Art scene — Fulfilling life-long dream, Orange Door Gallery takes root in Newberg

For Ben Freeman, owning an art gallery has always been a dream. A recent opportunity has given him the chance to do just that.

“Most times when you go to an art gallery, it’s a physical building you walk through and you see art,” Freeman said. “I’ve always wanted to do that but it costs money to get a space and art doesn’t always pay for itself.”

Luckily, Archer Vineyard had an event center and tasting room with bare walls and decided to let Freeman start his gallery there.

“I said, well what about if I supply art for the walls for you,” he said. “The idea worked for them because they don’t have to go out and find something to put on the walls.”

Essentially, this was the inception of Orange Door Galleries.

“Basically I opened an art gallery,” he said. Many pieces on display come from his own personal collection. “I’ve been collecting since I was 9, so I have quite a collection.”

On display currently are pieces from Christopher Mooney, a friend of Freeman’s. But the “gallery” will change regularly, providing an opportunity for themed exhibits.

“The first month I did was flowers, the second one was ‘Portals and Pathways,’ (Mooney’s show),” Freeman said.

He will finish the season with a photography exhibit from an artist who is a friend of the winery and display abstract pieces during the winter.

Although Freeman will make money from commissions of the work sold, he’s providing the mobile gallery service for free.

“The concept going forward will be I’ll contact various locations that have a problem with that same issue and the idea is that I will supply them with art at no cost to them,” he said. These could be smaller tasting rooms or vineyards, even restaurants.

“They just go to the Costco or wherever and buy pre-framed art and hang it on the wall, which is nice except sometimes it doesn’t fit their theme or it looks too canned,” he said. “Some small restaurants, art is not something they have in their budget. So those are places where enough people travel through and see it pairs well with art.”

For now, Freeman said he wants to focus on the space at Archer Vineyard, but he will start reaching out to other locations in the future and expand the mobile gallery.

“At some point in time if the concept progresses, I may eventually have a brick and motor (gallery), but the idea is to keep a little more mobile so over time there’s more exposure,” he said. “(For example) Amity is a nice little town that needs a boost. The wine country is a good venue in general.”

For more information, visit doorgalleries.

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