Artist Gallery at the Glennallen Tastee Freeze 1979

TFGallery79Once the Niebrugge family decided to stay in Alaska they needed a source of income.  Back then and even today, making a living as an artist is nearly impossible, especially for an emerging one.  The family acquired the Glennallen Tastee Freez in 1977 and the dining room quickly became a gallery for Gail’s work.  Soon word spread throughout the state about the art in this tiny remote business.  People often traveled from long distances, Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks to acquire paintings.  This was the era before limited edition prints, actually prints of any kind, in order to own art it had to be an original.  Gail painted daily, and squeezed her duties at the restaurant in between bouts at the easel.  Often while wiping tables and refilling ketchup bottles she would overhear customers talking about the paintings.  Most people did not know she was the artist, and the busy pace of lunch left little time to chat.  She continued doing this for the first seven years, by then the business had prospered to the point that she could stay home and paint full-time.  Niebrugge has been painting full-time ever since that day.  In 1995 the Niebrugges moved to Palmer, Alaska, to see if they could make their living working together in the art business.  This turned out to be a very successful decision.

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