the gallery is more visible and accessible.
They feel a responsibility to the community to have a beautiful storefront, and seek out quality artwork which sells at various price levels. In addition to glasswork, they also carry wood products, textiles, jewelry, and smaller items like bath salts and tea towels. The gallery and gift store contains a chocolate counter with multiple types of delicious melt-in-your-mouth homemade chocolates from the Boise Chocolat Bar, which was honored as one of the top fifty chocolatiers in America.
Michael started out doing stained glass, then evolved into making dichroic art glass jewelry. Dichroic is Greek for “two light,” a dynamic art-glass medium that transmits and reflects color. According to Michael, the crystal structure literally bends light, creating a beautiful glass that emits different colors from different angles.
Michael and Heather have sold their glass art to 200 galleries coast to coast, including many top galleries and museum shops. In addition to a full line of jewelry, they also make glass sculptures. They are in the process of creating a studio in the back of the store where people will be able to watch them creating their art.
The gallery offers beautiful, colorful handmade art pieces from many top quality artists. Michael and Heather know over 75 percent of the artists personally. They jury the artwork before bringing it into the gallery. They say that Heather is in tune with the tastes of younger people and Michael knows what appeals to the generation ahead of hers. “Playfully elegant” is the standard they look for in the artwork they bring in.
The gallery holds artwork of nationally acclaimed artists. For example, gorgeous glass bowls with etched aspen leaves lining the edges made by Cynthia Myers are on display. Her incredibly fine-quality glassware is shown internationally and housed in private collections in Europe and Japan. Another featured glass artist is Mariusz Rynkiewicz, a Polish-born artist who now lives in Seattle. Michael and Heather also have a fruitful collaboration with the Prichard Art Gallery, noting the galleries are only 272 steps apart!
They create a joint monthly newsletter and a blog featuring various artists. In December they are doing a holiday ornament promotion together. Each person who makes a purchase at either store will get an entry to win an ornament and a $5 coupon to use in either store. The galleries’ joint website is http://finestgiftsonmain.weebly.com/. One of Michael and Heather's customers was having a rotten day, but just seeing the cheerful colors in the store, she couldn't help but grin; being there changed her whole outlook.
Essential Art Gallery & Fine Gifts is A MOSCOW FOOD CO-OP BUSINESS PARTNER
- Through our Business Partner Program, Co-op owners receive a discount on locally owned businesses that partner with the Co-op, and the Co-op promotes our locally owned partners.
- At Essential Art Gallery & Fine Gifts, Co-op owners receive a punch card and a punch for each purchase of $25 or more; after 6 visits owners receive $10 off a purchase at Essential Art Gallery.
- Essential Art Gallery & Fine Gifts is located in Moscow at 203 South Main Street | 509-338-3694 | www.essentialglassworks.com.
- For more information about the Co-op's Business Partner Program, please ask for a brochure and/or an application at the Customer Service Desk or click here.