Celebrating our 20th anniversary

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We are very excited to be celebrating our 20th anniversary on December 2, 2012. Rip first opened the doors of the original Troutdale location in 1992. Having started, and run, a very successful taxidermy business from his home Rip decided he needed to make room for his growing family and find a new spot for his business. Rip had already started sculpting bronzes and after learning that American Art Castings, the foundry that cast his sculpture, was moving to a building with room for him, he also moved into the former potato warehouse at 201 W. Columbia River Highway.

Realizing the size of the space would be perfect for a gallery and a studio, Rip decided to continue with his taxidermy business, and sell his sculpture along with limited edition prints. One thing led to another, and as result of his relationships with the foundry, and other sculptors utilizing the foundry, the gallery started showing the work of these artists as well.

Eventually, the original foundry was sold. Rip soon discovered how fascinated and interested visitors were in the lost wax casting process and opened up his own foundry with a viewing room so visitors could watch. Rip operated the foundry for 5 years before selling it to concentrate on his sculpting.

Over time the gallery space enjoyed a third remodel, creating a 16,000 sq. ft. space large enough to house Rip’s studio, show his many monument pieces, and exhibit the work of dozens of Northwest artists. The building was also home to a popular wine tasting room, frame shop and custom fine jewelry designer.

After residing in that building for over 18 years, the Gallery moved “uptown” last year. Yes, the space is a little smaller, but Rip still has his studio and exhibits work by the Northwest’s most established artists.

Rip has recently acquired a foundry. Firebird Bronze is located in Boring and will be casting Rip’s work as well as work by other artists. There is also a plan in the works for an artist’s condominium community which would have artist’s residences with studios, an artist co-op, Caswell Gallery and Studio, as well as a new wine tasting room.

Come by the Gallery on First Friday, December 7 to help us celebrate and see our new exhibit. The fun starts at 5:00 p.m.

Rip’s grand reopening of the 16,000 sq. ft. Gallery remodel
Gallery veterans and there from the beginning, Kathy Toynbee and Pattie Shields
The first of many events at the Gallery
Our new home, for now…


Happy Thanksgiving

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We would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal clients and wonderful artists for your support over the years. It is because of you we will soon be celebrating our 20th anniversary. Wishing you a Thanksgiving with plenty of turkey and pie, but most importantly family and friends!

Rip’s latest commission

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As we celebrate Veterans Day, we are delighted to announce that Rip’s latest commission will be a sculpture of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Rip was first contacted by the Naval Order of the United States, whose mission is to preserve and honor maritime military history, over a year ago. Many emails and phone calls were exchanged during the selection process, including a meeting with delegates from the Order who knew Fleet Admiral Nimitz personally. They spent a day with Rip touring his studio and learning more about him as an artist. This meeting was the final step in securing the commission and Rip has now been officially selected to create this anticipated sculpture.

Fleet Admiral Nimitz enjoyed an illustrious Naval career. He was born on February 24, 1885, in Fredericksburg, TX. He hoped to start his Army career by attending West Point. When this didn’t materialize, he tested for selection to Annapolis and was appointed. After graduation, he fulfilled his required two years of sea duty in the Far East and upon returning to the U. S., was ordered to submarine duty. Many years later he returned to land duty where he was assigned to diesel engine training; then back to sea duty to set up a submarine base in Pearl Harbor. Following this, he was assigned to the Naval War College, where his varied expertise was put to use studying Pacific Ocean war logistics.

At the height of World War II, he was promoted to fleet admiral—one among only four.  When the Japanese surrendered on September  2, 1945, on board the battleship Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, Fleet Admiral Nimitz signed the surrender document on behalf of the United States. Following the war, he was honored for his wartime service both here and abroad. He became a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations and worked to repair relations with Japan by raising funds to restore the Japanese memorial ship, Mikasa, and encouraging the return of any ancestral samurai swords that had been acquired during the war. He believed in the importance of turning “swords into plowshares”. Post World War II, he was often approached with business opportunities and prestigious positions, turning them down in consideration of “how the Gold Star Mothers might feel”. Fleet Admiral Nimitz died at his home in San Francisco on February 20, 1966. He was the last surviving five-star admiral. If you’d like to learn more about Fleet Admiral Nimitz, click here.

The Naval Order of the United States is the oldest American hereditary, exclusively naval society and has a dedicated interest in Naval history. It encourages the recording and preservation of that history. Rip will be creating this memorial to Fleet Admiral Nimitz in 1.25 life scale or about 8 feet tall and will be sculpting this piece at his studio in Troutdale. It will be installed at the USS Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii in late summer 2013.

To learn more about Veterans Day, visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs.