The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

One little pink house, over 100 artists

Little Pink House Gallery shows art year-round, holds art exhibitions twice a year
The Little Pink House Gallery, Genesee, Idaho.

A little pink house stands in the garden of a Genesee, Idaho, home. Flowers and foliage line the winding dirt path leading up to the door. Beyond it are works of art, a gallery featuring creations by artists from as near as the Palouse to as far as Europe.

This is the Little Pink House Gallery, an art gallery that has been showcasing art since its establishment in 2014. The gallery mostly displays contemporary art, ranging from painting and sculpture to fabric and jewelry.

Ellen Vieth, owner, founder and curator, said there was not enough gallery space in the area to promote the work of contemporary artists, and she wanted to fill the need for one. The Little Pink House Gallery has so far shown over 100 artists, including WSU, University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College students and professors and other artists from all over the country.

“Support for the arts has just always been something that I’ve always wanted to champion, and now I have this little space in the middle of conservative Genesee, Idaho, and here we are,” Vieth said. “I’m doing my best to make it seen, and make the work seen.”

Vieth originally built the gallery in 1995 just behind her home, a pink, 1886 Victorian-era house, as a studio.

Vieth is herself an artist, as well as a former floral designer and lifelong gardener. She said she has always loved pink and thinks of the color as a neutral in nature.

“Some of the great artists of [the] millennium, people like Monet or Manet or Bonnard, they all celebrated the romance with flowers and those colors, those soft pastels,” Vieth said. “When I went to school, I studied a lot of those old masters and I had the opportunity to see a lot of really beautiful paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago that all reference those colors. So for me, pink has always just been part of my language.”

Vieth studied at AIC and Kansas City Art Institute, before quitting school and moving west. She eventually returned to school and got her bachelor’s degree at LCSC, and then her master’s degree in fine arts at UI.

While attending UI, Vieth said she worked at LCSC in programming and did a lot of curatorial work. When her job at LCSC ended, she used her connections from school and past art shows to transition into gallery work.

With the help and encouragement of friends, Vieth transformed the little pink house in her backyard into an art gallery.

“At first I kind of thought, ‘No, this isn’t going to work. Nobody’s going to come to Genesee for contemporary art,’” Vieth said. “But [that] proved to be just exactly what happened.”

Artwork on display in the Little Pink House Gallery, Genesee, Idaho.

Vieth tries to create an atmosphere that is welcoming to patrons, she said. While the gallery is not huge, it is big enough to feel more intimate, allowing patrons to better visualize the artwork in their own homes.

There are a lot of misconceptions about where contemporary art fits, but the Little Pink House Gallery shows patrons that contemporary art can fit anywhere, Vieth said.

“There’s a lot of times where people are afraid of the whole idea of contemporary art. Like, ‘I won’t get it. I don’t understand it. It’s too cerebral,’ whatever, blah, blah, blah. But if you approach it in a way that it’s an experience, it’s something that could potentially be new information to you,” Vieth said. “Or just having an open mind about the arts is important. And I think that’s something that I can do.”

The gallery shows Vieth’s art year-round and holds art exhibitions with other artists twice a year. The most recent exhibition was “IMAGINATION,” which ran from Oct. 21–22 and featured 13 artists including Vieth.

“IMAGINATION” was the second and final exhibition of the gallery’s ninth year. To celebrate the gallery’s 10-year anniversary in 2024, Vieth said she may reintroduce patrons to the work of artists who have supported her. She hopes artists who have shown their work at the gallery before will show again at the gallery’s anniversary exhibition.

Artist Jill Kyong has shown at the Little Pink House Gallery three times. She said people flock to Genesee whenever the gallery holds an exhibition, and Vieth has a great record of bringing in patrons who buy the exhibiting artists’ work.

“You can go to Target and get decorations for your home. But at Ellen’s, you are going to a gallery space and buying art made with human hands for your home,” Kyong said. “That supports artists, that supports a livelihood.”

For updates on the Little Pink House Gallery, follow the gallery’s Facebook or Vieth’s Instagram.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
GABRIELLE FELICIANO, Evergreen life editor
Gabrielle is a junior from Chicago majoring in multimedia journalism. She has been a part of the Daily Evergreen since spring 2022. She is passionate about the arts, entertainment and everything in between.