CaLinda’s Pot Shop & Art Gallery is a hidden gem in Ashby, Neb.

By Scott Bidroski

As you cruise most highways in the Sandhills of Nebraska and beyond, you pass many a small towns that most people do not give any second thought to.

But I implore you to rethink that style of traveling, if you have the time, and make it point to stop into some of those map dots on your route.

If you happen to be on Highway 2 and find yourself seeing the sign for Ashby in your near future, it is hiding quite a little unique shop that you will  not forget visiting.

CaLinda’s Pot Shop & Art Gallery resides in that small town of Ashby and owner Linda Lacy has created her dream business.

When you see the name your mind may wander to a different place as far as what the day to day operations are but, trust me, it’s not that kind of shop.

When you enter the doors you will see an amazing array of artwork and pottery, along with a fully stocked coffee and smoothie selection.

And behind the counter will be Lacy, with a smile on her face ready to greet you.

Lacy’s love for the arts blossomed in the mid-1990’s as she secured a position as a Artist in Residence with the Nebraska Arts Council.

She then received a grant, with the help of the ESU, and began teaching art in local schools. This was the creation of the Panhandle Visual Arts Program.

What began as 4 local schools in a 6 week program, would grow to levels that Lacy could only dream about.

All in all, Lacy taught at 57 schools in total, in 7 counties over the course of 25 years, touching countless lives through her love of the arts. 

“I love teaching so much,” said Lacy.

“The kids were fantastic and have since grown up and now have kids of their own. They come into the shop and they say, I know you!” added Lacy with a smile.

As things changed in the school systems and consolidations took place, the opportunities slowly became less and less.

Lacy then transitioned more of her time into her business which she started 16 years ago.

She uses many different mediums to create her artwork. Oils, watercolors, acrylics, and clay are all options she enjoys to work with.

CaLinda’s also hosts a wide array of parties or provides one-on-one instruction.

Lacy does admit that since Covid these type of events have slowed down, but they are beginning to pick up once again.

She offers painting parties in which participants can sip their favorite beverage while enjoying the arts or will host a child’s birthday party.

One-on-one instruction is available for throwing a pot on the wheel, which can take about 30-40 minutes but will not be regretted by the customer.

“If it’s your first time, no problem, that is actually even better because it is more fun trying something new,” said Lacy.

Lacy is also willing to travel and will bring the party to your choice of location. 

For more details, please contact Linda at the information listed at the end of the article.

CaLinda’s also boasts a fully functional website that customers from anywhere can order unique pieces.

Linda encourages everyone to take a look at those items and reach out if they have something different in mind. Custom orders are always welcome.

You can reach the Pot Shop at (308) 458-8051. CaLinda’s also has a Facebook page that is active along with their website, calindaspotshop.com.

Anita Shire

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