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May-04-2007 01:17printcommentsVideo

New Fine Art Galleria in Downtown Salem May be Oregon's Finest (VIDEO)

"We're becoming a cosmopolitan area whether people like it or not, and it's good to be part of this history right now." - Roger Yost, Alessandro's Galleria

Alessandros Galleria in Salem, Oregon
Roger Yost explains the popularity of the new collection to Bonnie King
Photos and video by: Tim King

(SALEM) - Established in Alessandro's Ristorante, the fine art collection in the Galleria has been growing since last year, and owner Roger Yost, who spent many years as the Vice-President of Jantzen Sportswear in Oregon, says it rivals anything in our state.

Consistently upbeat, his elevated style leads people back to the niceties of life. "It has sort of a theme. Basically what we did is we chose artists and paintings that depicted wine, food, music, romance, beauty, good times."

He says the collection grew from around 55 paintings February 15th, to 120 now, and more are waiting to claim their space on the walls.

Yost says the capitol city may now host the state's leading gallery for fine art.

"I think it drives us to a new level that would be comparable if not exceed a lot of the galleries that are in the so-called Pearl District in Portland, and it gives us a kind of a New York frame of mind."

The lighting and décor has been updated to reflect the new gallery setting, as well as to enhance the dining experience, Yost said.

The first pieces of the collection included Thomas Stiltz, a still life painter who concentrates on wine bottles, and Tim Rogerson, a whimsical young artist out of Florida who depicts people in entertainment venues, chefs and waiters.

“That art fit the Alessandro’s environment,” Yost said. However, as he viewed the works of other artists, the collection soon swelled to include Viktor Shvaiko, Emanuel Mattini, Denard Stalling and many others who are active in the international art scene.

Prices of the art will vary, said Yost, from about $300 for small pieces and some giclees, to oils that might begin at $1500. A giclee (zhee-CLAY) is an individually produced, high-resolution, high-fidelity, high tech reproduction done on a special large format printer.

The works of celebrated English artist Raymond Campbell will be priced in the $2000-$3000 range; major works by Sabzi and New Yorker Samantha Keely Smith will be priced above $12,000, Yost said.

"We're becoming a cosmopolitan area whether people like it or not, and it's good to be part of this history right now."

He talked about the importance of Salem's First Wednesday event which includes an art walk and activities for young people.

Salem has traditionally been viewed as a community in search of its own identity. The new art movement downtown is bringing an end to that stigma though, as people continue to discover a dimension of Salem revealed through the talents and expressions of local and world renowned artists.


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Albert Marnell May 11, 2007 12:13 am (Pacific time)

I wish I was there. I love art and wish more people would discover that it is one of the few real treaures we can be exposed to. Too many people have not given it a chance. Roger Yost knows what he is doing. The more you learn about it the more addicting it is. What he has done is very impressive. He is right, you do not have to go to New York to have an experience...but if you happen to be in the area check out The Frick Museum on 5th Ave. It is orgasmic and not far from the MMA. Check it out online. But in the meantime, appreciate what Mr. Yost has done because it is not easy to assemble a collection that stimulates the part of your brain that craves real beauty and feelings that you did not know that you had. It also gets your mind off of all the political and war negativity. Have dinner and or wine and check it out. You will not be sorry.

Elma C. May 9, 2007 9:41 am (Pacific time)

This art is beautiful. I think having the collection in the restaurant is a great idea, and I will check it out.

Mike Murray May 4, 2007 4:56 pm (Pacific time)

This is very exciting, I will make sure to drop by next time I visit Salem, and it brings us happiness to see the importance of the arts being recognized.

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