Five years ago, Influence was a fledgling art gallery with display space in the light-filled front of Evan Acey’s computer repair business on Hillsboro’s downtown Main Street.

Now, the Influence Gallery artists, having weathered the ups and downs of running an art space in uncertain economic times, are holding a reunion show right back where they started, in the light-filled space at 231 E. Main Street.

Artist Linda Holland, who organized the nonprofit Tualatin Valley Artists with Acey, has been the group’s den mother, working to open the tiny Influence Galley on Southeast Third Avenue when Acey moved his business, Right Now PC, into a smaller space in Weil Arcade. 

After the Influence Gallery on Third Avenue gallery closed in 2011, “the artists who showed artwork there went their separate ways,” Holland said. “But they always shared the camaraderie they had being members of the gallery.”

Holland now finds artists and musicians for Judith Shortt, principal broker and owner of Summa Real Estate Group’s office in Hillsboro. 

“Shortt has been inspirational at supporting the arts and opening her business to show art has become a regular event,” said Holland. 

Shortt wanted to host First Tuesday events, not only because it made good business sense to bring the community into her office, but because she’s passionate about the arts.

“I have a lot of family members who are artists,” said Shortt. “And most artists are really crappy marketers. The idea is to give them a place where their work can be seen.”

Since October of 2010, Shortt has made her downtown office wall space available to artists and she hosts monthly First Tuesday receptions with food and music to celebrate the opening of new shows. 

Holland organizes the shows, scheduling artists and musicians, most from Tualatin Valley Artists’ lineup of visual and performing members. 

“In the reunion show, we’ve come full circle,” said Holland, clearly thrilled that the Influence Gallery artists have come together for the show. Participating artists are Holland, Sandra Farmer, James Tschida, JanSue Hirst, Heather Wells, Jackie Woodward and Elina Zebergs.

One attempt at an opening night group photo shows the artists in high spirits. “It shows how much we like each other,” Holland said.

Nancy Crutchfield, the Hillsboro Summa office manager, said she enjoys having a say in where certain pieces of art hang so she can enjoy them during the month-long shows. 

Crutchfield added that Summa agents, all avid volunteers involved in a wide range of community projects and organizations, are likely to engage in discussions about the artwork with visitors to the office.

Holland, who refers to the Tualatin Valley Artists nonprofit as “my baby,” has stepped back from its day-to-day operations, but is delighted it is still thriving, thanks to support from community members such as Shortt.

“Art and music touches people’s lives,” Holland said. “I see it all the time.”

The reunion show features a variety of media, including paintings, encaustic artwork (also known as hot wax painting) and photography, and runs through the end of January.

Summa Real Estate Group, 231 E. Main St., Hillsboro, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays  and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Tualatin Valley Artists also operate the Influence Music Hall, 135 S.E. Third Ave., with concerts, storytelling, authors’ talks and open mic events. For more information, contact Linda Holland at or learn more at

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