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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment April 28, 2016

6/4/2013 2:27:00 PM
New gallery offers Alaskan charm
Cha, here holding a fossil, has opened a new gallery in Sisters. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee
+ click to enlarge
Cha, here holding a fossil, has opened a new gallery in Sisters. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

A new art gallery in Sisters has opened, and you can find the eye-catching sign with the gallery name "Cha for the Finest...Gallery" located right next door to Bedouin on Hood Avenue.

The gallery is filled with ancient Alaskan artifacts for sale.

Gallery owner Cha lived in Alaska for a good part of her life. She owned an art gallery for 22 years in Juneau and is well-known for her Ivory and rare bone carvings.

"I have carved over 50,000 pieces in my life," recalls Cha. "I also have shaped artifacts from ancient walrus ivory and have carved an ancient mammoth scapula."

You might think you're in a museum when gazing at the rare fossils on display or checking out the ancient walrus skull that was found on the volcanic Nunivak Island in Alaska.

The oldest fossil in her gallery is a dinosaur embryo that she found in Texas. It dates back 113 million years.

"I had it authenticated, but when I first found it I thought it looked like an ancient walnut shell," Cha said.

Cha sold her art gallery in Alaska and moved to Arizona four years ago to care for her elderly mother.

She opened a new gallery during her extended stay in Arizona.

Her mother, who was in her 90s, had always loved to read the books by Jean M. Auel, who wrote the bestseller "Clan of the Cave Bear." Her mother told Cha that she was worried that she wouldn't live long enough for Auel's new book to come out, so Cha decided that writing their own prehistoric fiction would be fun.

"I know a lot about the history of Alaska and its people," said Cha. "So I said to mom one day, 'let's write our own book.' So we did."

Cha has written seven prehistoric novels and two have been published, with a third on the way. Her books, "Voice of the Ancients Book One and Two" are available at the gallery.

Cha sold her gallery in Arizona and moved to Sisters in May, after her mother's passing.

"I was looking for a place that wasn't as hot as Arizona but warmer than Alaska," Cha said, laughing. "Sisters reminds me of Juneau with its beautiful snowcapped peaks."

Cha's newest medium is glass. Known for her unique wearable art, heart-shaped pendants, she is always creating something new and beautiful.

"I create my special glass heart pendants and earrings through lampworking and fusing, using soft Italian glass," she said.

Along with her own showcases, she also carries specialty work from many artists that have been on display in her galleries in both Alaska and Arizona.

Realistic bronze wildlife sculptures are created by Alaskan artists Jacques and Mary Regat, who have worked with bronze for over 30 years.

She also has the collection of acrylic paintings by the noted Alaskan wildlife painter Bruce Shingledecker.

For more information visit

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