With more than twice the space and more daylight pouring in, Cornish Music is all set for a grand opening from 5-7:30 p.m. Friday. The event is timed for the First Friday tour of Homer galleries, a perfect fit since the music store’s new address is in the same building as Art Shop Gallery on Pioneer Avenue.
“I’ll take a couple of weird instruments over to the gallery and she’ll send maybe a print or two over here. It’ll be a fun little party,” said Steve Cornish of the good fit between his business and Karin Marks’ Art Shop Gallery.
Cornish also is lining up musicians to play for both locations on Friday.
“I contacted Ben Tyrer to play the piano upstairs (in the gallery),” said Cornish. “He was born and raised here in Homer and is just a real good guy.”
Cornish also invited Homer’s former mayor and ukulele player Jim Hornaday to take part and Hornaday, in turn, extended the invitation to other ukulele players in the area.
“It might be a little crowded in here for awhile, but I think I can live with that,” said Cornish of giving musicians room to entertain in front of the shop’s Pioneer Avenue-facing window. “I’ve got some gifts to give away that night and hopefully we’ll have some fun.”
The need for more room is why Cornish decided to move from his former location near the corner of Pioneer Avenue and Main Street.
“I was there four and a half years and it was a really good place to get started, but I just ran out of space,” said Cornish.
In addition to selling a wide range of instruments, he also does repairs. That part of his business has expanded as well over the years.
“I now have two repair spaces where I only had one before,” he said.
The new location offers two spaces for customers: a main showroom — “that is about the size of my old store” — and an accessory room. It also offers a higher ceiling and carpeted floor.
“There’s a very nice sound. You can play guitars and hear what they’re doing rather than hearing drums rattle,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”
The move took about two weeks, with Cornish Music officially opening at the new address Aug. 1.
The space was formerly Art Shop Gallery’s frame shop, a part of the business Marks closed in December. After the framing equipment was purchased by Red Fish Custom Framing, Marks renovated the area, Cornish saw it was available and he and Marks saw the two businesses as a good fit.
“We talked about the fact that every once in awhile it would be fun to do something together,” said Marks. “It was time for their open house and I said, ‘You know, First Friday is coming up. It’s usually a way for us to tell locals to come look at what’s new.’”
What’s new is the gallery’s new neighbor.
“I’m very excited because there has been lots of talk over the years about visual arts in Homer, but there really is now so much performing art that it has really almost eclipsed the visual arts,” said Marks of an opportunity to highlight music. “It’s very strong.”
While Cornish Music celebrates its grand opening on Friday, Art Shop Gallery will be featuring the works of Taz Tally and his method of displaying his work on metal and canvas. There also will be special prices on some of Tally’s older works.
The traffic pattern at Art Shop Gallery and Cornish Music is to enter from the east and exit from the west, with parking available in the back. The space in front of the building is reserved for larger vehicles.