Cascadia Composers A Ligeti Odyssey The Old Madeleine Church Portland Oregon

Artists talking to artists

The inaugural Clatsop County Arts Summit will cover everything from lease-to-own art to copyright law.


We bought our first “major” piece of art from a little gallery in Belize. It was an oil of a favorite stretch of beach where the hubs and I had taken to spending a few weeks every winter. It was a large painting, and we decided it would go over our bed in place of a headboard. Carefully, carefully, we packed the canvas home, then dropped it at the local frame shop to be mounted. Home, we headed to the bedroom to hang the piece, eager for this finishing touch that would complete our master bedroom.

“It’s too big,” my husband announced.

I looked on from the foot of the bed, nodding grimly. What the hell had we been thinking?

Fortunately, there were a few other spaces it would fit, and the painting found a home on our living room wall. But the lesson hasn’t left me, and now as I ponder a piece that we recently fell for, I can’t escape the doubts. What if?

Astoria artist Dave Ambrose will talk about how artists can use a lease-to-own program to get art into the hand of would-be customers during the Clatsop County Arts Summit next month. Photo courtesy: Dave Ambrose
During the Clatsop County Arts Summit next month, Astoria artist Dave Ambrose will talk about how artists can use a lease-to-own program to get art into the hands of would-be customers. Photo courtesy: Dave Ambrose

It’s a vibe Astoria artist Dave Ambrose picks up on all the time as would-be buyers peruse his work, wondering, will it or won’t work in my house? So Ambrose created his own lease-to-own program. He’ll share his tips on making that work next month at The Business of Art: Artists Teaching Artists, the inaugural Arts Summit hosted by the Arts Council of Clatsop County. The summit is designed both to promote arts in the county and to provide workshops and discussions to “educate, empower, and inspire professional artists.” It will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. Admission is free.

“Art is so subjective,” Ambrose said. “When people come to visit on our studio tour, I can watch them walk around the house and then they stop and look at a painting and they look at it and look at it, and I know they’ve connected. I say, you know you can take it home for $10 a month and see how it looks. I don’t have white walls, and background colors make art look completely different. You have to get it home and look at it. About 50 percent of the time they take it home, come back, and pay me in full.”

“Fiddle” is a self-portrait by Dave Ambrose based on a photo (acrylic, 20 by 30 inches). Photo courtesy: Dave Ambrose
“Fiddle” is a self-portrait by Dave Ambrose based on a photo (acrylic, 20 by 30 inches). Photo courtesy: Dave Ambrose

Ambrose wants to help other artists sell their work, but he also has a personal motive — he’d like to own work from local artists, but often as not he can’t afford to buy it outright.

Seems it could be a win-win for everyone, which is what this first Art Summit is about. There are a lot of creative people on the North Coast, but not a particularly large customer base, especially in the winter months. So about nine months ago, the council began considering how it might help.

“It’s a problem for people who want to be creative and make it worth their while to put a lot of effort into it,” Ambrose said. “We figured out that the skills needed are in the business end.”

One workshop is aimed at teaching artists how to present their work to gallery owners; another on marketing or “business outside of the box.” There will be a talk on copyright laws, and one musician will share her success at giving house concerts.

“It’s artists talking to artists,” Ambrose said. “Hopefully, people will interact with each other. It’s our first effort, so it’s kind of a stab in the dark. Our county has three main areas: Astoria, Seaside, and Cannon Beach. They all have arts communities, but don’t really connect a lot. We’re trying to interconnect people.”

Lori Tobias is a journalist of many years, and was a staff writer for The Oregonian for more than a decade, and a columnist and features writer for the Rocky Mountain News. Her memoir “Storm Beat – A Journalist Reports from the Oregon Coast” was published in 2020 by Oregon State University press. She is also the author of the novel Wander, winner of the 2017 Nancy Pearl Book Award for literary fiction and a finalist for the 2017 International Book Awards for new fiction. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband Chan and rescue pups Luna and Monkey.

Blueprint Choirs Gala and Grand Concert Lloyd Center Portland Oregon
Hallie Ford Museum of Art Willamette University Tom Prochaska Music for Ghosts Salem Oregon
Portland State University College of the Arts
Cascadia Composers A Ligeti Odyssey The Old Madeleine Church Portland Oregon
Lincoln County Historical Society Pacific Maritime Heritage Center The Curious World of Seaweed Newport Oregon
Portland Playhouse The sounds of Afrolitical Movement Portland Oregon
Oregon Bach Festival Musical Wanderlust Eugene Oregon
High Desert Museum Creations of Spirit Bend Oregon
Triangle Productions The Inheritance Part 2 Portland Oregon
Profile Theatre How To Make An American Son Imago Theatre Portland Oregon
Portland Piano International Alexander Korsantia Portland Oregon
Portland Revels Rancho Trinidad Portland Oregon
Artists Repertory Theatre EM Lewis True Story The Armory Portland Oregon
Maryhill Museum of Art Columbia Gorge Washington
Oregon Bach Festival Musical Wanderlust Eugene Oregon
Northwest Dance Project Stravinsky Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
Oregon Cultural Trust tax credit donate
We do this work for you.

Give to our GROW FUND.