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New Fairview art gallery owner fulfills lifelong dream

Although the idea to open an art gallery formed just last month, Ellen Green has prepared for this her entire life.

“I started teaching art and science when I was 16 at Palo Alto Junior Museum,” Green said. “That was my first real job and my first art job. As a teenager, most people go to flipping burgers, but I didn’t. I’d always done art.”OUTLOOK PHOTO: KATY SWORD - Ellen Green and Fairview Mayor Ted Tosterud cut the ribbon for Crazy Green Fyshe Studio Gallery during a ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Just a few weeks after she conceived the concept, a grand opening event was held for Crazy Green Fyshe Studio Gallery, 1528 N.E. Market Drive in Fairview. A ribbon-cutting took place the following week, on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

“The idea was those of us who needed a place could paint and those of us who needed a little time could come in,” Green said of the space just a block from her home in Fairview Village. “I’m just looking at different ways to welcome the community and trying to keep it affordable.”

Crazy Green Fyshe hosts anchor artists, as well as subscribing artists, who can book time in the studio to work, as well as rent space in the gallery to sell and display art.

“It’s a gallery, too, because there’s all this great space and light,” Green said. “It would be criminal not to show art in here as well.”

After attending Evergreen College and studying with a ceramic sculptor, Green moved to Portland and tried to make it as an artist.

“I did the Saturday Market and showed in different galleries and had to teach art classes at that time,” she said. “It was hard making a living. I was a starving artist.”

After some time, she decided to go back to school and become a teacher. And there she stayed for 34 years.

“I always integrated art no matter who I taught,” Green said. “Even though I taught reading.”

Two years ago she retired, and promptly began taking art classes, most recently a painting class at Mt. Hood Community College.

“I hadn’t painted in 40 years,” she noted. “I was having such a good time and had such good feedback that in June I was asked to do independent study.”

But when the summer ended, along with the independent study, Green found herself looking for a new space to create.

“I needed a place because my dining room had been usurped by art,” she said with a laugh.

Over lunch with friends, Green brought up the idea of opening a studio space.

“The next thing I know I’m signing the lease. It was just this idea, and it’s just evolved,” she said. “Everything has fallen into place.”

Classes also will be worked into the multi-use space, with the hope to inspire creative minds and make just enough money to keep the gallery functioning.

“I want to keep prices down, but at the same time bring enough into the studio,” she said.

Subscribing artists, for example, can pay $25 for five hours of studio work time. Green already has two anchor artists in place, as well as a few subscribing artists.

With just the first week under her belt, Green has turned her dream into a functioning, thriving reality.

“Our mission,” she said, “is being passionate to learn, create, share and sell art.”

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