Monday, February 28, 2011

Coos Bay to Lincoln City, Oregon


Kerry (L) & Sandy Bonney (R) discussing
fish rubbings at the Signatures Gallery

"Albert Handell" pastel by
Sandy Bonney
In addition to the scenic drive along Oregon's coastline,  A. Paul & I have visited several art venues.  Crossing over from California, the first town along Oregon's coast  is Brookings-Harbor. It is in Brookings that we met artist & gallery co-owner Sandy Bonney at the Signatures Gallery. The gallery features a number of artists, some with well recognized and or acclaimed names in pastel work and production work.  Sandy's own  pastel work, "Albert Handell", a tribute to the acclaimed pastel master, was recently featured in the Artist Magazine , earned recognition in the Pastel Journal Magazine's juried competition, and will be featured in its April 2011 issue. Alongside Sandy's work, there were a number of limited prints of  Drew Struzan's personal work.  Struzan is most known for his poster creations of Indiana Jones & Star Wars  but his private work is a distinct genre of great appeal.  

The town of Brookings also offers an artwalk every Saturday and has an active art center, the Manley Art Center & Gallery, which offers accredited workshops in various mediums. 

Along the way to Coos Bay, we noticed several local artist studios and galleries that were closed at this time of the year. Most of the venues appeared to represent ceramics and wood scultpures interspersed with glass studios.


Before leaving Coos Bay this morning, we attempted to visit the Coos Art Museum, Oregon's third oldest museum,  but found it closed so we continued our journey along the scenic coastline, taking in the subdued views of the rainy day.  On this portion of the coastline, there were numerous expansion bridges crossing over pastel hued landscapes.  Around each bend were clusters of rain drenched birch, cypress, and pines that gave way to crashing waves over rock formations. In short, the drive was stunning and awe inspiring.
As we approached Gardiner, Oregon, we were enticed by the bronze sculptures outside the Tsunami Gallery.  We simply could not resist stopping to find out about the work and name.   Gallery owner and bronze sculptor Mack Holman stated that the name Tsunami Gallery was derived not by a castastrophic natural event (last one hitting that area was in the 1700s) but rather by the process of which he acquired and restored a 100 year old crumbling building. 

bronze by Mack Hokman
The exhibit space of the gallery was filled with mostly local artwork along with Mack's bronze works.  Interestingly, Mack confirmed a story that was also related to us by Sandy Bonney in Brookings about the showing of figurative works.  Both artists/gallery owners stated that figurative works have only recently begun to be accepted for public viewings.  That the showing of figure work, in the past,  would often be accompanied by protestors.  Over time, however,there has been greater public acceptance of the showing figurative work. 

Though there was not a website for the Tsunami Gallery, one can reach Mack at for information about his bronzework and foundry.

Kerry (L) with Ken Hartwell (R)
President of the Yaquina Art Association
A. Paul (L) with Solveig Leslie (R)
at Yaquina Art Center
The afternoon was coming to a close but we made one more stop before buckling down in Lincoln City.  In the historic downtown section of Nye Beach at Newport, A. Paul & I discovered a little treasure trove of artists and their works at the Yaquina Art Center & Gallery.  We were fortunate to meet up with Ken Tarwell, President of the Yaquina Art Association, who provided us the background of the Association and introduced us to several of the artists who were working  upstairs.  The Association is a non for profit organization who through fundraising events, such as the sale of artworks by its member artists, offer classes and workshops to the community.  Ken is very active in teaching children the arts through various mediums in addition to creating his own watercolor artwork.   Upstairs, artists were actively busy creating textile works and several were working with a process loosely based on encaustic principles whereby the artist uses crayons on special paper placed on a warming table.  One of the artists, Lila Passarelli, introduced the techinique at the Association and Ken has incorporated its use in his work with kids attending the association workshops.  With little encouragement, A. Paul sat with artist Solveig Leslie and created a small painting which he left to her. 

A. Paul with Solveig Leslie
The energy of the group was so positive that we simply could not leave without first taking an image of the entire group of artists. Lto R:  front row  Charter member Jeannie Cloe, Charlotte Carter, Elinor de Sosa, Lila Passarelle, Solveig Leslie, and Alma Leon.  Back row R-L: Jill Keck, President Ken Hartwell, Mary Young, Shirley Steinhauer, & Ann Nicholson.  Thanks everyone for your hospitalility and great energy. Keep on being creative.  

We popped in to to see the Association's gallery neighboring the art center before heading off to Lincoln City, our final destination of the day.  Tomorrow, we continue our drive along the coast diverting to Portland for a day or two then back out to the coast.  I leave you with images of the soft hues of this beautiful gray rainy day.

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