Mary Lou Zeek Gallery opened as a contemporary arts and craft gallery in 2000. The primary focus of the gallery has always been to push the limits of gallery art in unexpected ways and “share” shows with the community. By building retail partnerships that go beyond association dues, Mary Lou has produced a creative formula for success.
Her formula requires a level of passion, time, and risk-taking that some retailers just aren’t interested in taking. And since most of Mary Lou’s ideas for partnering with others involve trying something new and exciting, there are no guarantees that things will work out as expected.
“Dishin’ It Out – Ceramics with Attitude” show is an excellent example of retail partnerships going beyond association dues. Adding a twist to the standard sidewalk sale, the show acted as a fund raiser for the local food bank and as a showcase for ceramics artists. The artists were asked to create serving pieces with a lot of attitude. Nearby businesses partnered with Zeek Gallery to use the theme of the show to transform State Stree – and what an amazing transformation it was! Each participating business created a special table for four just outside their shop. Dining areas included candles, music and elaborate table settings. Merchants served their diners meals prepared by area chefs, and everyone went to great lengths to make the meal a memorable event. All dinners were served at the same time, creating a surprising spectacle along the street. Everyone has seen a sidewalk sale, and most aren’t very memorable. But no one in our town had ever seen anything like the sidewalk wonderland that marked the Dishin’ It Out – Ceramics with Attitude show. Customers walking by were caught up in an atmosphere of great fun and excitement.
Mary Lou Zeek has an entrepreneurial edge when promoting her art gallery in downtown Salem. Dishin’ It Out – Ceramics with Attitude show is a great example of that. Her outside-the-box thinking and inclusion of Artists and neighboring retailers have revitalized downtown life in Salem, Oregon.
Mary Lou Zeek Gallery is a premier exhibition space in the Pacific Northwest committed to showing artists of exceptional quality and dedication. The gallery represents some of the most creative individuals from the local, regional and national communities. Since its establishment, Mary Lou Zeek Gallery has become an art treasure in the Mid-Willamette Valley. The gallery features monthly solo exhibitions as well as selected group show and special exhibitions.
The gallery also offers friendly private consultations to businesses, individuals and corporate art consulting. The gallery’s reputation rests on the strength of the artists, the integrity of its employees, and the comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.