Sunday, September 30, 2012

Face the Public!

Our new show "Face the Public" is set up and ready for the artists to arrive.

We started with Robert Schlegel because he's planning a trip to Europe and needed to paint his square early.

Friends of the gallery came by just to see Bob...These lovely people own one of his paintings and wanted to see Bob in action.  

We love taking shots of the painting palette and paints.

Here is a close-up of the finished square.

This is the painting that we have on display for Bob...

"Horse with Orange"
3' x 4'

We've been a good way.

Julie, (who has a studio in the upstairs next to the gallery) decided to bomb our tree with her wonderful yarn.

She first spent some time out front (with Meg watching), doing her knitting in long sections.  

She then sewed them together onto the tree.  We love it and thank Julie for her "creative bombing"!

If you are interested in visiting her studio (we think it's fantastic) and would like to know a bit more about her painting classes, stop by gallery and we'll introduce you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Salvation Mountain

On our month off from the gallery, we traveled down to California to visit our son Adam.   He and his long time girlfriend Kristin have taken on the task of helping preserve Salvation Mountain, an awesome arts destination.  We love their compassion for the arts.

The hot temperatures, the vivid colors and the size of this incredible mountain... it just took our breath away and no words can even describe this folk art treasure. 

Salvation Mountain is an art installation covering a hill north of Calipatria, California, near Slab City and just several miles from the Salton Sea.  It is made from adobe, straw and thousands of gallons of paint.  It was created by local resident Leonard Knight, and encompasses numerous murals and areas painted with Bible verses.
In December of 2011, Leonard was placed in a long-term care facility in El Cajon for dementia.  Concern has been raised for the future of the site, which requires constant maintenance due to the harsh surrounding environment.
Many visitors bring paint to donate to the project, Adam and Kristin have been working to protect and maintain the site since early July.

I couldn't stop taking photos, there was color everywhere!

The Folk Art Society of American has designated Salvation Mountain as a National Folk Art Site.  
Worthy of protection and preservation...yes it is.  (You can donate to the site by going to

Inside were tree branches winding up and through each other.  Leonard inserted each of these and painted them with so many colors and patterns.

On site were many vehicles that Leonard lived in while at the mountain.  He carried through his painting on each one...inside and out.  We even looked underneath and saw that he also painted the undercarriage!

This was where Leonard slept for many years while care taking the mountain.

 While we were visiting Adam, we saw many people pull up and walk to the top of the mountain.   Adam would talk with them, tell them Leonards story and invite them to walk around.   This visitor was from Poland.

Many people loved seeing Leonard when he lived there, this was a small drawing left in Leonard's trailer.  

This is one of the many trucks Leonard painted...not an inch was untouched by his paintbrush.  

Just a sampling of the paint that has been used on the mountain...gallons and gallons.

We were told that Leonard was given a truckload of caulking.  He used this to get a raised effect when painting over the adobe.

Inside sits a lonely chair where many people have their photo taken when visiting...I was one of them.

That's me.

This is the natural shower.

Here is a photo of a photo showing Leonard when he lived at the mountain.  

Adam and I rest at his trailer...I think it was close to 106 degrees that day.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Our new show "Upcycle"

is all that we thought it would be.  Below is the large arrow that we found at Habitat for Humanity.  We added the lights after painting the bulbs yellow and felt it was perfect for this show.

We had so many pieces that we were a bit stumped as to where to put everything.  
As usual, Alan and I sit and have coffee and draw our ideas on napkins...this show took quite a few napkins for us to figure it out.

The large platters on the walls were created by Boris Bally....amazing artist!  We were lucky to visit his studio a few years ago while visiting Rhode Island.  

These gas can lights were made by Adam (or son) while down in California being the site manager for Salvation Mountain.  Adam explained that these "desert lamps" were both products of long walks in the desert.  In Slab City (next to Salvation Mountain), they refer to it as "Desert Shopping" but essentially it is walking around and picking up stuff.  Adam was pleased to find these gas cans in a wash from a recent storm.  He wired them and board all holes using few and basic tools.  As Adam said..."Both of these show the soft beauty of old rusty stuff".  We love them.

This is a lamp made by Alan using an old wire basket that was picked up at Fairview Hospital when they were dismantling the contents of the old buildings.  We aren't really sure what it was used for but Alan felt it would be a perfect lamp shade.  The base is an old surveyor's tripod...woven between the wires of the shade, he has used paint colors

Alan's two beautiful water ski chairs flank the West side of the gallery space.  Using antique water skis, these chairs are comfortable and unique.

The lounge chair below the sign is made from an old hand truck that was used to move trees.  Alan used foundry molds, water skis and wood when creating this piece...of course it can be moved easily because it's on wheels!  He likes to call this "Cut to the Chaise"

Paper Airplanes...well not really paper, these are made from metal signs! I don't think I'd try to fly these across a room but do think they'd look great sitting on a pile of books or on a desk.  
I met Brian while visiting in Portland and loved his work and of course these little airplanes!

What can we say about one of our favorite people, William Skrips!  He is a true recycler who has a great sense of humor!  

Jill Torberson brought down two large outside sculptures and a couple of tumbleweeds.  Lucky for us, we have 14' ceilings and they look fantastic in the gallery space.  

We open on Tuesday and will have our Artist Reception on Wednesday at 5...see you at the gallery!

About Mary Lou Zeek

My photo
We represent Northwest artists working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, works on paper, ceramics, jewelry and mixed media. Our second gallery features exhibitions on a monthly basis, as well as selected group shows and special exhibitions. To arrange an appointment, please call 503-581-3229 or email; During our years of operating, we have successfully encouraged the broadening and blossoming of the Salem art scene. We are dedicated to serving our clients as well as our artists. The relationships that we cultivate with our clients and our artists have been and will continue to be long and rewarding. We encourage you to take the time to be acquainted with us and take the time to appreciate the art we enjoy so much.