Few would have thought the heart of the recession would be a good time to open a gallery, but a group of ceramic artists got together to develop a plan for a space to display their craft. That idea blossomed into the very successful Red Chair Gallery you see today.
Location was the determining factor when the original partners began to plan how to move the project forward. The O’Kane Building in downtown Bend was ideal with its corner location, huge windows, open floorplan and stoplight. Once the space was secured, the search for artists commenced. Renowned local artist Pat Clark was asked to assist in the jurying process. There was huge response from area artists when the process began and after final jurying, the tally was 19 wall artists and 23 three dimensional artists. Works included painting, photography, jewelry, pottery and more.
With the beginnings in place, the plan for the gallery took shape and the Red Chair Gallery opened its doors on First Friday, August 2010. The response was overwhelmingly positive and that first evening over 75 bottles of wine were served. To this day, First Fridays continue to be a huge success.
The gallery is comprised of four partner/owners including Rita Dunlavy, Finance, Linda Heisserman, Membership, Lise Hoffman-McCabe, Marketing and Dee McBrien-Lee, Gallery Director. “It has been a wild ride so far!” says McBrien-Lee. “Change is something we are always dealing with and what keeps us fresh and interesting to both locals and tourists. The best part of this adventure is watching our artists evolve and try new things.”
From the annual donation to the Bethlehem Inn at the holidays to the April student show, this little gallery is hard at work making sure that it has something for everyone. And like a great bottle of wine, the Red Chair Gallery just keeps improving with age.
Red Chair Gallery
103 NW Oregon Ave.