By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

‘Geezer Gallery’ shows highlight older artists, support therapeutic art programs

Marcus Larson/News-Register##Paintings created by artist Marion McMuldren of the Geezer Gallery are on display in the Willamette Valley Vineyard McMinnville tasting room.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Paintings created by artist Marion McMuldren of the Geezer Gallery are on display in the Willamette Valley Vineyard McMinnville tasting room.

The Geezer Gallery, which runs therapeutic art programs for low-income seniors and those with Alzheimer’s disease, has teamed up with Willamette Valley Vineyards to show paintings and other pieces in the WVV tasting room in McMinnville.

Geezer Gallery, a cooperative of artists 60 and older, is planning an event at the tasting room Saturday, Dec. 11.

Artists Marion McMuldren and Ross Mercer will speak at a “curated chocolate truffle and wine pairing,” which will be offered from 4 to 5:15 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m. that day. Cost is $25 and reservations are required by Dec. 8; call 503-883-9013 or send email to

Geezer also has work on display in Newberg and is planning a fundraiser there Saturday, Dec. 4.

The fundraiser will run from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Studio 306, 306 E. Sherman St. in Newberg. Artist Marion McMuldren and seven other artists will be on hand, and there will be wine and music by local violinist Olivia Baker. An auction and raffle are planned.

Tickets for the Dec. 4 event are $10, available through the Geezer Gallery website, Supporters also can bid on auction items via the website.

The current show in McMinnville features work by McMuldren, who lives in Newberg, Mercer, who lives in Lake Oswego and James Violette of McMinnville. It will run through December and January, with another two-month show starting in February.

Violette also has work at The Gallery at 10 Oaks, along with Ray Massini, a Geezer Gallery board member, and other local artists.

The Willamette Valley Vineyards display is viewable during the tasting room’s regular hours, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Admission is free.

The tasting room is located at 300 N.E. Third St., on the corner of Third and Cowls streets.

More than 200 master-level artists aged 60-and-over are part of the Geezer Gallery. They paint, sculpt, build collages, make jewelry and create other art. They receive part of the money from sales, while the rest goes to the therapeutic art programs offered to individuals and care home residents.

“It’s elders helping elders,” said Amy Henderson, who founded the nonprofit Geezer Gallery in 2006 at Maryhurst University.

“It was my thesis project for a master’s degree in gerontology,” she said. “I’d had experiences with older adults, and seen the ageism. I asked, how do we elevate our older generation, change their image and show they’re not a burden?”

Art was the answer, she said, explaining, “I wanted to showcase their creativity.”

The Geezer Gallery’s therapy programs use evidence-based techniques that boost seniors’ cognitive skills and socialization, as well, she said. Thus far, more than 5,000 seniors have been involved.

The member artists get a boost, as well, and contribute by giving part of the proceeds to the program. Grants fund the bulk of the therapy effort, though, Henderson said.

The program suffered during COVID, though. Galleries shut down, giving artists few places to show and sell their work. Therapy programs also shut down, although some continued virtually — not ideal, Henderson said, but better than nothing.

As the pandemic eases, she said, the programs and shows are resuming. “It’s been challenging, but I’m glad we’ve survived,” Henderson said. “Now it’s time to grow.”

The Geezer Gallery has ongoing shows at Montgomery Park in Portland, in addition to showing members’ work at other locations such as Willamette Valley Vineyards and Studio 306.

The organization’s mission statement reads, in part:

“We envision a future where seniors redefine themselves as valuable contributors; a time when seniors view themselves as vital role models, worthy of acceptance and purpose.

“We envision a future where physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and vitality are achieved through creative artistic expression; where seniors are celebrated for their unique life experiences, contributions, and wisdom.”

More information can be found on the organization’s website, or call 971-263-3957.


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