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Cedar Mill gallery closes during remodel

Village Gallery of Arts will get a fresher, more visible look.


        In the new year, Cedar Mill will be without an art gallery for the first time in more than five decades.

But fear not, fans of artwork ranging from fine paintings to artisan jewelry, The Village Gallery of Arts itself will be more of a work of art when it reopens Jan. 10 following a nine-day remodel. A reception is planned Jan. 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the gallery, 12505 N.W. Cornell Road, Suite 14.

Both the showroom and classroom will be repainted and refreshed during the short hiatus, said Lisa Griffen, a mixed-media painter who serves as president of the nonprofit gallery’s board of directors, which was founded in 1963.

Among projects on the docket, volunteers will paint the interior, install a grid of paintings done by 25 members and post a large red banner that will make the gallery more visible to passersby, many of whom don’t realize the small gallery sits in a storefront next door to the Cedar Mill Community Library along Northwest Saltzman Road, Griffen said.

“It’s always been a place for the community to take classes,” she said of the area’s only art gallery north of the Sunset Highway. Courses include various kinds of painting, calligraphy, mixed media, children’s arts and a popular class on making Ukrainian eggs.

The gallery is run as a cooperative, with an entirely volunteer workforce comprised of about 50 of its 125 members, Griffen said. Member artists include college students to octogenarians and residents of Washington state and Newport, but many are retirees who live nearby, Griffen said.

One such volunteer is Judy Martin, a Raleigh Hills photographer whose postcards and framed prints sell in the gallery among the paintings, bowls, soaps and pottery. She works a couple four-hour shifts each month.

“It keeps you involved. It keeps you interested in what’s going on out there in the art world,” she said while recently staffing the gallery. “That’s what keeps this place running, is the fact we all volunteer here.”

The nonprofit organization pays its bills through class fees, commissions on art sales and its spring Art Challenge fundraiser. Members also pay dues ranging from $45 to $75, depending on their level of involvement. Regular volunteers also get a break on class fees and a larger percentage of sales of their own artwork.

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