Photo by William Bragg

Mary Lou Zeek is broadening her life, moving to “a show beyond the gallery door.”

After twelve years in her State Street retail shop in downtown Salem, she is relocating to the exhibition space in her own home.  And into the community at large.

Although she’s closing the State Street gallery favored by numerous Northwesterners, Zeek says the step is the very best way for her “to pull off the shows I dreamed up and to support art and artists in the way that I wanted to.”

Because she has “always had the reputation for taking art beyond the gallery walls,” Zeek will continue to represent many of the artists she already showcases, and to serve clients with art consultations –  “just not from inside these walls!”

Since she opened her doors in 2000, Zeek’s work with art, artists and her community have resulted in numerous awards, including for retailing and community outreach from NICHE magazine, and a Distinguished Service Award from the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

The gallery has produced featured exhibitions and group shows that represent Zeek’s love for Northwest art in mediums that range from painting to sculpture, jewelry to ceramics.

“I look at every day as something I want to do something with,” she says, “and I want to see Salem moving ahead, to go out into the community.”  Without the need for consistent retail hours, she’ll more effectively achieve her goals for supporting businesses, non-profits and artists.

“I’m not leaving; just reinventing,” Zeek says.  “I always say, ‘what’s next?’”