Something's cooking at Art Soup
June 9, 2008 · Updated 6:52 PM
If there is a recipe for longevity in the art world, Lone Hansen seems to have all the ingredients:
Experience, friends in artistic places and the ability to bounce back.
The spirited creator of the defunct Lone Wolf Gallery has cooked up Art Soup, a new show space in downtown Winslow.
The gallery, to which Hansens deft use of lighting and space lends an intimate but uncrowded air, offers a diverse array of prints, handcrafted jewelry and ceramics, as well as five lines of cards by island artists.
Im looking for art combinations that work together, Hansen said. I like to mix it up its soup.
The theme is picked up explicitly in a collection of ceramic soup bowls Hansen commissioned for the opening of new store.
After having been out of the retail art business for several years, Hansen didnt set out to start another gallery.
When she first looked at the Madrone Lane location formerly occupied by Destinations travel agency, she says, she was looking for a well-lighted space to move her note card distribution business, The Art Reps. The business represents 25 card lines to retail outlets throughout the Northwest.
It was basically supposed to be my office, she said. But I have too much background in retail I realized it had to be a gallery.
Immediately, she said, local artists began knocking on her door, looking for an arena to show their work.
Among the most popular work in Hansens collection is that of her mother, Grethe Herlin, who began creating postcard-sized oil paintings in 1996 at age 78.
She used to paint them and give them away to friends, Hansen said. When I saw her work, I said, Hey, this is good.
Hansen saw an opportunity to supplement her mothers retirement income by reproducing and selling the images.
The result is a very successful line of note cards, journals and prints.
As appealing as the cheerful floral scenes is the name of the line: MorMor, which means mothers mother in Danish.
People love that here, Hansen said, noting that variations on the term for grandmother are familiar to the many people of Scandanavian descent in the area.
People come in and say, Im a MorMor, too! When they see when she started painting, theyll say, ah, theres still hope! and there is.
Hansen will hold the grand opening of Art Soup on June 28 with a show and artist reception by noted Seattle watercolorist Walter Share. She is, she says, always looking for work by talented local artists.
Ive always gotten joy out of discovering other artists, said Hansen, herself a painter. I love finding people who arent that well known.
If I think it is good, Ill show it; I dont care who they are.
Hansen connected with her first big talent, Richard Stine, at a street fair in San Francisco. The partnership that resulted had a personal benefit for Hansen: when the Stines moved to Bainbridge Island in the late 80s, she decided to see for herself what drew them here.
The moment I got off the ferry, I knew, she said. I got here, and Im not going anywhere else.
Now, after more than a decade in the island arts community, Hansen is enjoying the benefits of familiarity.
The difference between opening a gallery now and 10 years ago is like night and day, she said. People know me now.
As for her own painting, Hansen says it will have to remain on hold for the time being.
Im waiting until Im 78, she said.
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Art Soup is located at 139 Madrone Lane. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Call 842-1315 for information, or email email@example.com.