New fine art gallery, Studio 11, to open in downtown Redmond

As the City of Redmond begins phase one of its downtown redevelopment, Denise Marts is taking a stab at bringing more art to the neighborhood.

As the City of Redmond begins phase one of its downtown redevelopment, Denise Marts is taking a stab at bringing more art to the neighborhood.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, Marts will hold an opening reception at her art gallery and workshop, Studio 11, 7855 Gilman St. It’s just a few steps off the main thoroughfares of Redmond Way and Cleveland Street, in an area that will eventually feature a genuine “grid” pattern of streets and be increasingly visible to pedestrians.

“This will be a working studio, with a showroom in the front and space where you’ll be able to see artists at work in the back,” said Marts.

For now, all the art on display is her own. But she is eager to network with other artists and show some of their work, as well.

“I want this to be very unpretentious and accessible, so that people who don’t often think about art or feel comfortable in a gallery will come in and browse,” Marts said. “It’s an earthy, grounded sort of process that opens people’s minds to try art, even mess around with their own creative inclinations. I’m entirely self-taught — I’ve been doing this about 25 years now.”

She lives near Lake Sammamish and draws lots of inspiration from the scenery. Viewing her art, “you’ll see lots of local stuff, very recognizable locations like the picnic shelter at Idylwood Park. I have a whole series that I call ‘Urbana’ with architectural stuff and deconstructive work with photos.”

She showed us some pieces that look like paintings but were photographs that she manipulated digitally.

“It’s hard to pick a favorite medium,” Marts commented. “I love all the things that I do — painting, photography and digital art. I believe the future is in digital art, the computer realm.”

In fact, it wasn’t until four or five years ago, when she dove into playing with Photoshop that she began to feel an urge or readiness to show her work to the public. Until now, she’s had one or two small art shows a year, but only in her home.

“So I’ve got a real backlog of work to show and will be happy if I can sell enough of it to at least break even,” she said.

Like most fine artists, Marts has a safety net — she’s still working in an administrative position at a family business, a commercial cleaning company. So she’ll keep late afternoon and early evening hours at Studio 11, seeing how far she can take this venture.

Marts also has a background in psychology and would like to present some lectures on the creative process.

She’s been in contact with the Redmond Arts Commission and is chatting with owners of nearby restaurants and coffee shops about collaborative art walks in downtown Redmond.

“This is mostly a grassroots effort. The Internet only takes you so far,” she said.

“Then you’ve got to get out and connect with people as much as possible — and have fun.”

To learn more about Studio 11, visit or call (425) 802-1945.

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