Exhibits can also be viewed virtually online
artcentereast.org thanks to a partnership with
High Country Realty Professionals.

The Art Center East Main Gallery is the an international fine art exhibit space in Union County. It is a community-supported gallery, funded by Art Center East memberships and private donors. Exhibiting artists of all mediums are juried by the Gallery Committee in order to show their work in the Main Gallery. Exhibits typically run for 2 months.

The Main Gallery also hosts a selection of annual group exhibits, including:

  • The Big: ACE Annual Open Exhibit
  • Eastern Oregon University’s Junior (art majors and minors) Exhibit

All exhibits are free and open to the public.


Gallery hours:

Wednesday-Friday noon - 5 pm & Saturday 10 am - 2 pm

Art Center East (ACE) is excited to announce the opening of “Fiber in Flight: Birds of Eastern Oregon” by artist Christie Lower of Halfway, Oregon. Community members of all ages are invited to attend a free opening reception on Friday, February 2, 2024, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Lower will give an informal artist talk about her work beginning at 6:30 p.m. “Fiber in Flight” is on display in ACE’s Main Gallery February 2 - March 30. 


For the past six years, Lower has developed and honed her skills and technique in creating to-scale, lifelike animals inspired by the natural world around her, specifically birds. When asked about her work, Lower said, “Each bird is sculpted by needle felting and is inspired by the birds found in Eastern Oregon and by my grandmother. The love of birds was passed on to me by my grandma and this work I have made is an homage to her.” 


ACE Gallery Director, Jennifer Durr, commented, “Christie Lower’s work is constantly progressing. Her attention to detail and her artistry are professional and it’s no surprise that her work received the “Best in Fiber” award at the 2023 edition of ‘The Big’, ACE’s annual open exhibit.”


Raffle tickets for Lower’s original needle felt piece “Flying in Sync - Ruby Throated Hummingbirds” will be available for purchase in person at ACE and online beginning Friday, February 2 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased throughout the exhibit and all proceeds benefit the ACE Gallery Program. The raffle winner will be announced after March 30, 2024.


The public is invited to attend a free closing reception for the “Fiber in Flight: Birds of Eastern Oregon” exhibit on Friday, March 29, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 


Find out more about this and other ACE events, classes, and exhibits at artcentereast.org. Art Center East is located at 1006 Penn Avenue in La Grande. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday 12:00 - 5:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Exhibits can also be viewed online at artcentereast.org thanks to a partnership with John J. Howard Real Estate in La Grande. Gallery visits, exhibit receptions, and events are always free and open to the public. 


Art Center East programs are supported by our members, community donations, local businesses, and regional and statewide foundations. For a list of our supporters and more information, visit www.artcentereast.org or call 541-624-2800.

About the artist

Christie Lower says:


I am a self-taught fiber artist with a focus on needle felting.

When my son was born, 6 years ago, I was on a hunt for an artistic endeavor that I could easily do with an infant. I discovered needle felting shortly after he was born and at a fairly serendipitous time. 

My grandmother who in many ways raised me, passed away. I was gifted a pair of leather gloves that she wore regularly. I was planning on simply keeping them as a keepsake. When I got home from her funeral I pulled out the needle felting supplies and decided to give it a try for the first time. I didn’t realize it but for beginners, it is extremely helpful to wear hand protection and I was going to need some type of leather glove. It was as if it was a gift directly from my grandmother. I put on one of the gloves and started felting and I haven’t really stopped since.


Needle felting came to many at a time when I needed it most and I truly believe my grandmother gave it to me. I was emotional from loss and discovering the in’s and out’s of being a new mom. It was a stress reliever when I needed it most. 


Since that time I have developed and honed my skills and techniques. My goal always is to create as realistic versions of animals as I can. Specifically birds. Birds because of my grandmother. She was a bird lover, not a birder but she adored birds and they adored her. It is my gift back to her. Creating birds with fiber.