Oregon Art Beat: Short Term Gallery
Brian Vegter talks about the origins of this Baker City art gallery.
After the Hallmark store in Baker City closed its doors, the owners of the space asked painter Brian Vegter to hang some of his art in the empty storefront window. His paintings were warmly received, so they asked for more art for the walls inside. Soon after, Vegter was asked to organize a gallery in the space, free of rent, for one month. One month turned into two and now, three and a half years later, Vegter and his artist friend Tom Novak continue to run (what was supposed to be) the Short Term Gallery.
Vegter and Novak maintain the space on Main Street as a gallery co-op for approximately 30 regional artists. Local artists pay a nominal monthly fee to help cover utilities and property taxes on the building and in return they are granted space in the gallery to show up to three of their pieces, which include everything from drawings and paintings to jewelry and bronze bowls. The artists at the Short Term Gallery take away 100 percent of the profits when they sell their art.
The name Short Term Gallery now applies to Vegter and Novak’s philosophy for the rotation of artwork on display. Their aim is to keep the space fresh, mixing it up by regularly changing the artwork on the walls. In addition, the gallery features one artist per month during the First Friday Art Walk.Vegter loves meeting visitors from out of town who are impressed by the unique nature of his gallery. "It's fantastic to get compliments from people from other areas," he says.