Blaine Arts Council to open Peace Portal Drive gallery


An art gallery featuring work from local artists will soon be open in downtown Blaine, fulfilling a longtime vision for art enthusiasts who see it as the canvas to a vibrant arts community.

Blaine Arts Council (BAC) will hold a soft opening for its gallery at 922 Peace Portal Drive, near Clark Street, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, July 4. The gallery will have a monthly rotation of artists from Blaine and around the region display their work – whether they are showing sculptures, paintings, woodworking or another medium.

“We really want a diverse body of work inside,” said Margaret Owens, BAC board president. “We want this to be an open place for art to be expressed.”

The soft opening will coincide with Blaine’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July parade, which will start near the gallery. Bry’s Filipino Cuisine food truck will be in the gallery parking lot, with live music and seating.

A gift shop will be added before the gallery’s grand opening on Friday, August 2. The grand opening will fall on the first Friday of the month, when there will be monthly evening receptions with the new featured artists.

Owens said the gallery could become an arts hub for the community, with a growing list of uses for the space. Such ideas include a tent space for pottery or woodworking classes, an opportunity for Blaine students to have their work shared, and a location for children’s book readings. Owens also plans for two murals to be painted on the gallery later this summer.

BAC’s gallery committee will select six to eight artists to be on display for the month. A call for artists will be uploaded later in July on the BAC website,, with requirements listed.

“My focus is getting artists the best exposure they can have,” Owens said. “We’re open to all fun ideas that can bring more exposure to them.”

The first artist rotation will include calligraphy art, woodworking, photography, sculptures and paintings. The artists opening the gallery will be Annie Pflueger, Bonnie Ventura, Christy Schroeder-Lloyd, Dana Hayden, Gordon Nealy and Lyn Gray Rackley.

In 2022, Blaine and Birch Bay artists formed BAC with the desire to promote Blaine’s art community. The nonprofit took over running a studio art tour, which was held for the first time earlier that year. The group has since been saving money with the long-term goal of having a gallery – they just didn’t think it would happen so quickly, Owens said.

Owens, who was elected board president in November, said she quickly began prioritizing finding a gallery and when the building previously at the gallery location was offered to the group in mid-May, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

The nonprofit has funding secured for the gallery for about a year but is looking for community support and applying to grants to bolster the gallery, Owens said.

The gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The gallery will also be open Mondays of holiday weekends, such as Labor Day.

“We want to see Blaine be an art destination and transform the aesthetic of town,” Owens said. “A gallery is an important thing for Blaine to move to the next level.” 


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here