When you visit the Tumalo Art Co, a fine art gallery in the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon, you will be greeted by one of the 14 member artists. This fine art collective is owned and operated by local artists who are committed to bringing the best of Northwest art to its patrons. Not only will you find some of the best oil, acrylic and mixed media art work in Central Oregon, but also ceramics, glass, sculpture, photography, digital media, original hand-pulled prints, and hand-turned wood. There is also a selection of limited edition fine art giclee’s and beautiful jewelry from five local makers, as well as cards from our own artists.
Tumalo Art Co, a fine art collective in Bend, Oregon, owned and operated by artists, is committed to bringing the best of Northwest art to its patrons.
Making art can create a solitary lifestyle. And, as artists we each face tremendous competition for gallery space. The concept of a group of artists sharing gallery space allows us to succeed at the formidable task of running it. The tremendous amount of work it takes to run a gallery is offset by having creative control of the space, and the benefit of working as a team. As a group, we affirm and challenge one another and form lasting relationships with our art clients.
We want the gallery experience to help each artist be successful so we can continue creating art and, believing that art has enlightening and even healing properties, and a meaningful art experience to our community.
Tumalo Art Co. was started in 2001 by Marta Batha and was housed in Tumalo Junction, a commercial building in Tumalo owned by Marta and her husband Vince. She drew the artists who ran the gallery collectively from Art Partners, the art mentoring group of which she was a member. Each of the seven artists worked at the gallery and was responsible for a job that supported its growth. Marketing, Public Relations, Art Opening Events, Bookkeeping…all of these were handled by the gallery artists. Marta also began a furniture and accessory business that added a unique blend of original fine art arranged in home-like vignettes.
The artists involved became a cohesive group and enjoyed the process of getting to know customers who came into the gallery. The artists discovered that customers enjoyed meeting and talking with artists who could speak knowledgeably about their art in the gallery. And, the artists found they enjoyed selling each others work.
When Tumalo Junction was sold in the fall of 2004, the decision was made to move the gallery into Bend and the search was begun to find a location.
Susan Luckey Higdon and Tracy Leagjeld became the new principals, forming the nucleus of the restructured gallery and along with the collective members remodeled an industrial space on Greenwood Ave, 2 blocks from Wall Street in Downtown Bend.
In 2008, a decision was made to move the gallery to the Old Mill District in Bend where it could benefit from pedestrian traffic. The gallery opened in its new location, 450 SW Powerhouse #407, in the heart of the Old Mill District, on June 1, 2009. Tracy Leagjeld stepped down as a partner at the end of 2010 but continues as an active collective member.
After trying several models for the collective structure, Luckey Higdon and Leagjeld settled on 12-15 artists in the collective as well as other artists in a traditional gallery relationship. The Collective artists pay a monthly space rental fee and work in return for lowered commissions. This enables the gallery to cover its operating costs, keeping the doors open as it continues to build its reputation as a high-quality, artist-run gallery.
Current Collective member are: Nancy Becker, Helen Brown, Dorothy Freudenberg, Sarah B Hansen, Susan Luckey Higdon, Alisa Huntley, Bruce Jackson, Mollie Jurgenson, David Kinker, Dee McBrien-Lee, Danae Bennett-Miller, Adell Shetterly, Katherine Taylor and Shelli Walters.
Gallery Artists are: Marlene Moore Alexander, Paul Alan Bennett, Nancy Dasen, Janice Druian, Annie Ferder, Linda Heisserman, Judy Hoiness, Pat Horsely, Barbara Hudin, Pamela Kroll, Jessica Layton, Tracy Leagjeld, Mary Marquiss, Carla Spence and Tom Willing Jewelry by: Danica Curtright, Amber Bremmer, Judy Clinton and Alison Wahl.
This varied group of artists is well-known, has deep roots in Central Oregon and range from abstract to realism, in all medias, including photography and fine art digital images. The result is an interesting collection of art that “hangs together” beautifully.
After moving from it’s original location in Tumalo Junction, Tumalo Art Co., leased space in downtown Bend, Oregon at 136 NW Greenwood.
The gallery moved it’s location in June 2009 to 450 SW Powerhouse Dr. #407 in the heart of the Old Mill District. The artists are thrilled to be part of the vibrant culture of the Old Mill and look forward to you stopping by soon!