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Updated: September 28, 2022 @ 1:28 pm
Anja Chavez, front, owner of the Itinerant Artist’s Co-op in Waldport, trains painter and co-op member Gina Nielsen on how to ring up sales. The co-op has 11 members and families who share the work of operating the business.
The Itinerant Artist’s Co-op recently relocated from the Lincoln City Outlet Mall to Waldport. Housed in the former Waldport Chamber of Commerce space, the gallery is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vibrant paintings are just some of the art available at the Itinerant Artist’s Co-op in Waldport. The gallery features the work of several area artists.

The Itinerant Artist’s Co-op carries a wide variety of artisan-made goods, including soaps and lotions. The gallery recently moved from Lincoln City to the corner of Highway 101 and Hemlock Street in Waldport. (Photos by Susan Schuytema)
Anja Chavez, front, owner of the Itinerant Artist’s Co-op in Waldport, trains painter and co-op member Gina Nielsen on how to ring up sales. The co-op has 11 members and families who share the work of operating the business.
The Itinerant Artist’s Co-op recently relocated from the Lincoln City Outlet Mall to Waldport. Housed in the former Waldport Chamber of Commerce space, the gallery is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Vibrant paintings are just some of the art available at the Itinerant Artist’s Co-op in Waldport. The gallery features the work of several area artists.
WALDPORT — An artist’s co-op has opened in Waldport, but it isn’t new to Lincoln County.
Itinerant Artist’s Co-op first opened in November 2016 in the Lincoln City Outlet Mall. Anja Chavez, along with business partners Lyle and Arlene Gowing, originally planned to have the business be a pop-up for about six weeks during the holiday season. But business remained steady, so that six months eventually grew to six years. “We just never closed our doors,” said Chavez.
The business was cruising along until the mall leased their spot to another business and they found themselves without a storefront in early May.
Chavez said it was serendipitous how their new location came about. Co-op member Randi Stevens was volunteering at the Waldport Chamber of Commerce when she learned the chamber was moving across the street to the Alsea Bay Historic Interpretive Center. She thought the space would be a good fit for the co-op. She called the building owner and put him in contact with Chavez -— but the two already knew each other. A lease for the new space was signed within 48 hours.
The Itinerant Co-op moved in on June 16 and officially opened on June 17. The location is right on the corner of the only stoplight in Waldport — a prime location with two full walls of windows. The building, while only about 630 square feet, is spacious enough to hold a large variety of art. “We are just really happy to be here,” Chavez said. “We’ve been told many times how wonderful it is that we are in Waldport.”
Chavez owns the gallery but runs it as a co-op, where all artisans work at the gallery and share decisions regarding the operation of the shared space. “We all share the blame and the fame,” she said.
The gallery is home to 11 artists and families who create a wide variety of products to suit every budget and every taste. Goods in the gallery include fine art oil paintings, photography of local beach scenes and local wildlife, watercolor paintings of fishermen or fishing vessels, jewelry, hand-dyed yarns, wreaths, and woodworking including serving boards, utensils, wooden buttons, and decorative mushrooms. Artisan-made lotions, goat milk soap, dog treats, Nuno felted scarves and shawls, fudge, sewn goods such as aprons, bowl covers, resin art, children’s toys, pour paintings, fleece capes, and seashell art are also for sale. “People are so excited because they can get their Christmas shopping done or find a special gift for any age, any style, any gender,” Chavez said.
In addition, the gallery carries a large selection of crocheted items. “Darla (Litton) is a crochet magician,” said Chavez. “She’s phenomenal and does things from small jellyfish to the most beautiful shawls and everything in between.”
Besides Chavez, Litton and Stevens, other artists in the gallery include Mark Stevens, Gina Nielsen, Shawn Nevin, Liz Young, Valeri Jacobi, Kristin Bartell, Colin Herforth and Christi Jones, Chavvahn and Nick Gade, and Michael Carr. Couples and siblings are considered one unit for the purposes of the co-op. Though the co-op is not taking any other artists now, interested artisans can contact Chavez to be put on a waiting list.
The Itinerant Co-op Gallery is the latest business helping Waldport build a creative economy. Chavez said she and her fellow artists are thrilled to be part of that movement. “I’d like to thank this community for being so welcoming,” she added.
Currently, the hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, but they are considering pushing it back an hour. Chavez said there is some wiggle room on any given day to stay open later if people are in the shop.
Itinerant Co-op is located at 585 NW Hemlock in Waldport, on the corner right next to Eager Beaver. For more information, call 541-272-7812 and follow them on Facebook at itinerant.artists.1.
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