New space showcasing the work of mixed media artist Barbie Moore Pike hosts a Grand Opening party on Friday, November 21 at 5pm.

Mill Valley’s newest art gallery spawned from a serendipitous flight from Dallas to Costa Rica, and within a pair of great conversations that occurred prior to its departure and after its landing.

Barbie Moore and James Pike opened BJ Moore Gallery at 18 East Blithedale Avenue, Suite 12 – the former home of Wee Threads, which closed in May – earlier this month. They’re hosting a Grand Opening celebration on November 21 from 5–8pm, with food from Debbie Keith Catering.

The couple first met in the minutes before they boarded that fateful flight, and though they weren’t sitting near one another on the flight itself, they kept talking at baggage claim afterwards. With contact info exchanged, Moore and Pike stayed in touch.

Pike, who has worked in the financial services industry including stints at Lehman Brothers in New York and San Francisco, was moving to Costa Rica to explore franchising opportunities. Moore, an artist who has been painting for two decades and owned her own gallery in downtown Houston, was returning home from Southeast Asia in the midst of a four-year stint living in Costa Rica.

And then love happened.

“That first time I saw Barbie, well, that was it,” Pike says.

The two got married soon thereafter, planned their next move, including the possibility of returning to Texas where Moore had a slew of contacts and a great reputation. But they eventually decided to open a gallery in Mill Valley, where Pike lived from 1989 to 2000.

“It’s just such a gorgeous area,” Moore says. “We’re having the time of our lives.”

Moore, who now goes by Barbie Moore Pike, characterizes her art as contemporary abstract and expressive works that are mixed media, 2-D, with oils, inks, dyes and pure pigments mixed into a combination of translucent colors and treatments. They frequently include snippets of text.

The 411: BJ Moore Gallery is open Wed.–Sat. 10am–6pm, and Sun. 12–4pm. Click here for more info.

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