Co-op rotates local artists

Katy Thompson

The typical Linfield student spends a lot of time in their dorm room doing nothing but studying.  They spend hours poring over their books, but every once in a while they need a break. That’s when they should make time to go exploring. A good place to start doing that this fall is Currents Gallery.

Currents Gallery is a fine arts cooperative on Third Street, meaning it is artist-owned and artist-managed.

“There are 12 artists, and each one of them partake in the responsibilities of ownership,” Ilsa Perse, one of the artists, said.

At Currents Gallery a member’s work is featured in a solo show each month as a way to encourage the improvement of the individual as an artist. 

“Currents has always been a mainstay of the Art and Wine Walk,” Perse said. “Our co-op was founded with the intention of functioning for the art walk.”

These shows coincide with McMinnville’s Art and Wine Walk, which takes place the third Saturday of each month.

“We hang the gallery every month with a different theme so there is never a repeat show,” Perse said.

The Art and Wine Walk is an opportunity for community businesses to host art shows highlighting the works of local artists. Usually, there are at least three galleries that participate, along with various bistros and cafés. 

“There has always been this connection between good art and good food,” Perse said.

From one look at the gallery, it is clear that Currents respects the correlation between art and food. The gallery had this in mind from its initial founding.

Frank Kolwicz, another member of the co-op, said Back Door Studio is a subdivision of Currents and is used as a teaching facility.

Back Door Studio offers a wide variety of classes throughout the year. Upcoming is a class in basic beading Sept. 27 from
noon to 4 p.m.

Then there will be a two-day photography session Friday, Oct. 3 from 6 p.m.–9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 4 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Also offered at Back Door Studio is a mixed media drawing course that focuses on composition, line and use of space.

“After an artist has participated in these classes, they will have sharpened some of their most basic art skills,” Kolwicz said.

Another McMinnville art hot spot is Union Block Coffee. It is a quaint café where students and McMinnvillians alike come to sit, chat and enjoy neighborhood artists over a good cup of coffee. The open space offers a great view of historic Third Street.

Take the time to walk, ride or drive to Third Street and check out the local art walk. You just might find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you see. If interested in more information, stop by Currents Gallery or call 503-435-1316.

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