Lindsay Oyala- Bond, owner of Archimedes Gallery in Cannon Beach, is in the middle of changing her newborn baby’s diaper when we start our interview. Her husband, a painter, trades places with her so she can discuss their contemporary-surrealism gallery, its history, the artists and the magic they bring to the second-floor gallery by the sea.
Five years ago, Lindsay, a Cannon Beach native, her brother-in-law, Andrew Bond (co-owner) and her husband moved back to Cannon Beach from Eugene after graduating from the University of Oregon. As a student of English Literature, Lindsay watched her husband paint while she wrote papers. It was during this period, around 2007, that the trio had taken an interest in new contemporary art, or as Lindsay calls it, “pop surrealism,” as the movement gained momentum.
“We were reading Hi-Fructose magazine, and we were wanting to do something different than the other galleries in Cannon Beach,” Lindsay shares. “We didn’t want to step on their toes, but we also needed to figure out if our art aesthetic would be viable here.” They opened their doors on June 28, 2013, and every year bring in new artists, keep existing ones and host new events.
At Archimedes Gallery, they go beyond bringing the magical and the surreal to the North Coast. “Showcasing narrative artwork, or artwork that tells a story,” Lindsay explains. “It’s not abstract. Some of it’s serious, some of it you don’t take so seriously. I always think it’s important to take art seriously, but not too seriously.”
After graduation, Lindsay found herself admiring art, and wanting to be a part of the art world. “Not having a lot of money,” she explains, “you have to start small and work your way up.” Their vision for the gallery was that it be accessible. “I really wanted to have a gallery with both original artwork and limited addition prints that don’t break the bank,” she adds.
With original pieces by Josh Keyes, approximately 12”x9”, priced at $2,000, sitting next to stacks of $30 limited edition prints, Lindsay has stayed true to her original mission and word. “If you can’t buy an original piece, maybe you can buy a $50 art book,” Lindsay says, commenting on the small selection of books for sale, everything from contemporary art coffee table books to illustrated children’s books. On the shelf you can find Crime and Punishment next to Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd’s art books, White Fluffy Clouds and Echo.
The famous musician and heartthrob stopped in and did an event with Archimedes gallery while on book tour for Echo. Lindsay says his event included selling original art from the book, an hour of Q & A, and a book signing.
“I had been a longtime Incubus fan, so having him there was weird, in an I’ve-been-listening-to-you-for-over-a-decade kind of way,” Lindsay shares. “He was very down-to-earth, and we had him up on our balcony, it was this beautiful day in October, and my husband and brother-in-law were standing there before the event started, and these grey whales started breaching. It was a really cool moment, all of us just watching whales in the ocean. He was very gracious and then gone the next day on his way to Seattle.”
But Archimedes isn’t exclusive to big names in the art world. “I think creating art as an individual is important in and of itself,” Lindsay explains. “Whether it’s for selling and making money, or to express yourself or feelings you can’t communicate otherwise; whether the artist is local, regional, international, across the board, art is important.” She goes on to explain that while there are many local artists who show their work around town, she is adamant that Archimedes never wants to step on other gallery’s toes or take their artists.
“We’re always looking for new artists,” she says, “It just has to have a certain feel.” Archimedes Gallery chooses pieces based on upcoming shows and themes, as well as the overall fantastical, surreal, flora-and-fauna inspired theme of the gallery. “I really wish there were more new contemporary, surrealist artists that were kind of edgy, I just haven’t come across a lot of them,” she says.
Lindsay cites artist Blaine Fontana, a Portland artist and muralists who paint murals for free just to enhance the city as someone who helped get them off the ground. Blaine introduced Lindsay to David Rice, and Erik Abel, two regularly featured local artists at the gallery. The duo will be featured in a show together in July 2018.
One of Lindsay’s favorite events at Archimedes Gallery is an annual show called Dubious Beasts. Taking place the first week of May, the art show includes two Los Angeles based artists, Leslie Levings and Shing Yin Khor. Together they showcase three dimensional, fantastical creatures – from mermaid slug things to crocodile bird hybrids, some so realistic you might forget they are mystical. As with most of the art in Archimedes gallery, not only does it tell a story, but it has the power to transport you. The “beasts” reside in terrariums or hang out on walls in the “Trophy Room.” The theme for this year’s event is “Tides and Currents,” as all the beasts will be inspired by the sea.
Lindsay says the biggest challenge is being on the second floor of the building. “We’re kind of tucked away, but other than that it’s been a great experience,” she shares. “Working with artists has been the best part of the whole thing. I’m a super fan of all the artists. Every time we have a show it’s like Christmas for me. I get to open new artwork, see it on the wall, and be around it all the time.”
Learn more by visiting the Archimedes Gallery website.
139 W 2nd Street, Suite 5
Daily: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.