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Downtown studio, gallery comes out of its shell

Working artists, story of tortoise and hare inspire entrepreneur


The Clackamas Review

S.L.O.T. Studio and Gallery opens this week at 900 Main St. next to Coffee Rush in downtown Oregon City’s Settler’s Corner building.

Vonda Martin, an artist and entrepreneur, sees the gallery’s name, which stands for Secret Life of Turtles, as a critical element of what the gallery is all about. Inspired by artists’ hard work and financial commitment, she thought of the story of the tortoise and the hare. Artists, in her view, may move slowly, and we never see the hard work that they put in every day, but at the end of the race they will be a winner.

“Art doesn’t exist without the artist,” she said. “I respect the artist, and this name references the day in and day out unseen commitment artists make to being true to their calling and profession.”

Martin has been preparing the space during the past four months through a collaboration with the property owner. Together they remodeled the space while accenting the authentic elements of the suite, like polished concrete floors and large front windows.

“We worked to bring this space back to its authentic essentials,” said Brian Slack, who’s family owns the building. “Bringing in a creative tenant adds diversity to our tenant mix and contributes a new dimension to what downtown Oregon City offers visitors, shoppers and residents.”

A public open house and exhibit of three Northwest artists will introduce visitors to this “renewed” space at 5 p.m. on Wednesday June 12.

“Reclaimed Territory” is an exhibit exploring assemblage, a diverse art form first explored by Picasso. It uses non-traditional and predominately reclaimed materials to create art.




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