Three friends who met thanks to a shared love of watercolor painting have begun a new artistically-minded venture in East Multnomah County.
Marcia Morrow, Beth Schilling and Bonnie Moore could talk about art for hours, and in their own work all three are drawn to different subjects.
Morrow paints animals, from hyenas to birds, and loves capturing eyes. Schilling is drawn to portraits, and still life. She'll take a photograph and hone in on one small portion, diving into the details. Moore is the teacher of the trio, leading a watercolor class twice a week. She loves landscape paintings, and has a penchant for showcasing colorful flora and fauna in her work.
Together the three friends have opened Blue Pine Gallery & Gifts at Gresham Station Shopping Center.
"We wanted to bring a knowledge and understanding of art to Gresham, because we felt that appreciation had been missing," Morrow said.
"We personally know what galleries can do for an artist, and (East Multnomah County) needed a place like this," Schilling added.
Blue Pine, 761 N.W. 12th St., is a blend of a fine art gallery showcasing more than 40 local artists across multiple disciplines; a teaching studio with a diverse range of classes taught by many of the artists displaying and selling their work; and a robust number of gifts and smaller pieces that are less expensive than some of the artwork and offers a perfect place to find something special for a loved one.
"The idea is bringing smaller, more affordable pieces like candles or socks," Schilling said. "We have some of the artwork selling for thousands of dollars, but then you can find the perfect gift for $15 or $20."
The artists being displayed all had their work juried before getting into the gallery. While the subjects and styles vary, all of the fine art is gallery-ready, handmade and professional, with the vast majority being crafted by Oregon artists.
"We want to give our artists a voice and a place where the community can support them," Morrow said.
What really sets Blue Pine apart is the teaching studio. Before moving to Gresham Station, the trio of owners were running a business focused on that classroom component. And even though they wanted to have a bigger gallery and more foot traffic, which prompted the move, they always knew those classes had to continue.
The classes, which people can register for online at bluepinegallery.com, have included watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting, jewelry, fiber, lampshade, quilling, photography, and cookie decorating. They are going to start introducing kids craft classes in the future.
This weekend is the best time to check out Blue Pine Gallery & Gifts during the official grand opening ceremony. From 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, there will be nibbles, wine, live music, gift basket give away, and a chance to meet many of the artists on display. That evening event is free to attend and open to the whole community.
"Come in and check us out," Morrow said.
Blue Pine Gallery & Gifts
WHERE: 761 N.W. 12th St.
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
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