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An old grocery store becomes a museum celebrating Northwest artists

Inside an old Safeway, where the cereal aisle and deli section use to be, there's a wide selection of paintings to check out at the new Cascadia Art Museum. 

Inside an old Safeway store, where the cereal aisle and deli section use to be, there's a wide selection of paintings to check out.

"It's just a fitting context for great art of the Northwest," said Edmonds entrepreneur and art collector, Lindsey Echelbarger.

When Echelbarger learned the former supermarket was about to be destroyed, he saw an opportunity to create a museum in his hometown unlike any other in the country.

"It's a dream realized, and it's a dream we can share with all the other people of the Northwest," said Echelbarger.

Echelbarger's dream come true, and that of curator David Martin, is the Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds, a celebration of Northwest artists from the past.

"They didn't make names that made them famous in New York, or London or Paris or Los Angeles, but they were known here," said Echelbarger.

Martin added, "It's our mission to remember them, and to represent their work.

If you asked people today who was Paul Morgan Gustin, they would say I don't know".

But, back in 1910 Gustin was the most famous painter around. During the 1940's, Yvonne Twining Humber was known for her bold paintings of downtown Seattle. Decades later, Ambrose Patterson from the University of Washington received his share of accolades.

"He was well known in his day," said Echelbarger. "But, since his death he's dropped off the radar, but just because he's off the radar doesn't mean he didn't create great art."

Once again, Patterson's work can be admired in a grand display that celebrates the Northwest and all the artist who called it home.

"They gave a measure of fame for staying here, but good for them, we're glad they did," said Echelbarger.

For more information about Cascadia Art Museum, click here.

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