alternative press serving the lower columbia pacific region

ART HAPPENS

Shadowboxing: Printmakers Roxanne Turner and Marcy Baker found and foraged treasures

mbaker_shimmer

Marcy Baker, Box Assemblage, Shimmer

Impermanent. Imperfect. Unburnished.

These might not be terms typically associated with the creation of fine art, but for Pacific Northwest-based artists Roxanne Turner and Marcy Baker, the world’s vast store of fragmented, forgotten and scattered objects is replete with creative possibility.

Both artists will exhibit the fruits of their artistic foraging at KALA this month in a show titled “In the Box.”

The show will feature almost 40 assemblages, each a multi-dimensional amalgamation of found objects and items from the natural world contained within its own repurposed box.

The seed for a two-woman show was planted when Turner and Baker began to take note of the common threads running through their work: botanical imagery and materials, refuse foraged from the modern world. And, of course, the format of the timeworn boxes themselves.

“It occurred to us that, while our assemblages – composed within the structure of reclaimed wooden boxes – share a similar aesthetic, they are developed in individual and complementary ways,” Baker said.

The Portland-based Baker began exploring the concept of art in a box when she found herself in possession of several old cigar boxes some years back. She quickly became intrigued with the artistic challenges and possibilities a box presented.

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Roxanne Turner, Box Assemblage, Midori

At the time, she was living in New Mexico and experimenting with ways to combine the rusty treasures she gathered on her long rambles through the high desert with wax rubbings, block prints, old letters and sheet music.

She began to create collages within the cigar boxes and fell in love with both the process and the larger concept it seemed to reference – finding beauty in the imperfect: a forgotten page of sheet music, an old ceramic insulator cap, and especially the rusted metal scraps lying forgotten in the sand.

“They’re beautiful little treasures,” she said. “I love how they can relate to something brightly colored, like a monotype, that pop of color and how that plays off the worn surface of the metal piece.”

The task of arranging the disparate objects into a coherent whole is by nature imprecise, and requires a bit of spontaneity.

She’ll sit down before an empty, hinged box and consider its shape, its edges, its sides, even its smell. Then, she’ll begin to arrange and rearrange, to bring in and take out pieces, to consider relationships.

“For me, it’s thinking about two sides and how they relate, what they’re saying,” she said. “They could be closed, they could be open, and you can see how they’re talking back and forth, the relationships between those two sides and almost the sense of a book being read, one side to the other and back again.”

The Astoria-based Turner began creating her own boxed art pieces in 2010. She’d spent 14 years focused on capturing tree and plant imagery in two-dimensional formats before she began to explore the box format.

Turner admits to being a “compulsive forager,” especially when it comes to plant materials, and her work incorporates seed pods, branches and blossoms brought home from locations both near and far-flung: Manzanita from California, seed pods from Australia and Japan.

Why the fascination with nature’s castoffs?

“It’s the forms,” Turner said. “They’re very sculptural, they’re as beautiful as animal bones; they’re simple and they’re just gorgeous forms. They’re sort of architectural and there’s so much variety.”

She also makes use of plenty of found and handmade materials: Japanese rice papers, collograph, textured monoprints, silkscreens.

Turner uses these objects in combination to riff on themes of life and its inevitable cycles: growth, ripening and eventual decay.

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Marcy Baker instructs in printmaking at Atelier Meridian studio in Portland.

She also draws inspiration from the Japanese concept of “wabi sabi,” which holds up the imperfect and the impermanent as beautiful within their own right and worthy of admiration.

As it is with nature, these assemblages will no doubt fall prey to the ravages of time, moldering, crumbling, changing irretrievably, and Baker is just fine with that.

“These plant materials will be affected by light and heat and humidity, and so they’re impermanent,” Turner said. “They’re not going to last, they’re going to change gradually over time, they’re probably already changing. So what you see today, the colors may change in a year or two. It’s kind of like performance art.”

IN THE BOX Opens Saturday, June 9, 5-9pm, in conjunction with the Astoria 2nd Saturday Art Walk.

The exhibit runs through July 8. KALA is located at 1017 Marine Drive in Astoria. Summer Gallery viewing hours beginning June 10, Sat-Sun noon to 5pm, and by appt. 503.338.4878 or 503.440.3007.


Heather Christie at KALA 3/24

heather christie 2011KALA proudly presents an evening with North Coast singer/songwriter Heather Christie, on SATURDAY, MARCH 24. Doors open at 7:30pm. The night includes a pre-show reception featuring Heather’s handcrafted heatherADORN jewelry, a no-host cocktail bar and light appetizers from the Blue Scorcher Bakery and Café. Cover is $10. Show at 8:15pm.

Heather Christie certainly must be called the daughter of the coastal rock music scene. And when, as teenager, she stepped into that scene in the mid to late 90s, she came willingly to represent the fusion of spirit and music for everyone. Guitar in hand, born to a colorful Astoria musical family, a penchant for songwriting and the power and beauty of the vast pacific ocean pushing her — a beautiful young woman with a clear and stirring folk voice, and eyes to match,  gifted stages; whether that stage be the sandy beach itself, a new music venue, KMUN radio — the upper left edge, as penned by the late Billy Hults, was given its folk rock priestess.

A decade and a half later, Christie has tested the waters of country, R&B/pop, recorded three of her own albums and has dedicated much performance and recording time to the wonderful award-winning FrogTown project, driven by her partner in life and creativity Philip Pelletier.  Throwing off the acoustic folk trappings, Christie has been on the road with the multi-media LIVE, kid book musical over the course of 5 years, donning a fancier pop lady and ballad singer of the sultry and soulful song ALONE, which by now must be a favorite emotional dream catcher for many a kid and adult that has shared the experience of Frog Town. For those not informed, Frog Town is a multi-media book about a little frog guy who comes up against barriers in a musical, cultural sea. From classical to country, sax-playing Thad the tadpole can’t seem to find anyone to play with, cause nobody in his big neighborhood likes jazz improvisers (ain’t it the truth). Frog Town hosts numerous Oregon musical artists, including R&B greats, Linda Hornbuckle and Curtis Salgado. But eventually music comes to bridge the gap.

In the earlier 2000s, Christie lead her self-titled band featuring some of the coast’s soulful native musicians; guitarist Joe Patenaude, drummer Tom Peak and violinist Jeffrey Reynolds, recording LOVE Road, an analog studio album of rock originals and special nod to her rock pre-origins, Laura Nero’s Ely’s Comin’. Since the days of her more guitar driven material, you can find tracks available on myspace, like “Lady” and “Runnin,” with a pop/R&B bent, but nonetheless an extension of the early, expressive Heather Christie.

Currently Heather is working on new material in the studio, which she says “is a great way to spend the winter months!” She’ll be playing some of these new songs at KALA, including “5 O’Clock”, which is a reflection on an artist’s life challenges.

She is also collaborating with Philip Pelletier on an ambient music series inspired by the beauty of nature,  something she has been looking forward to exploring more deeply, and of which you can sample an exclusive clip, (The Stream). They are also working on a video production of the LIVE Frog Town show in HD Video, including several songs from the upcoming “Bedtime for Tadpoles” release, featuring ambient music for kids.

In addition to an upcoming gig at Mississippi Pizza in Portland, it has been several years since Heather Christie has performed as Heather Christie on an Astoria stage. Recently, an informal appearance at KALA during the holidays, she gave an inspiring performance, a strong inclination its time to get back to the singer/songwriter/performer aspect of her artistry.

And of that artistry she says, “My personal music involves allowing myself to walk deeply into the darkest parts of myself, to channel emotions that I tend to avoid in my day to day life, and to ride the wave of what I find there. Hopefully within that experience something otherworldly and beautiful is born. Not just for me, but for the listener… Music is my release, my ground and my sanity. I have to make it to stay alive, and if others enjoy it too, then lucky me.”

The KALA stage features lighting and a great acoustic/amplified sound mix, an intimate musical setting in a beautiful restored Astoria storefront. Located at 1017 Marine Drive. 503.338.4878.

ABOUT heatherADORN
Inspired by tribal elements in a modern world, heather ADORN adds sleek, delicate touches to bold, colorful designs, creating innovative, handcrafted pieces for your adornment. In these cosmic jewels, you will see gem stones combined with glass, metal, rocks, feathers, and miscellaneous findings from years of collecting. It is not unusual to discover hand gathered shells from the east or west shores, along with a sparkling piece of cut glass, from a vintage chandelier, in your favorite pair of earrings. heather ADORN was born from a desire to honor the center, ritual and sacred space of the creative spirit.  Every purchase supports the arts…


FisherPoets Gather for Poems, Stories and Songs

MORE at: clatsopcc.edu/community/fisherpoets-gathering.  Includes FPG “At A Glance.”

FisherPoets Gathering 2012 the 15th annual Gathering in Astoria OR, is expecting about 80 commercial fishing and maritime industry people from several states and British Columbia to bring their original poems, stories, songs and insights to Astoria.  Along with several local musicians who also have strong fishing-industry ties, they will present their readings and music at the weekend program, February 24 to 26.

The FisherPoets Gathering has been an annual event in Astoria in the last weekend of February since 1998.

“Fisher Poetry” comes from experiences living and working in the industry, and ranges in writing style from fast-moving rhyming couplets to crafted free verse or literary prose, and includes poems, songs, short stories, personal memoirs and essays, and art.  The mood can be funny, emotive, matter-of-fact or any combination.   The weekend also includes films and talks on fishing issues and culture.

Six downtown Astoria venues donate space for the Friday and Saturday evening programs of readings and music, along with a seventh hosting a later-evening open mike, so a good number of fans can comfortably join the lively ambiance of the event as audience, said Florence Sage of Astoria, a long-term FPG producer.   Audience comes from the local area, the northwest region, and points around the country to hear these original writings and oral accounts based on the hard-working vocation of commercial fishing and making a living at sea. Also, KMUN-FM broadcasts locally from Astoria Event Center at 91.9-FM, 6 to 10 p.m. both evenings, and streams live on the web at coastradio.org.

“Every venue will have a really program going on,” Sage said, “so you can move from place to place, or just take your pick and stay for the evening.  “We’re expecting more than 1,000 over the weekend, as usual, but we have lots of room.  People can get a weekend button ($15) from 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Gear Shack and at all doors to enjoy all events and all venues, or a $5 single-entry cover at doors to stay at any one event.

Reading and music venues Friday and Saturday evenings are: the Baked Alaska restaurant (foot of 12th Street), Astoria Event Center (9th & Commercial), Clemente’s (12th and Commercial), the VooDoo Room at the Columbian Theater (11th & Marine Dr.), the Wet Dog Cafe (foot of 11th St.) and the Fort George Brewery & Public House showroom 14th & Duane).

Clemente’s has a special program about Bristol Bay on Saturday evening, and hosts an early-arrivers’ Readers Mike Thursday Feb. 23 from 8 p.m., no button required.  A seventh venue hosts the popular Fishermen’s Open Mike for poems, stories and songs, with priority to commercial fishing people and to related topics.  This special mike is at KALA, the intimate performance room of fishing-friendly HIPFiSHmonthly at 1017 Marine Drive.  The VooDoo Room at Columbian Theater hosts late-night music.

Evening venues all have food and drink service.  Minors are permitted in Baked Alaska and KALA all evening, not in VooDoo Room, and other venues until 9 or 10 p.m., as noted on the FPG website.
Event headquarters is the FPG store, “the Gear Shack,” at the 14th Street Pilot station, foot of 14th St. The Gear Shack stocks FPG buttons, performers’ books, CDs, DVDs, and FPG gear for sale, acts as an information center, and also houses the Silent Auction.  Gear Shack hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday.  Auction viewing is from 1 p.m. Saturday, bidding hours Saturday 4 to 8 p.m.

Documentary films “Coming Home Was Easy” and “Red Gold” run both afternoons at the Columbian Theater, 4 to 5:30 p.m.  Four Saturday morning workshops on commercial fishing issues and history are at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, foot of 17th Street.  Two creative workshops are at Baked Alaska restaurant.  Workshops run 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They include a first-hand report on effects of Japan’s 2011 tidal wave on the Japanese fishing industry, photos and recollections from the sailboat days of the Bristol Bay fishery, a workshop on polishing stage performance, and three others.

The Gathering has been given substantial and sustaining support every year by Clatsop Community College, along with contributions of services, goods and panel members from local and regional organizations and businesses, as noted in the annual program and on the website.  Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce assists with national and regional media contact.  Fisherpoets come to the Gathering as volunteers.

More information is at: clatsopcc.edu/community/fisherpoets-gathering, or by calling Marti Wajc at 503-738-8256.

Please direct inquiries to: Florence Sage, 503-325-4972, fsage@clatsopcc.edu.

Clatsop Community College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.


Outsider Artist: The Work of Anne Marie Grgich

Boombox in Sky with Diamonds: a curated exhibition by Kandace Manning and Ian McMartin

The Masquerade

The Masquerade, Mixed Media on Canvas

IN RECENT years, the work of Northwest artist Anne Marie Grgich is more likely to be seen in galleries of New York City, New Orleans, Victoria, Sydney, and in Europe. However, during the next two months, over 20 of her most recent collage works will be featured at Kala in Astoria, along with the paintings, ceramics, and carvings of 7 other artists in the group show, Boombox In the Sky With Diamonds. Joining the skate bowl carvings and photography of Ian McMartin, the ceramics, quilt and paper craft of Portland’s Kandace Manning, the dense phantasmagoric graphics of Seattle’s Paul Gasoi, the comic yet naïve painted boards of Sweden’s Marcus Mårtenson, the photo realism of L. Miscoe’s painted birch panel’s to the intensely vibrant and playful drawings of Soho artist Daniel Belardinelli, the exhibition offers an opportunity to see Anne Marie Grgich’s dense and multi-layered portraits that have made her well known in the international Outsider Art movement, consisting of self taught artists who coexist for the most part outside the realm of the established art world.

Her large portraits are often paradoxical in nature; deceptively simple faces reveal, after closer examination, layer upon layer of images attached to the canvases with water based adhesive, giving them a liquid and mysterious quality. Dark color washes give the paintings a luminescence.

The images hover over each other obscuring and only partially revealing what lies beneath. Akin to the ancient practice of palimpsest where parchment or waxed tablets were scraped to rid them of the previous text and image so that the material could be reused, you can see evidence of the old text behind the whitened area. In Anne’s work, previous layers bubble up thru the paint and the thickly applied adhesive to partially reveal hidden meanings.

Collage Book

Collage Book on display at KALA

Shards of tissue paper rubber stamped and printed with baby heads and doll parts, jellyfish, Victorian garb, hieroglyphics, anatomical drawings, alchemical symbols, third eyes, old bicycles and butterflies. Seahorses used as ears. A wallpaper motif becomes a hat. Bird feathers morph into a dress. Often juxtaposing the modern with the ancient, Anne uses metaphor to play with archetypes, showing “people from the inside out”.

“It just so happens that I started painting faces. I don’t know why. Before that, I was making all these creatures out of found stuff in 1981-82. When I gave birth to my son, I felt I couldn’t have all this trash and junk around a little baby. So I got really into drawing while I was carrying him on my back”. It was Anne’s painted books that first brought her to the attention of the Jamison Thomas Gallery in Portland in 1989, and subsequent shows there catapulted her career. Old library books with each page becoming a canvas encrusted with layers of paint, magic marker, and collage until the book swells up to four times it’s size, with thick textures, fold out pages and bold, defiant faces. “I started doing collage books back when I was a punk rocker, using stuff I found, even cheese whiz! My art developed over time from poetry books to these picture books. I am a kind of visual poet. They are like journals. I could keep everything in my purse, and work wherever I went. Bring some of my books and a box of art supplies and go traveling across the country and to other countries. I’d go to New York and find a piece of wood on the street, then buy some nail polish at Woolworth’s, then find something else. Then I’d make a painting”.

At the Kalas Gallery exhibit, you can see one of her recent books. Like many of her books, it is a work in progress, adding new elements overtime. “I started this book when I had my hysterectomy. So its how I felt at the time. On this page, you can see a uterus and here a womb. I am turning it into this powerful image. I am sort of making my own icons of my feelings. When I feel frustrated or angry, I don’t want to act out how I feel. I am more likely to try to transcend that by working with it. In a way, I am creating an edifice”.

On another page, Anne has collaged the image of a human body, upon which is layered an image of electronic circuitry. On top is applied a tissue with a drawing of the human nervous system. Other layers have images of plants and antlers. “This is all under painting. Later I will re-apply a photo of the body so as to bring it back. Its like I go “In & Out”. I used to organize my collage by color but now I am really into black and white. And then doing color washes on some layers.I am using the images as form, sort of juxtaposition of meaning. Metaphor becomes an element. Like combining the nervous system with the circuitry. As I am building it, a lot of it is intuitive and the rest is just what I am experiencing in life. With my piece “Flight or Fight” which is in the show, it’s about a time in my life, whether to flee or fight it out. Sometimes my work is prophetic. I’ll do a portrait and then eventually meet that person! My art is whimsically put together. There is a lot of irony. But sometimes they have themes. My art has an overall theme”.

Anne Grgich

Anne Grgich in Seattle – profiled as an Outsider Artist in an feature article in Newsweek Magazine-1996, entitled, "Swimming to Seattle—Move There."

At one point, Anne started incorporating baby faces and dolls into her work. “I had a kid and I feel that gave my life a lot of magic, beauty and joy. For me making art is a way for me to experience magic and a way for me to have a 2nd childhood. I had a head injury in 1981 and went into a coma. Afterward, I could only remember some of my previous life. Through art, I was able to remember more and more from the past and it gave me something to do. I would just go into this other world. And create all these drawings”.

Eventually those drawings filled her journals and painted collage books and then grew into the larger canvases. In the show, you can see portraits such as Larissa, Victoria, and Rismone. Their penetrating eyes stare back defiantly but with a sort of innocence. These are eyes that have seen too much, reveal little and stare questioningly at your world. But there are new works exhibited, such as The Masquerade, Whale and The Baby (Underneath It All) that show new metaphors and multi-layer iconic images that point to new themes as well. “Lately, I have become obsessed by trees, as I walk in Forest Park, near my other studio. I have a grasp on how short a human life is compared to a tree that’s 5,000 years old. Meanwhile, art is my life”. And, if you catch her making art while at the Kala Gallery, she’s likely to throw down some Sharpie pens and push a notebook in front of you and say, “Let’s make art!”. She often teaches workshops on her techniques when she is home in Portland and her travels elsewhere.

Next month, Anne packs her typical “on the road” kit of paper, collage books, art supplies and bags of tissue paper printed with various collected images and will be creating art while running workshops and exhibiting at the International Outsider Art Fair, Gallery Bourbon Lally, NYC. And beyond that, a solo exhibit at the Barristers Gallery, in New Orleans followed by a month long artist residency and solo exhibit at the Olaf Gallery in Amsterdam.

Steve Lippincott has an online music magazine at earcandyarchive.com celebrating “music that matters”. He has worked in the publishing industry for 15 years, as well as being a chef. He is currently working on a cookbook called The Harmonious Dish.


Return of the Native

KALA@HIPFiSHmonthly PRESENTS
Justin L’Amie and Cynthia Lahti
Opening Reception: 2nd Saturday Art Walk
September 10, 5pm – 9pm through Oct 2
Speaker, Bill Ittman 7pm Ambient Music, Roge Hayes

KALA@HIPFiSHmonthly presents work by two Portland artists who have long ties to the Astoria area–Cynthia Lahti and Justin L’Amie. A special addition to the evening, North Coast art guru Bill Ittman will speak at 7pm, on behalf of the work of the featured artists. In addition, NorthCoast sound artist/painter Roger Hayes performs ambient music. Refreshments served.

Cynthia Lahti - Dolphins

Cynthia Lahti - Dolphins

Cynthia Lahti left Portland to earn a bachelors degree at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1985, and after graduating returned to Portland where she continues to live and make art. She is represented by PDX Contemporary Art in Portland and currently she is “focusing on ceramic sculpture and mixed media drawings based on expressive images of the figure. “There are so many figures out there in the world, wearing so many poses and costumes; I find those that resonate and interpret them in clay. Each artwork expresses an intense inner psychological state, its surface effecting a fluctuating quality, part beauty, part grotesque,” says Lahti of her work.

Lahti’s grandparents, Edla Soujanen and Nilo Vilulahti met and married in Astoria after immigrating from Tiavassolo, Finland in the early 1910’s. Her father Uuno Lahti was born in Astoria in 1919 and spent his childhood in Union Town and Youngs River. Her mother Janet Irving came to Astoria in the the early 1950’s. She was a home extension agent for Clatsop County, teaching women how to sew and cook. They were married in 1956 and moved to Portland. Her childhood was filled with many trips to Astoria, as well as camping adventures around the Pacific Northwest with friends from Astoria. Cynthia reports, “I continue to feel a connection to the place. It has sublime natural beauty and retains a feeling of being hidden and able to function by it’s own conventions. These are qualities that also dominate my artistic process. I am grateful to be able to exhibit my work in Astoria, a place many of my relatives and friends haunt.”

Justin L’Amie was born in Astoria in 1983, and he spent part of his childhood in the area with his grandparents Gail and David Wahlstrom, who came to Astoria from northern Minnesota in 1960. He attended Clatsop Community College for the academic year 2002-03 before moving to Seattle where he received his B.F.A. from the Cornish College of Art in 2006. He currently lives and continues to make art in Portland, OR and is represented by PDX Contemporary Art. His first one-man exhibition occurred in 2010.

Justin L'Amie - Snake

Justin L'Amie - Snake

Justin L’Amie writes about his work; “Most of my art is a tribute to that which sustains us: this amazing planet and all its beauty. Puppies, tree sap, barnacles, Queen Annes lace, rain, leaves, vitamin c, leather, fingernails, dry rot, coconut husks. As terrifying as it often is, I am still amazed at what the earth has to bare. I can’t help but be fascinated by the ways that animals (including humans) manipulate, promote, destroy and take advantage of the things that grow and exist around us. It is at once fantastic and wretched, and while it is often hard to accept the terrible in life, I try to embrace the fact that there are things I both love and hate about this place.”

Bill Ittmann, born in Boston, Mass. in 1939, developed a love of art and art historical sites while traveling in Europe in his teens. After receiving a B.F.A. in Art History from the University of Kanas and working at the University of Kanas Art Museum, he pursued graduate level courses at the Courtauld Institute at the University of London in 1964. In 1966 he lived with renowned California painter, Wayne Thiebaud and his family and modeled for a number of paintings and drawings. Ittmann completed his Masters Degree in Art History at Washington University in St. Louis in 1967. Between 1967-71 he taught seminar level courses at Williams College in Williamston, Mass. on old masters drawings and 19th century and contemporary art. Two students from his program, who later gained prominence are the late Kirk Varnedoe-chief curator of the Museum of Modern Art, and Thomas Kerns-director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. After a long period of teaching, publishing and traveling he finally moved to Cannon Beach in 1978 where he currently resides and continues to be very active in art related activities-Design Review Board for the City of Cannon Beach for ten years, teaching at Clatsop Community College and former Director of the Art Center Gallery. He is an enthusiastic collector of regional and local contemporary art.

Ittman got to know Justin L’Amie while he was teaching in the CCC Art Department. “I found him to be profoundly interested in being an artist and ready to absorb every aspect of the art scene in Seattle and Portland that I could expose him to. He showed an exceptional appetite for looking at and producing art in a variety of media. His work has a deep interest and awareness of nature and shows a gentle, sometime mordant curiosity about all sides of nature, both lush and vibrant, and fragmented and dissipated,” says Ittman. The artists that L’Amie admires include Thomas Bewick, J.J. Audubon, James Ensor, Egon Schiele, David Shrigley, Raymond Pettibon, among others.”

As a curator and supporter Bill Ittmann has known Cynthia Lahti’s work through her affilation with PDX Contemporary. The artwork with very tactile surfaces stretches the boundaries between “art” and “craft”. On Lahti’s work Ittman describes, “Broken pigments, broken figures, mostly human and cats, substantially, but not exclusively female. There is a narrative quality to the work–fragments of a tale without a beginning or an end. There are many art historical references: Degas, Rodin, Giacometti, L. Freud, Francis Bacon, KiKi Smith, and Brancusi.”

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Jane Beebe, Director of PDX Contemporary Art in Portland. Jane has frequently loaned works of art from her gallery to exhibitions at the Art Center Gallery at CCC.


The Third Annual Peninsula Clay Artists Show

Jan Richardson, Pots Spring

Jan Richardson, Pots Spring

SMOKE, FIRE, jewelry and mosaics will be in abundance at the Third Annual Peninsula Clay Artist show from August 9 until the unveiling of the community mosaic at Artisan in Ilwaco, Washington on August 20. The event showcases the work of nine clay artists who live and work on the Long Beach Peninsula. These professional clay artists work in  a variety of wheel thrown and handbuilt styles, firing in kilns that produce a wide array of results.   Guest artists will teach workshops in clay and metal jewelry, exotic saggar and raku techniques and will lead a group in creating a community mosaic.  The potters will be opening the show and sale of their latest work at 5 o’clock Friday August 12. The workshops are scattered through out the two weeks with the unveiling of the community mosaic at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 20.  All of the event will be located at The Artisan at 114 Main Street in Ilwaco, Washington.

A large Community free form mosaic for the wall at Artisan will be produced by participants with the assistance of Heather Richardson and Renee O’Connor.   Heather has produced several large community mosaics in Florida and participated in several around the country.  Renee created the obelisks in Long Beach, Washington and is well known for her interior tile  installations.  Participants will create a mosaic to take home, and will work on the community piece.

Peninsula Clay Artists formed in 2009 to create a local clay community group sharing their knowledge of the clay arts with the public.  Exhibiting members include: Jan Richardson of Windy Meadows Pottery, David  Campiche, Renee O’Connor of Willapa Bay Tile, Rodney Maxwell -Muir, Jean O’Neil, Sue Raymond   of Artist’s Roost Pottery, Danni Pederson, Karen Brownlee,  Michael Barancik, and  Patricia Webber.

All guest artist workshops have limited class sizes and require registration. Full schedules and fee structure are available at Bay Avenue Gallery in Ocean Park, The Picture Attic in Long Beach and at Windy Meadows Pottery (360-665-2603) or email info@windymeadowspottery.com. Sign up for workshops by August first is recommended.


Heavier Than Water/Lighter Than Air – Charles Schweigert at RiverSea Gallery

Splash

Charles Schweigert, Splash

ASTORIA ARTIST Charles Schweigert explores the concept of landscape within his new series of mixed media paintings titled Heavier Than Water/Lighter Than Air, presented at Riversea Gallery August 6th – August 30th.  RiverSea Gallery will host First Night; a reception and artist’s talk to open the show, on August 6th from 6 – 8pm.  This event is open to all, and is a great opportunity to engage with the artist while learning first-hand the inspiration behind the work as well as technique.  Questions and interaction are heartily encouraged!  As always, RiverSea Gallery will be participating in Second Saturday Artwalk, 5 – 8 pm, August 13th and hosting a second artist’s reception for Charles Schweigert.  The artwork will remain on display through August 30th.

Charles Schweigert takes great inspiration from his surroundings, and living here on the North coast of Oregon, landscape is nearly impossible for most artists to ignore.  Schweigert is widely known and respected for his expressive and elegant abstract work.  Not being able to escape the real and literal drama of our surroundings, Schweigert has carefully crafted a series of mixed media paintings he calls abstract landscapes.  Hints of horizon line where land meets sea, or perhaps a mere suggestion of a sailing vessel are all components that reveal themselves indirectly to the viewer.  Schweigert presents his audience a fresh take on the power and grace of open sky and vast waterways and shows how sometimes the two are inseparable.

Considering the four elements, Schweigert eloquently depicts two of the most prominent to this area, Water and Air.  From this concept, he began exploring the differences as well as the similarities between the two. Regarding this series of work he states, “How heavy is water?  What are the deep currents that flow through us, moving us in ways we feel but can barely articulate?  How light is air – the ungraspable air that can rip off roofs, topple trees, and sink ships?  These are aspects of landscapes that go beyond what is seen.  Ultimately, we are the answer to our question.  Heavier than, lighter than, other than….what is hidden, what lies beneath, what adds heaviness to the water and lightness to the air…these are the real subjects in these paintings.”

RiverSea Gallery, is located at 1160 Commercial Street in the heart of historic downtown Astoria.


White Bird Gallery Celebrates 40 Years in Cannon Beach

White Bird Gallery, circa 1975

White Bird Gallery, circa 1975

Established in 1971, White Bird Gallery is among the oldest galleries in Oregon and continues to be a long-standing tradition for visitors to the Oregon Coast. With four decades in the same location, White Bird was one of the first galleries to fully integrate fine art and studio craft, while playing an important role in the history of Cannon Beach’s art scene and the development of it’s current local art community.

Founded by Evelyn Georges, who recently retired after 39 years as owner and director, the gallery moves forth with a continuum of artists and craftspeople that have contributed to the eclectic sensibility of this important Northwest gallery. Highlighting originality, handcrafted, and contemporary art, White Bird Gallery is currently hosting a 40th Anniversary Exhibition – a large group show featuring new works by it’s main gallery artists. Regionally recognized and nationally known artists and artisans are represented with a variety of styles and media providing a cross-section of the painting, sculpture, printmaking, mixed media, glass, clay, jewelry and wood that comprise the individuality and diversity among gallery artists. The 40th Anniversary Exhibition will continue to run through August 15th.

In honor of this milestone, White Bird Gallery will host a 40th Anniversary Party on August 6th, from 4:00 – 7:00. All are welcome to come and celebrate the past, the future, the art, the craft, and the people who have contributed to the gallery over the years!


Roger McKay At RiverSea Gallery

Roger McKayTHROUGHOUT HISTORY the artist has taken great inspiration from the literal beauty of our surroundings.  Astoria’s own, Roger McKay does not take exception, however, this time there’s a twist.  After a long hiatus from oil painting RiverSea Gallery is excited to present a new series of work by McKay.  There will be an artists reception held Saturday, August 27th, 6 – 8pm to celebrate this new collection of work.  All are invited to attend and to hear first hand from McKay about this series and its source of inspiration.

Roger McKay, who is known for his carefully crafted landscape paintings, spent several years working with watercolor before returning to oil as his first choice as painting medium.  This series of work is the first seen for quite sometime utilizing his exemplary skill with oil as medium. McKay never fails to impress his audience.

Within this series, McKay depicts favorite local scenes, the beloved Megler Bridge, Tongue Point, a freighter making its way up river.  This time however there’s an added element of story, a play with humor and mystery…even lore. About this series, McKay states:  “These paintings are very special to me.
They celebrate my love affair with Astoria, while merging this landscape with my own inner imaginings.  Every piece was created with thoughtful care and detail.  I invite viewers to share in my inner landscapes.”


Hold Fast Tattoo Co. & Gallery – The Skateboard Art of Gary Savage

Sasquatch SkateboardsHOLD FAST Tatto and Art Gallery features the month of August,  Gary Savage, an established artist from Maui, who formally lived and worked in Seaside. Savage works in many styles with many techniques, Holdfast will feature a series of paintings done for a local Skateboard company. The paintings are done on canvas then transferred to the decks. Original paintings will hang next to the corresponding skate decks. There will also be sneak peeks at a few new paintings that have not been put in production yet.

The skate board company is Sasquatch Skateboards, owned and operated out of Seaside Oregon by two partners, Dexter Savage and Andrew Pugh. Opening: August 6, Seaside Art Walk, (first Saturday of each month).  Hold Fast Tattoo Co. is located at 611 Broadway.


Local Artist Trunk Show Aug 20-21 @ Long Beach Coffee Roasters

JOIN US for another awesome local artists trunk show August 20&21 from 10am-5pm at Long Beach Coffee Roasters. Traditionally, a trunk show is an event where several artists gather at a venue to sell their work, (sometimes before it is made available to the public) and meet with fellow art lovers. In many cases, its a great opportunity to present new works! Long Beach Coffee Roasters will host artists working in paintings, drawings, jewelry, photography, sewing, and much more. Take home a piece of the peninsula! Located at 811 Pacific Ave S Suite 12 Long Beach, WA 98631. Call 360-642-2334 for further details.


Coffee Girl Barista Art Show

COFFEE GIRL’S barista’s original artwork and a few ‘friends of Coffee Girl’ show. .  Also featuring the amazing edible art of owner Deb.  Coffee Girl is located at Pier 39 in Astoria, over the river in the Hanthorn Cannery Building. Opening Reception Saturday, August 27th at 1pm.


Cannon Beach Gallery • 25th Anniversary Invitational

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Cannon Beach Arts Association, the Cannon Beach Gallery will be hosting an invitational exhibit showcasing more than 20 artists who have played an important role within the arts organization. The exhibit will run from August 5 – September 6, 2011 with an opening reception on Saturday, September 6 between 6-8p.m. featuring music by Evan and Lake Jiroudek.  The reception is free and open to the public, light appetizers and refreshments will be served.

There will be a variety of work featured in the show, from the colorful watercolors of Carol Riley to the stained glass work of Jim Hannen.  The exhibit will be a true celebration of the multitude of talented individuals who have contributed their passion and work to the arts association over the past two and a half decades.

The Cannon Beach Gallery is located in the Emma White Building in the midtown section of Cannon Beach (1064 S. Hemlock St.) and is open seven days a week between 10am-5pm.


Coastal Fiberarts 2011

Off the Wall

Alta Turner, Off the Wall

Crossing the River

Charles Schweigart, Crossing the River

Astoria Visual Arts and Clatsop Community College Join Hands for Art

THE LONG-STANDING Astoria arts association, Astoria Visual Arts is joining hands with the Clatsop Community College to hold the first annual all fiber art exhibit, “Coastal Fiberarts 2011”, in the CCC Art Center Gallery this summer. The exhibit is coordinated by Cheryl Silverblatt, Board member of Astoria Visual Arts, with the cooperation of CCC Art Instructor Kristin Schauck.  It is a juried exhibit open to all types of fiber art.

Fiber artists from across the country jumped at the opportunity to show their work in a beautiful space.  51 entrants provided images and 72 pieces were selected for inclusion.  A wide variety of fiber techniques are represented such as tapestry weaving, loom-controlled weaving, quilting, felting, crocheting and more.  Juror Barbara Setsu Pickett, Professor Emeritus of the University of Oregon Fiber Department, selected three monetary awards to be given, “Best of Show”, “Best Use of Fiber” and “New Directions in Fiber”.

OPENING RECEPTION: Art Center Gallery, Thursday, July 14 from  5pm to 8pm. Barbara Pickett will be on hand to describe the jury process and many of the selected artists will be attending and available to talk about their work.  The exhibit runs July 14 – August 18.  Gallery Hrs: Mon – Thurs. from 2pm to 6pm.  A wonderful opportunity to see beautiful fiber art, work that is both traditional and innovative.


Penny Treat: Monotypes and Figure Drawings

LOCAL NORTH Coast artist Penny Treat shows at Old Town Framing, 1287 Commercial St. Treat is a People’s Choice Award several-times winner at the CCC International “Au Naturel” show. Meet and view her work at the Second Saturday Astoria Art Walk, Sat. JULY 9, 5-9pm.


MUSEUM OF PEOPLE’S ART (MOPA) GROUP SHOW

MOPA IN conjunction with ArtSpace Gallery and Café presents Summer Group Show curated by Portland-based artists Anne Marie Grgich and Kandace Manning. Works by contemporary artists with a variety of raw visual explorations include Daniel Belardinelli, Greg Carrigan, Robert Collison, Paul Gasoi, Anne Marie Grgch, Larissa Hammond, Chuck Iffland, Kurtiss Lofstrom, Bethany J. Major, Kandace Manning, Marcus Martenson, Ian McMartin, Lilly Miscoe, Eliza Murphy, and WPA art from the MOPA collection. The new generation art brut provokes uninhibited representations of life and human interactions from Gasoi’s visceral illustrations capturing the multidimensional act of perception to the unpolished appeal of Belardinelli.

Grgich and Manning both reside in Portland, OR where they met in 2008.  They first curated “Folk Magic” at Barristers gallery in New Orleans in 2009.  “MOPA Summer Group Show” is the first in a series of group shows that will travel around the Northwest.

OPENING RECEPTION:  July 19,  5-8PM with performance by “Clothes.” Meet the artists. Workshops with Grgich and Manning July 18 and 19, Noon-4PM. Show runs through September 19.  Enjoy lunch or dinner in the Art Space Gallery and Café,  Wed-Fri 4:30-8PM. 9120 5th St. Bay City, OR 503.377.2782. Gallery Hrs: noon to 8pm.


Rhythm In Color – 3 Contemporary Weavers at RiverSea Gallery

Ikat weaving

Hand dyed silk ikat weaving, Margaret Thierry

Silk organza

Hand painted, shibori-resisted silk organza, Barbara Setsu Pickett, 7’x32”

THREE CONTEMPORARY weavers come together for an exhibition to share their extraordinary mastery of the ancient art of textiles during the month of July.  Margaret Thierry, Pam Patrie and Barbara Setsu Pickett,   present three distinct and unique forms of weaving process – Second Saturday Artwalk, 5 – 8 pm, July 9th and hosting an artist’s reception for the three master weavers.  The show runs through August 2nd.

Woven tapestry

Woven Tapestry, Pam Patrie

Margaret Thierry of Astoria, a nationally recognized and award winning textile artist brings a new series of hand dyed silk ikat pattern weavings. Gorgeous weaves of color and pattern are indicative of Thierry’s noted skill.  Taking inspiration from the Columbia River, Thierry never leaves the feel or pull of the river’s currents and flow.

Pam Patrie from Portland, exhibits her intricately woven tapestries. Internationally known and respected, Patrie will be presenting a series of works that were inspired by her days spent as a bridge tender along the banks of the Willamette River.  Her weavings convey a painterly appearance and are loose narratives of daily life on the river.

Barbara Setsu Pickett of Eugene, Oregon is known internationally for her velvet weaving as well as her work with shibori silk organza.  She has spent more than 20 years researching velvet weaving tradition and technique, traveling to such countries as Italy, France, Britain, Japan, China, Turkey and Uzbekistan.  She will be exhibiting a series of small works, including velvet book art along with her dramatic large-scale silk organza sculpture.  She is currently teaching within the Department of Art, University of Oregon.

RiverSea Gallery is open daily at 1160 Commercial Street,  www.RiverSeaGallery.com.


ART OFF THE WALLS Fundraiser Exhibit

BEGINNING ON July 23, the CBAA will be hosting a fundraising event at the gallery entitled, Art Off the Walls, in which artists and collectors will be donating their work to the arts association.

OPENING RECEPTION: There will be a reception featuring flamenco guitarist, Brian Johnstone, on Saturday, July 23 from 6-8P.M.. The idea for the show is that gallery patrons can come in and buy art right off the walls at a reasonable price point ($250 and under).  There will be etchings from the gallery’s own collection, including work by Hanne and Harry Greaver and Liza Jones.  The Art Off the Wall Show will run from July 23- August 2, 2011.
Artists and collectors interested in donating work to the CBAA for this event should bring it into the gallery on July 20 or 21 between 10am – 5pm, or call the director to make other arrangements.  The Cannon Beach Gallery has extended hours for the summer, 10am – 5pm every day of the week.


Hoffapalooza Set for Manzanita July 23

The Hoffman Center in Manzanita host its first Hoffapalooza Saturday, July 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to highlight and celebrate the programs and activities that take place at north Tillamook County’s art, culture and education center.

“We’ve been making physical and program improvements to the Center over the past few months and felt the summertime would be a great opportunity to show off what we’re all about,” said event organizer and board member John Freethy. “Considering the scope of what goes on here, ‘Hoffapalooza’ seemed a great name for the event.”

Visitors will be invited to explore a number of family-friendly activities, including clay, drawing, writing, reading, drama, music, letterpress, and book and paper arts. Program volunteers will be on hand to demonstrate and discuss each activity.“Hoffapalooza” will also feature performances throughout the day by local musicians, dramatic or comic presentations, and raffle prizes.

The Hoffman Center is located at 594 Laneda Ave. in Manzanita. Information on the Center is available at www.hoffmanblog.org and on Facebook at Hoffman Center.


Michael Foster Donates Artwork to College

Field sculptureClatsop Community College (CCC) is the recipient of sculpture from Astoria Artist/Art Collector, Michael Foster. The ten-foot high steel and chrome sculpture depicting a cormorant and titled “Zenith” now graces the renovated Towler Hall.  Foster and the College hope this gift represents the beginning of a significant collection of artwork on public exhibition at CCC.

The artist, Devin Laurence Field, is unique among contemporary large-scale metal sculptors because of the level of articulation he achieves in directly fabricated steel. According to his website (www.devinlaurencefield.org), Field’s work is not sculpted in clay then cast in metal, or hammered in thin sheet onto a sculpted pattern, but rather forged, pressed, welded, ground and polished using thick plate steels. He creates work for public sites representative of the natural and built environments. Field is originally from New Zealand. He has studied art in locations around the world and has earned three degrees in the Arts including a Master of Fine Art in Sculpture.
Awards include:  Helen Foster Barnett Award from the National Academy of Design in New York, the Evelyn and Peter Haller Award from the Society of Animal Artists, and the global design award for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. For more information, please contact Dr. Schoonmaker at SSchoonmaker@clatsopcc.edu or 503-338-2440.


First Annual Astoria Open Studio Tour July 30-31

Isabelle Johnston-Haist

Isabelle Johnston-Haist, sculptor

On Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31, 33 Astoria-area artists will open their studios to the public.  The event is sponsored by Astoria Visual Arts and is Astoria’s first city-wide studio tour, designed to showcase the scope and variety of artwork that is produced here.  The event is entirely free to the public. Self-guided maps for the tour, which will include images and descriptions of the art at each location, will be available in mid-July at RiverSea Gallery, Old Town Framing, Dots ‘N Doodles, Lightbox Gallery, Cargo, Astoria Public Library, and KALA@HIPFiSHmonthly.

Studios are in 18 locations around Astoria, with one studio located in nearby Svensen.  Some studios are in private homes, some above storefronts downtown, and others in businesses located downtown, including Dots ‘N Doodles on Marine Drive. The artists will have their studios open both days of the tour from 10 am to 4 pm. Painting, ceramics, fiber art, sculpture, assemblage, wearable art – a wide range of items in various media will available for viewing and purchase

Artists participating in the studio tour include noted Astoria artists such as Darren Orange, Noel Thomas, and Sheila Brown, as well as artists new to Astoria, such as Charles Schweigert, Roxanne Turner, and Isabelle Johnston-Haist. Two well-known local artists, Greg Darms and Susan Darms, will open their popular studio in Svensen.

“Astoria Visual Arts has been actively promoting the arts in Astoria for over 20 years, but this is our first bicentennial!  As part of the year-long celebration of Astoria’s history and culture, 33 local artists invite you into their creative space. Please join us on July 30th and 31st for this very special art event.”

Participating artists include:  Sally Bailey, Vicki Baker, Susan Bish, Louise Birkenfeld, Sheila Brown, Chris Bryant , Shirley Dahlsten, Greg Darms, Susan Darms, Lori Durheim, Agnes Field, Judith Fredrikson, Mary Ann Gantenbein, Ireta Sitts Graube, Jane E. Herrold, Jeannean Hibbitts, K. A. Hughes, Debbie Janssen, Isabelle Johnston-Haist, Sally Lackaff, Gin Laughery, Linden, Joan Masat, Darren Orange, Jo Pomeroy-Crockett, Kimberly Reed, Jessica Schleif, Charles Schweigert, Cheryl Silverblatt, Margaret Thierry, Noel Thomas, Roxanne Turner, Ellen Zimet.


The Fabled Landscape – Marla Baggetta at RiverSea

Marla BaggettaIF YOU’VE EVER FOUND yourself gazing down a path, not knowing where it might lead, but choosing to follow anyway, the paintings and pastel landscapes of Marla Baggetta are sure to entrance. The renowned Oregon artist brings a new collection of works on paper as well as canvas to RiverSea Gallery in a series titled, The Fabled Landscape. The exhibition will open with a preview party and artist’s talk Friday, June 10th 6 –8 pm, followed by the Astoria Second Saturday Artwalk reception, June 11th 5 – 8 pm. Baggetta will be available at both events to discuss her artwork, techniques and the vision that binds it all together. The Fabled Landscape will remain on exhibit through June 28th.

In large format canvases and pastel works on paper, Baggetta invites the viewer to explore her conception of landscape. Known as a master of light and color, Baggetta carefully follows the rules of classic techniques in use of medium until she finds the perfect point of departure. Her work exhibits depth in training, an understanding of the importance of under painting and tonality; composition is never left to chance, nor is the balance of abstraction to reality.  These combined elements are what make Baggetta’s work move beyond traditional landscape painting…it’s her own blend of magic, based on intuition, freedom to explore, and supported by an assured knowledge of classical skills.

Baggetta is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of Oregon, and has won numerous awards for her highly sought-after works. She has been featured in Pastel Journal, the premiere magazine for pastel artists. She is also the author of Step by Step Pastel, published by Walter Foster Publishing, and teaches workshops throughout the northwest, including at Art Center College of Design, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Creative Arts Community-Menucha, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and for West Linn/Wilsonville Community Education.

RiverSea Gallery is open daily at 1160 Commercial Street, in the heart of historic downtown Astoria, Open: Mon through Thur, 11 to 5:30; Fri and Sat, 11 to 7pm; and 11 to 4 each Sunday. 503-325-1270, or visit the website at www.RiverSeaGallery.com.


Art Sea Street Fair in Lincoln City Focuses on Recycled Art

Bottle Cap Fish

John T. Unger's Bottle Cap Fish will be part of a community public art project at the Art Sea Street Fair.

A Recycled Fashion Show, Junk to Funk art, a Kids Recycled Castle project are all part Lincoln City’s bay front Art Sea Street Fair, on 51st Street, and city-wide, all-day Art Sea Festival in Lincoln City,  on Saturday June 11.

Art vendors and bands from across the Pacific NW will set up at the Cultural Center on HWY 101 from 9:00am-7:00pm. Plein Air artists are invited back to compete in our annual “Quick Draw” contest and live Paint Out along the Bay-Front. At sundown (around 8:45pm) help in the release of hundreds of sky lanterns benefiting the Children’s Cancer Association. Lanterns are available for a suggested donation and can be purchased during the Street Fair on SW 51st Street.

This year the festival brings noted Michigan-based recycle artist John T. Unger to Lincoln City to create a one day community public art project.  Unger is an artist filled with a passion for found materials. He creates from everyday objects often discarded as used up, void of life. “If my job as an artist is to fill the world with more things, I feel that I should also remove unused or unwanted things from the world in the process in order to make room for the new art,” states the artist. “This is one reason I like working with recycled materials.”

John will be helping members of the public scale back and find new life by creating a fish of used bottle caps. States Unger, “Bottle caps have long had a place in the folk art tradition as a decorative element. My own bottle cap mosaics were initially inspired by Haitian ritual flags, in which detailed images are realized entirely through the use of sequins. For the process each cap is sorted by brand or color, washed, dried, punched, partially crimped and finally nailed in overlapping scales to create a feeling of depth, light and shadow. Decorative nail heads emulate the texture of seed beads often used to reinforce the sequins.”

Sky LanternWhen speaking on the finished fish project John says,” The most amazing thing about these fish is the way they interact with light. When you look at one or two caps from any brand, they’re generally not all that impressive. But when you group hundreds of them together and let them catch the sunlight, they truly glow.”

Unger’s work, which includes magnificent ornate fire bowls hand-cut from 100% recycled steel  has been praised in print by Craft Magazine, VenusZine, Variety Magazine, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Sun Times, The Detroit News, and others.

Members of the public are invited to work with John and create a community art project from Noon 6:00PM on SW 51st Street in the Historic Taft District of Lincoln City. FMI Call 800.452.2151 or visit www.oregoncoast.org.


The Bay City Arts Center Artist of the Month

Bay City ArtsBAY CITY ARTS presents the work of sculptor and muralist Stephan Seable through the month of June, with a reception to meet the artist, Saturday June 5, 5-7pm.

Seable’s work ranges from playground sculptures for the Concord We Care Center and Ambrose School in Pittsburg, California, to mural painting at the Foreign Affairs College and the American Embassy in Beijiing, China in 2000, to mural painting in Buin, Chile in 2003-2005. Raised and educated in Portland, Seable earned his BS from Portland State University in Art/Biology/Humanities and his MA from Brigham Young University in Sculpture and Design.

Says the artist of his work, “I attempt to combine my appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the natural world and my love of color, form, line and texture.  Much of my sculpture is inspired by the human drama, and emotion of relationships, family, parent/child, and man to God.”

Visit and enjoy this exhibit at the Bay City Arts Center, 5680 A Street, in Bay City. For more events at the center go to baycityartcenter.org.