June 15th, 2020

Art Finds a Way: Art Galleries Reopen in McMinnville

Art finds a way.

That’s been my mantra this spring, a riff off Dr. Ian Malcom’s line in Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.” Not even pandemics can keep painters from painting, singers from singing, writers from writing, or dancers from dancing. They may find their audiences, and even new audiences differently — but art clearly does find a way.

The Blue Room: Photo courtesy of The Gallery at Ten Oaks

So do McMinnville’s art galleries. As Yamhill County emerges from quarantine, local gallery owners are cautiously and optimistically reopening. All, even those that aren’t yet open, are available for online business and/or by appointment.

“Our gallery is owned by seven talented and active artists,” Marlene Eichner of Currents Gallery told me. “However, each of us is in the ‘vulnerable’ category in relation to COVID 19. We require all visitors to the gallery to wear a mask, either their own or one offered by the gallery.” 

And as with other galleries, you’ll find hand sanitizer at the door.

Currents opened June 1 and is open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. each day or by appointment.

Marilyn Affolter is soldiering on in the new normal with a trial run this month of limited hours, Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment. MECA is  open for private showings and welcomes messages via Facebook and Instagram. Glass artists Tyler Goodwin and Derek Jones are available by appointment in their cozy Liquid Light Glassworks shop a few blocks south of downtown. Painter John Stromme is available noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. 

The Gallery at Ten Oaks is open Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. “We have a welcome station in the lobby with hand sanitizer and gallery policies,” says co-owner Nancy Morrow. “We do ask that masks be used, although we’re not requiring them. Groups of six or more must wear masks.” 

As with most galleries, Ten Oaks is open for business 24/7 online. “We continue to push our online sales, and we have had success there,” she said.

And while it’s technically not an art gallery, Golden Girls Pottery, where you are the creator, is aiming for a mid-June opening. In the meantime, if you’re looking for ways to keep your kiddos occupied, pottery kits are available for pick-ups and drop-offs. 

“We are grateful to be able to serve our community with an art outlet, always” said co-owner Michelle Golden. “But especially now.”

For a list of McMinnville’s art galleries and contact information click here.

David Bates is a McMinnville writer who has appeared in Gallery Theater productions since 1998.