Calendar: Coasting through the slow season

It's quiet at the beach, but there's still plays to watch, photos to see, poetry to hear, and banners to bid on

It’s the slow season on the Oregon Coast, that time between summer crowds and holiday madness, but enough is happening to provide an excuse to get out of the house.

In Newport, it’s time for the Nye Beach Banner Auction. Many of the 43 artists involved in creating this year’s banners chose to honor Newport’s sister city, Mombetsu, Japan.

Rowan Lehrman, who contributed this banner to last year’s Nye Beach Banner Project, is one of 43 artists participating in this year’s auction.

“It is an honor to create a banner for your enjoyment,” writes Rhona Chase in her catalog statement. “This year’s Sister City theme inspired me to discover the similarities between Newport, Oregon, and Mombetsu, Japan — both port towns that pride themselves on a crab-based economy.”

For the first time, pre-auction bidding will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9 and 10. The auction, with musical entertainment, happens 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the Newport Visual Arts Center; bidding closes at 7 p.m.

The 11-year-old Nye Beach Banner Project celebrates local artists, beautifies the community, and raises money to support youth arts education and public art through the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.

“Walking around the narrow streets of Nye Beach in Newport, it’s hard not to notice the creativity of area residents — banners hang from light posts like beckoning sentries, inviting residents and tourists alike to watch for the next piece of original artwork at the next street corner,” Tom Webb, director of the Visual Arts Center, said in a press release. “We encourage the community to attend the banner auction and support their efforts.”

The auction is free and open to the public.

ALSO AT THE VISUAL ARTS CENTER, the  Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents Drawing in the Northern Light, an exhibition of photographs and poems by Joseph Ohmann-Krause, in the Upstairs Gallery through Dec. 28. An opening reception will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 7, with an artist talk at 3:30 p.m.

The traveling exhibition comes from The Little Gallery at Oregon State University. According to the exhibit catalog, the images and poems are inspired by Vilhelm Hammershøi  (1864-1916), a Danish Symbolist painter who painted in the northern light.

Joseph Ohmann-Krause's photographs and poetry, inspired by Danish Symbolist painter Vilhelm Hammershøi, are in the Upstairs Gallery of the Newport Visual Arts Center.
Joseph Ohmann-Krause’s photographs and poetry, inspired by Danish Symbolist painter Vilhelm Hammershøi, are in the Upstairs Gallery of the Newport Visual Arts Center.

Ohmann-Krause, professor of French at OSU, first came upon Hammershøi’s work in 2015 through a catalog of the artist’s paintings. “The term northern light is used here less in geographic or cartographic terms, and more as an aesthetic or visual compass needle,” writes Ohmann-Krause. “The north is less a reference to the polar star than it is to a protection against the direct sun, le plein sud in French, a warm attractive light much favored by Matisse or D.H. Lawrence, or several generations of painters and writers who, in the early 20th century, were drawn southward to the Mediterranean, to colonial Africa or to Mexico in search of more radiance. The northern mists of romantic nationalism had long hidden the industrial squalor that it contained.”

The exhibition includes 10 photographs, poems, and related text. Images capture Oregon landscapes in Newport, Pistol River, Brookings, Florence, the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, and South Corvallis, as well as Carmel, Calif.

RED OCTOPUS THEATRE COMPANY’S production of Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley and directed by Bonnie Ross, continues through Nov. 17 in the Newport Performing Arts Center. Shows are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, as well as 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. Tickets are $16 to $22.

Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, the play is set in 1964 and centers on beloved pastor Father Flynn, who is doing good works within his flock and his community. Press materials describe the plot: “When Sister Aloysius – the impervious and powerful principal of the local Catholic school – begins to suspect that Flynn has become just a bit too friendly with a troubled young student, she enlists the help of younger, naïve Sister James to report on his behavior.”

IN LINCOLN CITY, THEATRE WEST presents Deathtrap by Ira Levin, at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, through Nov. 17, in the Lincoln City Cultural Center. Directed by Jackie Tasker, the performance has table seating and beer and wine service. There will be one Sunday matinee, Nov. 17. Tickets are $13 to $15.

In this “roller coaster comic thriller,” Broadway playwright Sidney Bruhl is struggling to overcome a dry spell when he receives a script from a student — a thriller Sidney recognizes as a potential Broadway smash. His plan is to offer to collaborate with the  student for co-credit. Or is it?

According to the website, “Deathtrap provides twists and turns of devilish cleverness, and offers hilariously sudden shocks in such abundance that audiences will be spellbound until the very last moment.”

ON THE NORTH COAST, the Manzanita Writers’ Series welcomes back Floyd Skloot, who will read from his poetry collection Far West at 4 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Hoffman Center for the Arts. Admission is $7.

Floyd Skloot

According to the Hoffman Center website, in Far West, “Skloot explores how emotional experiences – memory and forgetting, love and loss, reverie and urgent attention – all come together in our search for coherence and authentic self-expression.”

Skloot’s work has won three Pushcart Prizes, a Pen USA Literary Award, two Pacific NW Book Awards, and two Oregon Book Awards. His work has appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, and Harper’s. His 19 books include memoirs, novels, and poetry collections.

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This story is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, investing in Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage, and the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition.

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