Many people think of art as expensive and dismiss the idea that they could own some of their own. Lunaria Gallery is out to disprove that – right in the middle of the holiday gift-buying season.
“We are featuring more than 250 fabulous artisan gifts for under $100,” said Barbara Bassett, artist and director of Lunaria Gallery. “It’s a way to promote local artisans and give one-of-a-kind gifts not sold in big-box stores and made in China.” Bassett added an increasing number of artists are offering their designs in greeting cards.
Lunaria has established a reputation extending far beyond Silverton for its unique, eclectic style. Members of the gallery agree coming together in the coop has nourished their art and confidence.
“Artists tend to isolate themselves,” Bonnie Taylor Talbot, a mixed media artist, said. “We help one another through rough times, which we can also take out or express through our art; we inspire each other through dry periods, brainstorming new ideas and supplying feedback and encouragement.”
Lori Webb was working on Silverton’s Bobbie the Dog mural when Marcella Gentzkow literally dragged her in from the street, practically ordering her to apply for membership.
Webb never considered herself a part of Silverton’s artists’ community and was surprised at how many members voted her in. Now, Webb is having “tons of fun” exploring new art forms.
“Being taken in has changed my life,” Webb said. “I became more complete as an individual. You would not believe the inspiring conversations that happen every time I encounter another member in person or even by e-mail. It is family; I love them.”
Artists, who are juried in, may pick up applications at the gallery if they want to join the coop. Lunaria strives to include a diverse collection of art.
Theresa Sharrar, a painter, held a show this year she called Ode to the Forest. She produced many paintings through her involvement with a Silverton plein air painting group.
“I was recently honored to be part of a published book, We’Moon: A 30-year Anthology, about women’s art and writing,” she said. “In June of 2011, I will be sharing my annual show at Lunaria with my siblings and mother. There are eight of us and we all do art in some form.”
Webb still paints city murals while exploring new styles and media such as collage and texture. Some of these, she said, were included in a fall show shared with metal artist Paul Bollinger.
Bassett, who studied art in Italy, has painted many of Silverton’s familiar spots including the counter at Mac’s Place and the Frank Lloyd Wright house, but she especially loves painting animals. “Capturing a facet of these everyday experiences and suspending it with the sensuous, buttery, viscosity of oil paint is what my work is all about,” she said.