The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Brittany Allen
News Editor 

Blowing glass, giving sass, and making art high class Jeanne and Pat put the 'art' in partners


Brittany Allen

This week's column will technically feature two businesses that share a space: Pat's Place Studio and Gallery and Golden Photo, both located at 105 W. Main Street. There's just no way to talk about one without the other. Jeanne Morgan of Golden Photo will even tell you that Pat Farrer of Pat's Place is like the older sister she never wanted-but in the nicest way.

Many people who have not had the privilege of being a part of the community as long as Pat and her husband have may not know that the building in which these fine ladies do their work used to be one of the first JC Penney stores. If you look up next time you go in to get a photo framed or maybe purchase a painting for your favorite art enthusiast's Christmas present, you can see the remnants of what used to be a grand staircase.

The building later changed hands several times before Jim Farrer, Pat's husband bought the building and Pat decided to "unretire" from her life as a housewife and caretaker and really throw herself into her artistic calling.

Pat first started painting when she was in her early thirties, using her sewing room as her studio.

"There was an art school down by the [aluminum] plant and we stopped by one day thinking it was a store on this really hot day," Pat says. "So, we stopped for an ice cream and the lady informed me this was not a store, this was a school. And I just remember looking around, amazed by all the artwork, so I eventually got down there and that's where I started painting, and I was about 32. I just couldn't get it off of my mind that maybe I could do that.

Over the years, Pat has added multiple different media to her repertoire, including her now-personal favorite, lamp working.

"I paint, I do photography, I do lampwork, which some don't know what lampwork is, it's more or less glass blowing; I play with propane, oxygen and a torch," Pats says gleefully. "I do a lot of things. It's kind of given me the space to."

In her 40 years of living in Goldendale, Pat was pleasantly surprised by how many new and different people she began to meet after she set up shop on Main.

"One of the things I've found amazing is the people," Pat says. "I've met people from Russia, Australia. That part has been really incredible, really nice."

One of these people turned out to be Jeanne.

"It's worked out really well," Pat says of her partnership with Jeanne. "Because when I'm gone-flying off to the beach, as everyone knows me, I just got to the beach-she holds down the fort, or if she has to be gone, I will."

Jeanne has lived in Goldendale now for about eight years; she first came to town with her husband in search of a "small plot of land" to settle down on and retire. Five of those years she has now spent in partnership with Pat in her current location, successfully "unretiring" herself as Pat had.

She came for the affordable land, but stayed for the landscapes.

"I love landscapes, and you really can't beat this area for landscape photography," Jeanne says.

Jeanne says her professional photography career technically started nine years ago, but her first paid gig as a photographer was back in the early 1970s when she was the staff photographer for The Gresham Outlook and The Sandy Post in Oregon.

Her next long-term venture was working with Xerox, but she found herself tired of the "corporate" world after working there for 32 years.

"I just decided, you know you read all these things about people just being bold and taking off and starting their own business after they've gone through the corporate life," Jeanne says. "So after 32 years with Xerox, I decided that it was time to branch out on my own and start my own business."

Her present-day business has much to offer besides portrait and event photography; she shoots and prints and mattes and frames all out of one building. During the holiday season, Jeanne also offers what she refers to as "made in Goldendale" gifts-seasonal shoots for greeting cards and calendars-but she recommends you get them ordered by Dec. 10 if you want them ready before Christmas!

Her partnership with Pat has made some framing business for her, since people can come in and buy a painting from Pat then go right next door to have it framed by Jeanne. She says this cozy comradery is only one example of her living up to her responsibility as a business owner in a small town.

Brittany Allen

"It's nice to be supportive of businesses and try to help each other out too," Jeanne says. "The way I look at it is, you're part of a community and a business community. I think it is all of our responsibility when you're in a small community is to provide a service to your customers-your potential customers-because they might not be looking for something from me right now, but I send them somewhere to help them fill a need and then they'll remember when they need my services and then they'll come back."

For more information about Pat's Place and/or Golden Photo you can stop in when they're open, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m .; they are also available on weekends by appointment.


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