On June 19, owner Tom Novak gave me a special guided tour inside the Short Term Art Gallery (STAG) and talked about the gallery and some of the artists and their art work that is on display. STAG is at 1829 Main Street in Baker City.
According to Novak, The Short Term Art Gallery is the second oldest art gallery in Baker City. When they first opened their doors in June 2009, the Crossroads Art Center was the only major art gallery in town at that time.
Before STAG occupied its current physical location on Main Street, it used to be a Hallmark gift card shop. When the owners of the shop finally retired, the owner of the building (where the shop was located) contacted Novak and asked him if he could fill-up the space with his original artwork until another business decided to rent the location.
In response, Novak contacted a small number of other artists in Baker City and they decided to each display their own individual pieces of original artwork inside the space. Together they named the space the Short Term Art Gallery.
After its first month of existence, the owner of the building asked Novak to keep STAG at its location for another month…then another month…and another month. Finally, in November 2009, the owner told Novak he was taking the space off the market and wanted to give him the space rent-free. Novak happily agreed and STAG now had a permanent home.
Because Novak, and co-owner Brian Vegter, do not have to pay any monthly rent for STAG, they pass their savings on to the artists who display their artwork inside STAG. There is no commission fee or sales fee for any artwork sold, which means the artist keeps 100% of the profit they earn. Instead, STAG charges each artist a $15.00 monthly fee to have his or her art displayed inside the gallery. The monthly fee helps pay the utility bills for STAG.
Currently 35 local and regional artists have their artwork on display inside STAG, which is staggering when you consider the fact that no other art gallery in Baker City carries the work of so many artists under one roof.
Novak does very little jury work when a new artist wants to display his or her work inside STAG. In most cases, Novak automatically displays the art inside the gallery. As a result, STAG has become a very popular place for both new and established artists, and the caliber of art displayed inside the gallery is truly amazing and very professional.
Novak enjoys spending his days sitting inside STAG and admiring the magnificent art that occupies the gallery. As an artist himself, Novak has his own individual paintings on display inside the gallery. All of his work hangs on the walls above the work of the other artists. Vegter is also an artist who specializes in painting dogs, and two pieces of his work are on display inside STAG.
Some of the many local artists who have art work on display inside STAG include woodworker Wayne Wall, photo-realism painter Gene Kate, silverpoint artist Jill Nelson, feather painter Deborah Otterstein , realist abstract painter Don Grey, film photographer James Colby, abstract expressionist painter Hans Magden, brass jewelry artist Andrea Stone, sculpture artist Michael McVeigh, sculpture artist Cathy Pennington, bronze sculpture artist Butch Botcher, and potter Mary Sue Rightmire.
Thanks to years of hard work from Novak, Vegter, and many local and regional artists and residents of Eastern Oregon, the Short Term Art Galley is a very friendly and professional place where the artist and their work always comes first and is truly appreciated.
However, do not take my word for it. Watch and listen as Novak talks about the Short Term Art Gallery and a few of the artists whose art is on display inside the gallery. Below is a website link that will take you to a video clip on YouTube. The 12-minute video is a recording I made of Novak and the Short Term Art Gallery.
Tour Inside Short Term Art Gallery