By News-Register staff • 

Gallery founder Gary Lawrence dies

News-Register file photo##Gary Lawrence pictured at his gallery in 2015.
News-Register file photo##Gary Lawrence pictured at his gallery in 2015.

Gary Lawrence, acclaimed artist and founder of the Lawrence Gallery west of McMinnville, died Jan. 21. He was 84.

Lawrence was famed for his metal sculptures, many of them delicate and realistic nature scenes such as birds in flight or reeds swaying in the breeze.

Much of his work reflected his love of nature. In addition to capturing natural scenes in metal, he enjoyed skiing and sailing. He made long-distance voyages in his sailboats for many years.

“He rarely sat still,” said one of his sons, Bradley Lawrence. He also had a daughter, Angela Kemling, and son, Brent Lawrence.

Formerly a salesman, Lawrence started sculpting in steel, copper and bronze in the 1960s. He became a full-time metal sculptor in 1970. After selling at fairs and other galleries for several years, in 1977 he and then-wife Signe Lawrence opened the Lawrence Gallery at Bellevue, on Highway 18 between McMinnville and Sheridan.

The gallery sold not only Lawrence’s work, but also that of many other Yamhill County and Oregon artists. It remained at Bellevue until 2021, when Bradley Lawrence and his wife, Heidi, moved the business to Lake Oswego.

Family members said they are planning a gathering of friends and relatives at the Lake Oswego gallery in March or April.


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