Red Chair Gallery Has Reasons to Celebrate


Red Chair Gallery in downtown Bend celebrates their one-year anniversary this summer after a successful twelve months featuring an eclectic medley of fine art and contemporary crafts.  Their bright, inviting space is situated in the historic O’Kane Building with its original “Bend” logo stained glass medallions outside.

Lise Hoffman-McCabe is one of the artist/partners in the gallery and shares ownership duties with three others: Dee McBrien-Lee, Rita Dunlavy and Linda Heisserman. In January of last year a few artists, bemoaning the loss of Mirror Pond Gallery, needed a gallery of their own. Thus seeds of Red Chair were sown.

“Our first effort was to discuss the idea of a co-op, but decided against it due to the probability of conflicting ideals and goals,” said Hoffman-McCabe. “We chose to simplify it as a membership gallery where artists would pay monthly dues, volunteer sitting times, be involved in committees and be able to pay lower commission rates.  One of the parameters we set up was to include only regional artisans primarily through a jury selection process.”

Unable to exactly predict what would sell, the group used some outside help via Pat Clark with Atelier 6000 (A-6) in Bend to review all the submissions and help weed through the artist material.”We were very specific about the type of framing and the overall quality of the art and knew we wanted a wide variety,” said Dee McBrien-Lee.”Our potters we had lined up way before we even opened because a lot of them were involved in the gallery’s initial concept phase.”

Red Chair has a diverse selection for every taste imaginable: pastel, watercolors, encaustics, acrylics, oils, ceramics, porcelain, photography, glass, wood, mosaics and four kinds of fiber arts. The clean, wide-open space and high ceilings allow for artworks in multiple media to be presented in all their aspects and appeal.

“It’s a fun place to be, there are always happy interesting people coming in, and that’s what we are,” said Hoffman-McCabe. “I didn’t know the other partners before all this and I think that really helped form the business.  We each have our own art niches and encourage each other and it keeps healthy communication going. I’m in charge of marketing, Rita does the books and finance, she’s the money goddess, Linda is membership and Dee is the gallery director.  Right now we have two member artists, four owners and six consignment artists.”

They first took possession of the corner building on July 1, 2010 and opened for business on First Friday August 6. “We were mobbed that Friday and it was our biggest day ever,” she said. “It was very exciting.”

“The interior needed an overhaul.  So we painted, built mobile display pods, installed new lighting, designed our logo and found the right fixtures,” said McBrien-Lee. “We came up with Red Chair as a name suggested by one of our artists.  Red chair was the first ski chair lift at Mount Bachelor and Deschutes Brewery has a Red Chair beer.  Someone came in once and asked if one of our owners lived in Tumalo because they saw a red chair bolted to a boulder at the end of a driveway. It’s funny to hear what people come up with.  Old-timers really know the red chair lift connection.

“We want to be here another ten years,” added Hoffman-McCabe. “Right now we signed a lease for two years and we intend to be here well beyond that. First Fridays are the most fun parties in town and we’re right in the center of it. The spirit of the gallery changes every month. It’s important for it to remain fresh and vital. Our members feel good being a community of artists and our customers tell us they’re so glad we’re here.”

Red Chair Gallery is located at 27 S.W. Bond St. in Bend, 541-388-1736,


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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