Two blocks south of the Urban League Senior Center resides an art gallery filled to the brim with paintings, sculptures and artistic crafts and goods that immediately draws the attention of visitors the moment they enter into the space.
Two blocks south of the Urban League Senior Center resides an art gallery filled to the brim with paintings, sculptures and artistic crafts and goods that immediately draws the attention of visitors the moment they enter into the space. GreenHUAS gallery is located near the intersection of MLK Jr. Blvd. and Sumner street in Northeast Portland and it has become a hub for those seeking to decorate their homes with artistic wares and rustic items but being an art gallery merely scratches the surface of what it has become to the local community over the years.
Cole’s sculptures and crafts often have meaning behind them that relates to the Black experience and she greets greenHAUS visitors warmly, offering them tours of the location and giving presentations about the various works of art that she has put together. She invites guests to sit down for discussions, offering a libation and an opportunity for a better understanding between individuals or groups. Cole speaks frankly and candidly with the intention of fostering understanding.
“White people need to learn how listen to Black people. I will hurt your feelings in a very comfortable environment but I need you to rebound from your hurt feelings to be the actual change that we keep talking about.” Cole’s experiences with racism have helped to shape her desire to make a change for the better. Upon moving to Portland, Cole has seen racism rear its ugly head toward her direction and toward the direction of other members of the community. “I brought my businesses to Northeast Portland because I was called n**** in the South East so many times. Being Black is harmful in the United States in general. It is absolutely amazing and dope to be us, but it’s dangerous. Everybody wants a taste of the Black experience except for the pain and how we got the flavor.”
Cole’s passion to eliminate racism does not stop at having intercultural conversations. Cole has also believes in the supporting of Black entrepreneurship and the patronizing of Black businesses. As a Black entrepreneur herself, Cole realizes the struggles that many Black owned businesses face and believes that a stronger support system must be built. Before COVID-19 hit the city of Portland, Cole would host gatherings every Friday at greenHAUS’s sister location openHUAS, to bring in Black community embers to meet and greet each other and form business and community relationships. Cole believes that empowering Black businesses can help to empower the community at large.
Visit GreenHAUS Gallery
376 NE Sumner St,
Portland, OR 97211