By Scott Bidroski
As you drive on most highways in the Nebraska Sandhills and beyond, you pass many small towns that most people don’t think about.
But I implore you to rethink this style of travel, if you have the time, and stop at some of these map points on your itinerary.
If you happen to be on Hwy 2 and see the sign for Ashby in the near future, it hides a unique little shop you’ll be sure to visit.
CaLinda’s Pot Shop & Art Gallery resides in this 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 when it comes to day-to-day operations, but believe me, this is not that kind of store.
When you walk through the doors, you’ll see an incredible array of artwork and pottery, as well as a full selection of coffees and smoothies.
And behind the counter will be Lacy, with a smile on her face ready to welcome you.
Lacy’s love for the arts blossomed in the mid-1990s when she secured a position as Artist-in-Residence with the Nebraska Arts Council.
She then received a scholarship, with help from ESU, and began teaching art at local schools. This was the creation of the visual arts program Panhandle.
What started as 4 local schools in a 6 week program, has grown to levels Lacy could only dream of.
In total, Lacy has taught at a total of 57 schools, in 7 counties over the course of 25 years, touching countless lives through his love of the arts.
“I love teaching so much,” Lacy said.
“The children were fantastic and have since grown up and now have children of their own. They walk into the store and they say, I know you! Lacy added with a smile.
As things changed in the school systems and consolidations occurred, the opportunities became fewer and fewer.
Lacy then devoted more of her time to her business which she started 16 years ago.
She uses many different mediums to create her works. Oils, watercolours, acrylics and clay are all options she enjoys working with.
CaLinda’s also organizes a wide range of parties or provides individual instruction.
Lacy admits that since Covid these types of events have slowed down, but they are starting to pick up again.
She offers painting nights where attendees can sip their favorite beverage while enjoying the arts or host a child’s birthday party.
Individual instructions are available for throwing a pot on the wheel, which may take around 30-40 minutes but will not be regretted by the customer.
“If it’s your first time, no problem, even better because it’s more fun to try something new,” Lacy said.
Lacy is also willing to travel and will bring the party to your chosen location.
For more details, please contact Linda at the information given at the end of the article.
CaLinda’s also has a fully functional website where customers from anywhere can order unique pieces.
Linda encourages everyone to take a look at these items and contact us if they have something different in mind. Custom orders are always welcome.
You can reach the Pot Shop at (308) 458-8051. CaLinda also has an active Facebook page with its website, calindaspotshop.com.