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Valley Art gets a 50-year facelift

Forest Grove nonprofit celebrates with storefront improvement project.

Valley Art Association is 50 years old this year.

While many organizations would throw themselves a party to mark such a milestone, the folks at Valley Art decided to give their building — at 2022 Main St. in Forest Grove — a facelift.

Truth be told, the nonprofit has already thrown a few parties to raise funds for the storefront improvement project currently under way.

COURTESY PHOTO - Valley Art Association on Main Street, Forest Grove, is undergoing a storefront improvement project, with the help of a couple a grants and other donations.Treasurer Lynne Magner, along with Jerry Hoerber and Bruce Countryman, make up the Storefront Improvement Committee. Together they have worked countless hours on the project, which is really just getting started, Magner said.

So far, Valley Art has secured a $20,000 matching grant through Metro's Enterprising Places program, designed to help emerging commercials districts across the region.

Valley Art has raised enough to match that grant, Magner said, but as with any home improvement project, committee members ran into some unexpected surprises.

There was asbestos that needed to be removed and the upper front wall of the building was not structurally sound, Magner said. Asbestos removal is now complete and Valley Art has received three additional grants — $10,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation, a $25,000 donation for a donor who "doesn't want publicity," and another $30,000 from Metro, Magner said.

Valley Art Association owns the building, which was built in 1928 or 1929. The association bought it in 1984.

COURTESY PHOTO - After removing layers from the front of the building, contractors discovered a hand-painted sign on stucco that reads 'Childress Furniture and Appliances - New and Used.'A few delightful surprises have come from the project as well, Magner said. Under layers, they found a hand-painted sign on stucco, "Childress Furniture and Appliances New and Used," a business they believe was there until 1965.

As construction nears, fundraising continues with a Friends and Family Night at McMenamins Grand Lodge Oct. 4 (see below).

Magner expects to have architectural drawings in the next several weeks, followed by city permitting and gathering bids form contractors — which they want to keep as local as possible, she said.

Customers of the gallery and shop can expect improved accessibility into the store, as well as more glass. Crews discovered transom windows than had been covered and will add those to make the storefront more historically correct.

The building front will be shored up to earthquake standards and Manger said a new, less bulky awning will replace the currently one.

Visit the Valley Art gallery to see more detailed drawings and plans for the storefront.

Valley Art Association Friends and Family Night

  • McMenamins Grand Lodge, Ironworks Grill

  • Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 5 p.m. to close

  • All ages welcome

  • Fifty percent of sales will go to Valley Art for the Storefront Improvement Project.

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