Lunaria Gallery

113 North Water Street
Silverton, OR 97381


Lunaria Gallery was founded in April 1995 by Ann Altman, Theresa Burgett, Antonia Jenkins, Theresa Sharrar and her daughter Shannon Sharrar.

Our first gallery space was the tiny front area of what is now O'Brien's Cafe, then called The Wild Iris Cafe. We chose "Lunaria" as a complimentary wildflower name to the "Wild Iris". We liked the name for its reference to the moon and also because it is called the Money or Silver Dollar plant!

We started the gallery because we wanted to insure a place for local artists as the town potentially expanded in response to the coming Oregon Garden. The Co-op concept appealed to us because we could share the expenses and gallery work which would have been prohibitive for just one or two people.

Lunaria was launched with a wonderful Hat Show for April with many creative and hilarious concoctions modeled at the first "First Friday" event. In a town without a lot happening on a Friday night, Lunaria's First Fridays were an instant hit!

However, with just five members, it was difficult to keep the gallery open more than a few days a week and it still meant a lot of gallery sitting for each member! With an opportunity to move to a larger space arising, we voted to expand our membership to twenty and move to First Street, the present location of Habititat for Humanity. We expanded our offerings and had wonderful First Friday events there, becoming downtown's gala event of each month! Since the Goodwill Store was across the street we had a lot of walk-in activity. But when Goodwill moved, things became too quiet at that location. We took the opportunity to move around the corner to Main Street, at the present the home of the "Stone Buddha" gallery and increased our membership to twenty-five. We continued to streamline the gallery operations and, while no one got rich, we were able to keep the gallery open seven days a week. We also had a lot of fun.

Two years ago, another opportunity to move to our present location arose. That would put us back on Water Street, in a space with great lighting and high ceilings (more wall space). We voted to "just do it", and we're happy to be "at home" in our best space yet. During our absence Water Street acquired another fine art gallery and has since sprouted several excellent retail shops. Also a third gallery is thriving inside the ever-popular Silver Creek Coffee House. And we are right in the middle of it all!

The co-op continues to thrive, First Fridays have become a Silverton institution and we are known far beyond Silverton for our unique, eclectic style. Lunaria artists are continually exploring and growing, and gallery offerings are constantly fresh and diverse with prices ranging from low to high end.

It's a wonderful place to experience the work of many of the area's best local artistic talents and to find out why the arts are Silverton's not-so-secret-anymore Best-kept secret!

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