By Maquette Reeverts | Alberta Art Works
The Guardino Gallery opened its doors in 1997 when many of the buildings on Alberta Street were boarded up and continued to suffer from years of disinvestment, demographic reshuffling and discriminatory lending by the city.
In the spring of that year a reporter labeled Alberta Street “the most killing street in Portland.” Donna and Sal Guardino had to get creative to attract people to patron their newly opened gallery.
Revitalization projects, dedicated locals and the start of Last Thursdays helped the business district begin a rebound. In the following five years, the number of businesses on the street doubled and Sal’s and Donna’s gallery found its stride.
Donna was a major force in the beginnings of Last Thursday that began the year they opened their doors.
This year the Guardino Gallery has added a fourth group show to the repertoire in hopes of lightening the mood after a difficult past year. The “Toy Show” will bring levity starting Last Thursday, June 24, and run until July 25.
It features 22 artists, many from northeast Portland and who express their own diverse interpretations on the theme.
“I love giving artists a theme and seeing what they come up with. You can expect surprises from artists,” Donna said with a smile.
There will not be a formal opening due to the pandemic, but the gallery is open daily except Mondays, and/or purchases can be made on GuardinoGallery.com.
Michel Reeverts, aka Maquette , holds a master of arts degree in art education, serves Alberta Art Works as director and Alberta Street Gallery as a board member. She is also a practicing artist. Contact her at Maquette@AlbertaArtWorks.org