ColorWheel Gallery owner pays homage to Prince

ColorWheel Gallery owner Tammy Ortegon (l) pictured with henna artist Victoria Welch at a henna and Valentine party in February. Photo by Michelle Bruch
ColorWheel Gallery owner Tammy Ortegon (l) pictured with henna artist Victoria Welch at a henna and Valentine party in February. Photo by Michelle Bruch

The owner of ColorWheel Gallery has created a coloring book dedicated to Prince.

Owner Tammy Ortegon grew up in Minneapolis, and she’s loved Prince since age 15.

“I started doing sketches and memories of Prince just to get me through my own grieving,” she said. “He never let anybody else tell him what to do. … He didn’t want to be put in a box as an artist.”

The sketches became coloring pages, and she decided to turn the collection into a book. She carries other Prince memorabilia and another Prince-inspired coloring book by Minneapolis artist David Kline Jr.

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She said it’s fun to see how people finish off each page with color.

“Making art together is really powerful,” she said.

The ColorWheel Gallery began as a hair salon where Ortegon put away the chairs once a month for an art show. She still juggles highlights and shoppers, but the gallery and gift space has grown over time. She’s planning to start more classes and workshops in addition to her regular parties with henna, treats and creation tables. The next event on March 16 marks Women’s History Month and St. Patrick’s Day with an opportunity to make greeting cards and collage art.

Ortegon lives in Kingfield and said she loves helping with community events like the recent Kingfield Empty Bowls. Residents came to ColorWheel to paint ceramic bowls that were later filled with soup as a fundraiser for homeless youth. Neighborhood restaurants generously offered 20-gallon soup donations, she said, and the event showed youth at Nicollet Square they are supported.

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“If we want to change this world, we have to help our kids,” she said. “It’s the whole community coming together to support each other.”

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