In the last couple of years I have begun to ask, what is next? The years of raising my three girls is closing, I've been teaching close to 30 years...what do I love, and where do I want to expand? I've been looking at little galleries and art shops for years, soaking in what works and what doesn't. My eyes are often drawn to for rent signs in sweet little downtown locations. A place that embraces community, sophisticated art that is still accessible, and art that enters the daily life and celebrates it.
As I moved to Monmouth I discovered a little spot right downtown and around the corner from a wine bar, I noticed I kept driving by. It is dark purple grey with dirty red around the windows. A metal awning that shades the western light that fills the space. I finally called to ask price and details. It would be a stretch for just a studio space, but that call opened up ideas and possibilities that kept me awake and fueled my love of possibility.
The owner eased the rent for the first month which gave me some time to get organized and start creating. I've always dreamed of being an installation artist...creating this space is another creative act and I am having so much fun. It is beginning to come into focus as I weed through the ideas.
The Red Poppy will be a studio that celebrates the diverisity and beauty of the Pacific Northwest's people and land. It will be a place filled with joy and community. It will have sophisticated beautiful work and also celebrate the maker and hands that make true craft. As a student of Portland College of Arts and Craft I have a deep love of making and believe in the blurring the lines between "Fine Art and Craft". The Red Poppy will have hand crafted jewelry, fiber art, ceramics, painting in all the mediums, wood working and all the making in between. There will be both a gallery space that highlights a few works each month, and an area that will be more gift oriented with small things.
As part of living in a small town and being an educator there will also be art kits personally designed and created to help my community to make the step to create and learn to start making. These kits will have small zines of lessons to get started and I also hope to eventually connect these with online lessons.
Yes! All of this is a lot and it will not happen all at once. I am inviting artists slowly and as I know them and their work. One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the last couple of years is to wait, wait to be givien the next step, the next gift, the next direction. I'm leaning into this next space and energized by what it can and will become.
The Red Poppy's grand opening will be August 6th, 2022
it's located at 111 Warren st. in Monmouth, Or.
For the summer it is open Friday-Sunday 12-5
or by appointment.
I am a teacher, a mom and an artist. I have my BA in Arts Education from U of Oregon and my MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State. I've been teaching for 25 plus years in a variety of settings. Teaching private lessons, in community centers and as a classroom teacher. This has given me a wide view of teaching art and what it does for our lives and our students. I have found creating to be a place that we can all meet, find our humanity and surrender to process.