Social Scene: Re-opening reception showcases Squaw Valley gallery’s transformation |

Social Scene: Re-opening reception showcases Squaw Valley gallery’s transformation

Local writer Robert "Fro" Frohlich enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres and a word with Lauren Hickey. Rob Gussenhoven, managing director of the gallery, is in the background.

It’s not every day you get a re-do on your life. Keoki Flagg is doing just that. After eight years of owning Gallery Keoki in Squaw Valley’s Village, Flagg realized he needed a change, but couldn’t quit or change until he figured out what to do next. The gallery closed on May 9 (Squaw Valley’s last day of winter operation) and re-opened Saturday, July 31 with a brand new look and direction. Extensively remodeled, the nearly 1,900-square-foot space features industrial metal details by Mountain Forge, custom cabinetry, a 4-inch thick white fir slab counter and a high end back lit jewelry display wall. Chunky benches, a pull down multi-media screen and extra seating make it the perfect place to host community cultural events or slide shows.

Flagg is back full time doing what he does best: Pursuing his career as a photographer and leaving day to day gallery operations to new partners Rob Gussenhoven and Noelle Nixon. and#8220;I feel incredibly blessed to have joined together in this new venture with two very talented and creative people. I feel I can be more effective out in the field instead of inside the gallery,and#8221; explained Flagg. Gussenhoven is originally from Holland, a former VP of marketing for GE, and has been an outdoor industry consultant specializing in brand management and development. Nixon is a local interior designer who helped Dragonfly Restaurant, Moody’s Bistro and the spa at the Resort at Squaw Creek achieve their new interiors. In keeping with Gallery Keoki’s new philosophy, and#8220;less is more,and#8221; the new Gallery Keoki will feature the photographic works of Flagg, an extensive jewelry collection designed by Judy Klimek of Left Turn Jewelry out of Laguna Beach and interior designer services as well as serving as a showroom for Environment Furniture by Ruby Living furniture of San Francisco.

Approximately 300 guests attended the gallery’s re-opening soiree on Saturday evening, July 31. The wine was flowing, thanks to Uncorked, which featured wines by Evidence Winery and Jason Court. Mamasake’s Elsa Corrigan created some unusual and delicious hors d’oeuvres about which everyone raved. The who’s who of Squaw Valley turned out to show their overwhelming support for a favorite son and his newest venture. Many of the women got glammed up as if they were at a downtown San Francisco gallery opening show. A triumphant new beginning for the new Gallery Keoki.

Some of those supporting, savoring and sipping at the soiree included Barbara and Fred Ilfeld, Margaret Lewicki and Ernie Grossman, plein air painter Michele DeBraganca with photographer Ken Voltz, Nancy and Tom O’Neill, Tally and Katie Mancuso, Debbie Dutton, Hans Standteiner, Madonna Cassini, Dawn and George Grass, Robert and#8220;Froand#8221; Frohlich, Michelle Baumgartner, Beverly Bloodworth, Bob Richardson, Alex and Todd Kelly, Sherry McConkey, Susie Simms, Squaw Valley Ski Corp chairman of the board Nancy Cushing, Sam Berry, Liz Dugan, Gillian (looking fab) and Russell Poulsen, Keoki’s parents Lynn and Harry Flagg of Incline Village, Curt Lofstedt, Alice Colhoun, Cathy Topham, Donna and Joe Berger and Barbara and John Wilcox with son Eric.

and#8212; Vicki may be reached at

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