August 6th, 2021

Erin Hanson Gallery

You may wonder, as you drive to The Erin Hanson Gallery in McMinnville, why a successful and dynamic impressionist painter would locate the gallery featuring her work…here, on the far east side of a sprawling industrial park.

You’ll understand when you get there.

Photo courtesy of Erin Hanson Gallery.

Erin’s gallery and studio, the latest addition to McMinnville’s thriving arts scene, is enormous. As in, it fills two brand new 9,000-square-foot buildings. 

The gallery space, designed and serenely lit to put you in a relaxed, contemplative mood for viewing Hanson’s beautiful paintings, is just part of the experience. Her studio is here as well, but so are production facilities that enable Hanson to have the entire process under one roof.

Her canvases are stretched and hand-framed here. There’s also a state-of-the-art studio where high-quality prints of individual pieces are made. Very high-quality: The scanner, which would easily fill a parking space and is manufactured in Germany, captures the textures and shadows of an oil painting, creating images that are almost indistinguishable from the original. 

“I was just looking for a really good way to photograph my paintings,” she told me. “If you scan them face down, you lose all the texture. This is a way more expensive scanner where the light comes from above … you have more control over how light hits the surface.”

And that’s key, because Hanson is brilliant at capturing the subtle, complex interplay of light and shadow with bold colors. 

Hanson also offers 3-D texture replicas, giving customers a range of options, both aesthetically and from a pocketbook perspective. She produces about 250 paintings a year, many of them of spectacular vistas from her travels around the Western United States to national parks.

“Her paintings keep selling so quickly that it’s hard to keep the gallery stocked,” said marketing manager Amy Jensen, who teamed up with Hanson about ten years ago when she opened a gallery in Carmel, California. “About half of her work sells before it’s dry, so it keeps us running.” 

When one thinks of impressionism, artists like Monet and Renoir come to mind. Hanson uses the same aesthetic, striving to capture the feeling and aliveness of a scene, but she doesn’t blend her paint on the canvas; that’s all done on the palette. “I work very quickly, she says. “It gives the colors a very pure look.”

A grand opening event for Hanson’s flagship gallery is set for Saturday, Aug. 14, 2-6 p.m. Come on by, sip some wine and meet one of Yamhill County’s newest artists! 

The Erin Hanson Gallery, 1805 NE Colvin Street, McMinnville. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., walk-ins welcome. For more information, visit or call 503-334-3670.

A cartoon of David Bates

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