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


Orlaske Gallery Ribbon cutting

Photo: Berenice Chavez

The Art Center East Orlaske Gallery, formerly the Co-op Gallery, is an international fine art exhibition space that is community-supported and funded by Art Center East annual memberships, private donors, state and regional funders, and sponsors.


In 2022, Art Center East rebranded and reimagined its Co-op Gallery space to better serve the community. Community members had the opportunity to honor in memoriam a prominent local artist or art supporter by voting to rename the space. 


After a three-month voting period, Art Center East’s Co-op Gallery transformed into the Orlaske Gallery, honoring the late local artist Sue Orlaske.

Sue Orlaske was born in southwestern Michigan but moved to Oregon in 1977 to attend graduate school and continued to live in Oregon until her death in October 2021.  She has both a B.S. and an M.S. in Biology.  She had no formal art training but from a young age was interested in art and produced detailed pen and ink drawings.  For several years in the 1980s, Sue owned and operated a retail business — a coffee and tea store long before there was a Starbucks on every corner. It was during that time that Sue also became interested in pursuing art in a more serious way.  She started taking classes in pottery at Valley Art Center in Forest Grove.


In the early 1990s, Sue sold her business and she and her husband, Mitch Wolgamott, moved to Northeast Oregon, briefly to La Grande and then to Summerville.  Sue then became a full-time artist with a well-equipped studio where she produced ceramic/clay art as well as two-dimensional art (pastels and watercolors, including Batik watercolors).  Her themes often included abstract and representational natural elements: Eastern Oregon landscapes, critters, and plants.


Sue was a member of and actively involved with three art co-ops:  Valley Art in Forest Grove, Art Center East in La Grande, and Crossroads in Baker City.  She became well-known in the region for the quality of her work and for her willingness to help and teach other artists.  Her work was in many art shows and won several regional art awards. She was a featured artist on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Oregon Art Beat”. Several galleries in Oregon and Southern Washington carried her work.


Each exhibition has its own festive opening and closing receptions. Free and open to the public, exhibits remain on display for approximately 1-2 months. Exhibits can be viewed online thanks to a partnership with High Country Realty Professionals. Each exhibition artwork is listed online for viewing. Shop the current exhibition art here.


NEW! During Friday evening exhibit receptions (6:00 - 8:00 pm) and on Saturdays (10:00 am - 2:00 pm), visitors may find artisan pop-ups in the ACE Galleries foyer. Read about the ACE Artisan Pop-Up Program here.


Exhibiting artists of all mediums are juried by the gallery committee.

The Orlaske Gallery hosts a selection of annual events and non-juried exhibitions.. These include:

 - The Big: Art Center East’s Annual Open Exhibition

- Annual Fiber Arts & Jewelry Exhibition

- Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead Exhibition and Community Celebration

- Annual Handmade Holidays Makers Market


The Art Center East Galleries are open Wednesday - Friday from 12:00 - 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. 

Art Center East (ACE) is excited to announce the opening of “Fiber in Focus: Exploring National Geographic”, ACE’s eighth annual Fiber Arts and Jewelry Exhibit featuring works by Northeast Oregon fiber and jewelry artists. The community is invited to attend a free opening reception on Friday, February 2, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. The exhibit is on display in ACE’s Orlaske Gallery February 2 - March 30, 2024.


ACE’s annual fiber arts and jewelry exhibit creates a platform for these underrepresented branches of the visual arts. This year’s exhibit theme, “Fiber in Focus: Exploring National Geographic”, encouraged artists to choose images from National Geographic as a springboard for creating new jewelry or fiber artworks. The National Geographic images and finished pieces will be displayed side-by-side so that viewers can compare and connect the two.


ACE Gallery Director Jennifer Durr commented, “Many artists, including those new to submitting pieces for this annual exhibit and those who have exhibited before, expressed their excitement about the National Geographic theme. It’s a challenging one. Each year, the exhibit highlights many of the extraordinarily talented Northeast Oregon fiber and jewelry artists who live in our region and Art Center East is thrilled to showcase them.”


Raffle tickets for an original quilt by Joy Cleaver 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 Focus: Exploring National Geographic” exhibit on Friday, March 29, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 


Find out more about this exhibit and ACE classes, exhibits, and events at artcentereast.org. Art Center East is located at 1006 Penn Avenue in La Grande. Gallery hours are Wednesday - Friday noon - 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Exhibits can also be viewed online at artcentereast.org thanks to a partnership with High Country Realty Professionals. Galleries are open to the public and admission is always free.


Art Center East, based in La Grande, Oregon, was founded in 1977 and is a [member-based] 501(c)3 arts services organization that brings arts opportunities and education to the residents of ten Eastern Oregon counties. Our historic Carnegie Library building hosts art classes, art exhibits in our three galleries, and cultural events such as Día de los Muertos celebrations, Guinean drumming workshops, and literary readings. Our Artists in Rural Schools Program engages K-12 students across Eastern Oregon and our Community Music Program brings together community members of all ages in ensemble settings.

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 ArtistS: 

8th Annual

2024 Fiber Arts & Jewelry Exhibit

Fiber in Focus: Exploring National Geographic

Artist Statements & Bios




Ashley Barnes
I chose an image with lots of layers and texture to play with and by using several tying techniques such as hand stitching, folding, and scrunching along with using snow as my vehicle to move the powdered fabric dye into the fabric I was able to mimic a feel of deep layers beyond the surface.


Crystal Collier

I gather inspiration from the beauty of the natural world around me, it has always been my sanctuary. My jewelry is designed to honor that relationship, by highlighting the gifts Mother Nature has provided us and to show off Nature’s beauty in the best way I know how.

Jo Cowling
While appreciating the landscapes of our natural surroundings, I focus on details. I see plants, birds, and invertebrates as individuals in their complex environments. My fabric art is a stripped-down interpretation of the complicated forms and functions of those individuals

Hannah Rose Duna
The imagery of thousands of Monarch butterflies immediately captured my imagination and sparked my creativity. The butterfly is a symbol of transformation and spoke deeply to the constant transformation we are all experiencing in this wild wonderful life. Fly!


Annetta Evans
I grew up on National Geographic Magazines and TV specials so this project was a reflection on all those years. I selected images that caught my eye. These are a mix of recreating the actual photos on silk and creating something that a photo inspired.


Hannah Wave Flower
Hannah’s work serves as an ice-breaker and an invitation into a deeper conversation; an exchange of perspective and genuine self-expression. Rendered in graphite, every figure reflects her inner world, while the contrasting, colorful surroundings represent her perspective on the world around her.


Katherine Jensen
Color and style can elevate you to great heights. Today some fashionable women are wearing very thick-soled shoes by top designers. This art piece was inspired by the 1500's wooden shoes, some as high as 24", that were worn by elite Venetian women as seen in the National Geographic article.


Jo Mahoney
“Compass” was created using a special technique similar to paper piecing and is hand-quilted.

“Modern Rings” is a color study and is machine-quilted.

Amy McIntosh
The tranquil and inspiring beauty of this image consistently lured me in. The colors invoke a sense of calm, serene beauty that I chose to replicate in the gown. I utilized traditional 18th-century trim techniques to illustrate the intricate topography and lush foliage of the terraced rice paddies.

Melissa Over
My art studies involved sculpture and life drawing. After taking a hiatus to work in mental health I've now returned to exploring form by utilizing wool for felting and gathering materials found in nature.

Linda Peterson
I am an artist based in Eastern Oregon. My passion lies in the beautiful art of weaving, using natural fibers as my medium. Growing up in this stunning landscape, I have always been drawn to the diverse textures, colors and patterns found in nature. As I create each piece, I am constantly inspired by the rugged beauty of Eastern Oregon and strive to incorporate its essence into my work. My goal is to not only create art that is visually captivating, but also to evoke a sense of connection to the natural world.

The imagery of hand artists in caves inspired me to create the weaving: "Hand Art". I used textural materials and earth colors to recreate the touch, feel and color of the rocks. I used the article, "Hands Across Time", from the August 2005 edition of National Geographic.

'Graphic visions from the winning side" in the December 1986 National Geographic was my inspiration for the piece 'Offering". The imagery seemed scattered and jumbled against a worn brownish background. The random colors from cut strips of batik watercolors were used to complete the weaving.

Linda Schreiner
My medium of choice for 60 years is cloth. In 2010 I graduated from EOU with a Bachelor of Science in Art. Since that time I have worked with many textile artists, to build my skill set. I exhibit in local shows and have been a featured artist in two shows. I teach classes in all areas of sewing.


Jessie Street

I'm inspired by traditional craft, the variety of textures & details found in nature, and the insatiable need for humans to create, regardless of the quality of materials available. I combine elements that are precious with the discarded; I pair plastic with natural fibers to create complexity.


Heather Tomlinson

The natural beauty of abstract forms and colors found in nature serve as inspiration for her work-- those varying shapes, textures and colors found therein. This magnified, nature-based inspiration is achieved through the layering of yarn of varying colors, widths and textures on fabric.


Deborah Vencill
This photo to me was breathtaking and I thought a suitable subject for a landscape quilt. I found fabric that I felt would work well and then used quilting techniques and an overlay of black toile to add dimension. Hand stitching, gluing, and thread weaving other techniques used.

Una Walker
I am a fiber artist based in La Grande, OR, working primarily in Punch needle Rug Hooking. My influences are all my stash lying about begging to be made into something beautiful and usable. My goals are to use said stash in creative ways that are pleasing to me and hopefully others.