The Origins of Phoenix Rising Art Gallery

Malee Octavia
Founder and Manager

Malee Octavia, the owner and founder of the gallery, has had the vision of the Phoenix Rising from the ashes since before covid 19 hit and quarantine. She has always had a passion for art the transformative aspects of art on society, history and culture. Her goal is to bring people together from all aspects of life to enjoy each other’s art and to expose people to artists they would have never met otherwise. The gallery is a platform for artists seeking to gain more exposure for themselves, their voice and art.

Explore Malee’s Art


The Columbian

Up and awayAround the corner on Main and upstairs, you’re welcomed into the Phoenix Rising gallery by a little girl clutching a fistful of balloons that lift her into the blue sky.
“I just thought that was the most beautiful, hopeful image,” said gallery owner Malee Octavia of the painting by Andrei Engelman, a Portland artist who hails from the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.
Phoenix Rising’s spring show is teeming with images of growth and change, from several surreal Engelman scenes to woodcut portraits by Portland’s Astrid Beatriz Furstner of the very real heroes and martyrs of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Octavia launched the sunny, big-windowed gallery months before the coronavirus pandemic stole all visitors away, she said. When galleries were forced into a complete shutdown for months, she used the downtime to renovate the space and network with local artists, as well as do her own art.
“I’m a hard worker, I guess,” she said. “The arts shouldn’t disappear when we are going through hard times. That’s when human beings need the arts the most.”

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