About Muse
Our staff
Artist sponsorships
Community contributions




Early in 2004, artist and designer Peter Rossing decided to create a new kind of art supply store for Portland-area artists.  To satisfy his own creative interests and help provide resources that a community of artists needs to thrive, he envisioned a store where:

  • artists have opportunities to gather, exchange ideas, and get helpful information about materials and techniques
  • local artists and their work are showcased and promoted
  • the people who help customers are artists themselves who know and use art materials and who enjoy discussing art and techniques
  • the supplies that are offered have been tested, selected, and recommended by practicing artists because of their quality and unique characteristics, not determined by corporate buyers based on marketing appeal and profit potential
  • staff listen and learn about artists’ approaches, preferences and budgets, so they can help match supplies to individual needs
  • requests for unusual and hard-to-find items are seen as an opportunity to help fellow artists get what they need.

By November 2004, Muse Art and Design was open for business. Since that time, we’ve gotten to know hundreds of artists in the community.  We’ve introduced experienced artists to new favorites and helped them get materials they couldn’t find anywhere else.  We’ve helped beginners gain confidence in their abilities by getting them started with supplies and advice.  We’ve become a resource to help artists at all levels expand their techniques, stay inspired, enjoy their work more, and make their art last longer and look better.

In many cities, locally owned art supply stores have disappeared as corporate chains have converted communities of artists into consumer-marketing targets. We’re grateful that Portland’s thriving creative community supports and values its locally owned art supply stores. Independent stores like Muse, whose first priority is to support and serve local artists, are a cornerstone of our community’s arts infrastructure. They ensure that Portland artists have access to high-quality supplies and information for a diverse range of creative needs. Muse Art and Design on Hawthorne Blvd


Vaughn Barker -- Self PortraitVaughn Barker creates illustrations and paintings using both digital media and traditional media including oils, watercolors, and pen and ink. He draws from his knowledge of natural media in his digital work to effectively simulate the look of pastels, colored pencils, watercolors, and inks.

emmett-montgomery_self-portraitEmmett Montgomery has been a customer at Muse since the age of 8. He joined our staff as soon as he turned 15.  He has recently graduated from Grant High School and will be attending the University of Oregon in fall to study product design. He hopes to design shoes for a major sportswear company in the future.

Scott Bowen self portraitScott Bowen is a painter, illustrator and pen enthusiast. His thoroughly fascinating life story may be found at restlessghost.com

Nicole-Poole_self-portraitNicole Poole likes to tell stories with words and pictures. She has always understood that she is happiest using her hands to make lines and playing with color and texture. She enjoys calligraphy, book arts, mixed-media illustration and occasionally paints reverse-glass paintings. She has studied, taught and exhibited in the United States and in Europe and is an awarded California Arts Scholar.

David Freas -- Self PortraitDavid Freas inherited a love of art from his mother, a high school art instructor. He moved to Portland in the early 2000s to attend Reed College, where he earned a degree in linguistics. While in college, he became a devoted patron of Muse Art and Design, where he began to work in 2009. In 2012 he moved briefly to Boston, MA to earn a master’s degree from Simmons College’s archives management program. Upon returning to Portland in 2014 he was happily reinstated in his position at Muse. David loves drawing and painting with watercolors.

Peter Rossing - self portraitPeter Rossing (founder & owner) has always had an interest in both arts and business. He’s designed scenery for theater and opera as well as graphics and sets for international business events. After earning a music degree, he paid for business school by working as a piano accompanist. His favorite media to work with are acrylics and watercolors.

Sylvia-Mann_self-portraitSylvia Mann has been exhibiting art in Portland since 1995. After earning a degree in fine and applied arts from the University of Oregon she spent over 13 years working in the jewelry trade. She loves creating independent comics, paintings, drawings, mixed media, and collage art.


Muse sponsors up to three artists per calendar year by providing materials for a project at reduced cost along with store credit to apply toward workspace equipment.  Sponsorship artists have been selected for the current period.  Watch for updates with details about the sponsorship program and the selection process.  


We are grateful to the many artists in our region who support Muse and make it possible for us to serve our community with materials and information for making art. We welcome the opportunity to assist groups whose work enhances the local community and aligns with our mission to help people make more art. Click here to read our Community Contributions Guidelines and submit your request.  Priority will be given to organizations whose work focuses on arts and arts education.