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Among classes at Sitka Center for the Arts is an August workshop on the “Art of the Letter. " Besides creating illustrated envelopes, the class will explore how letter-writing can survive in the digital age.

School’s out, but art classes are in on the Coast

School’s out, but here on the Coast, classes are just beginning, and they’re not just for kids. The Cannon Beach Arts Association has opened registration for its 17th Annual Art Camp, July 8-12. Five-day classes for the younger set include yoga (ages

Fermentation Fest in Sauk Country, Wis., bills itself as a “celebration of live culture in all its forms, from dance to yogurt, poetry to sauerkraut,” as well as home-grown sausage. The October event is the inspiration for “Live Culture Coast” to be held along 135 miles of the South Oregon Coast this fall. Photo by: Amber Peoples

Fermenting on South Coast: Live Culture

A press release recently landed on my desk seeking proposals to build a “Culture Stand” for the upcoming “Live Culture Coast” to be held on the southern Oregon coast in October. I confess I was duly – and dually – baffled. A

A moray eel makes itself comfortable in the “Helmet Memorial” in the “Seapunk” exhibit.

Aquarium creates a fishy fantasy with “Seapunk”

If there was any doubt the new exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium was a success, one only had to listen last weekend as visitors discovered Seapunk: Powered by Imagination. “This is awesome,” said one. “This is so cool,” said another.  And

McMinnville gets its weird on Thursday through Saturday for UFO Festival 2019, sponsored by McMenamins Hotel Oregon. Photo by: Kathleen Nyberg, courtesy McMenamins Hotel Oregon

UFO Festival: Keeping McMinnville weird for 20 years

Portland prides itself on keeping weird, but this weekend, McMinnville owns bragging rights for Oregon Weird. Saturday afternoon on Third Street, the restaurant-and-tasting-room-thick thoroughfare downtown, the weird will be out in force during a parade celebrating the city’s annual UFO Festival. Every

Art on the Edge studio tour

Studio tour spotlights creatives along the coast

Lovers of local art and the Oregon Coast can combine their passions May 17-19 during the Art on the Edge Studio Tour along the Central Coast. More than two dozen artists will open their studios to visitors. The Lincoln City Cultural Center

linden eller

Remembering what is lost, kept, altered, and shared

The artist’s statement that accompanies Linden Eller’s Little Small exhibit, on display through June 1 in Newberg’s Chehalem Cultural Center, makes a fascinating point about the nature of individual memory, which is integral to the images she’s given us. Amnesia is popularly

Students from six Oregon high school orchestras will participate in the third annual Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival, April 25-28 in Newport.

An ocean of musical opportunities

More than 100 students and their teachers will arrive in Newport next week for four days of workshops and performances, a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium – and of course, ample time on the beach. They’ll stay in oceanfront hotels and

E.B. White found subject matter for his essays in the recalcitrant dachshunds he owned. “I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club,” he wrote, “than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command.”

Children, meet Charlotte’s dad

Barbara Herkert’s story is the classic tale of the would-be artist who shelves her dreams to pursue a more practical path. Starting out as an art major in the 1970s, Herkert switched to nursing at her parent’s urging. Ten years later, she

Margo Klass’ “Ursa Major: The Great Bear in the Sky” is a mixed media piece including a tacket-bound (exposed binding) book in box casement with sliding door and base.

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover

When Margo Klass boards the plane in Fairbanks bound for Oregon, she’ll be carrying a most unusual book. Open, it stretches 6 feet. It’s a work of art, a memoir in abstract, the story of nine days Klass spent with her writer

Dancers Maggie Rupp and Peter Deffebach perform a pas de deux from “Swan Lake,” one of several pieces that Portland Ballet dancers will perform Friday in the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg. Photo by: Blaine Truitt Covert

Doing the dance — in 3D design and in ballet

When I’m paying attention, I occasionally catch word about a Yamhill County artist showing his or her stuff at the Bush Barn Art Center in Salem. So let’s kick off this week’s round-up of what’s going on arts-wise with Totem Shriver. Shriver

Mark Murphey (holding book) plays William Joad, who meets unexpected relative Martin Jodes, played by Tony Sancho (on ground), in Octavio Solis’ “Mother Road” at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Photo by: Jenny Graham/Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Spotlight: Spring breaks from Shakespeare to Caravaggio

We’ve set the clocks ahead, spring is coming, and that means Oregonians are tentatively emerging from their abodes with a mind to hit the road for day and weekend trips. What’s on the state’s cultural menu? For starters, it’s showtime at the

Detail from “The Irish Piper” by William Oliver Williams, 1874, oil on canvas, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University, Connecticut

Celebrate St. Pat’s with music, poetry, or love gone astray

You don’t need to go to the local pub to get your green on this St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, you can drop in at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, where Pipedance presents St. Patrick’s Day Unplugged, a multi-cultural celebration. Nora Sherwood and

Shanu, youngest of the Gaden Shartse Tibetan monks on the tour, works on a Manjushri Sand Mandala. The thin funnel in his hand is called a "chakpur" and is especially made for this task. A thin metal stick is used to "ratchet" or vibrate the funnel so it sends a controlled, thin stream of sand in fine lines to make the details and background colors. Rather than being laid "flat," the sand is fact mounded into ridges and troughs, creating a brocade-like effect. Photo by: Tripp Mikich

Empowerment and impermanence: making a mandala in Newport

As a photographer and communications consultant for nonprofits, Tripp Mikich worked for more than a decade with Tibetan monks touring the United States. He assumed that work was finished when he moved recently to Lincoln City. But while he was visiting his

Cannon Beach classes turn litter into learning

Few things ruin a walk on the beach like seeing it littered with trash. I’ve picked up kite packaging, water jugs, firework debris, shoes, lighters — just about everything but cash. I once came upon an entire fleet of children’s plastic trucks

The start of an art-full year in Yamhill County

Looking ahead at what 2019 holds for Yamhill County’s art scene, nothing has astonished me quite like the calendar for the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg. A dozen exhibitions are booked and the year is virtually full, although one can be reasonably

Recognizing the artist’s journey

As the curtain opens on 2019, I’m reflecting on an unexpected awakening of sorts that has played out several times now in my encounters with visual and sculptural art around Yamhill County. Let me explain. When Oregon ArtsWatch brought me aboard last

End of the trail

It’s sure to be a bittersweet night at the Coaster Theatre Playhouse in Cannon Beach when The Trail Band takes the stage Dec. 26. It’s the last performance of the eight-piece ensemble, which has been together since 1991, when it formed at

Ballet dreams: stage for students

This is the season of visions and dreams and hope, whether symbolized by Hanukkah candles, Kwanzaa feasts, Christmas trees, fairies in snowy or summery forests, or budding dancers who stand at the barre in their various schools, doing their pliés and tendus

Craft or art? Who cares? HEATWAVE fiber art is amazing

I have an embarrassing confession, but that’s actually a good thing, because it goes straight to the heart of an important artistic question that is raised — or perhaps I should say, is powerfully answered — by an exhibition at the Chehalem

‘Miss Julie’ still challenges the chains of convention

The Verona Studio in Salem will do some heavy lifting in the Willamette Valley’s theater scene this month. The company, based in the Reed Opera House Mall, is mounting a production of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie, where the Darwinian theory of “survival

Having it all: Seven days of art in six Wine Country cities

I’ve looked at the calendar, done the math, calculated driving distances, and something hit me: Over the next week in six cities sprawled across three counties in Oregon wine country, there’s enough going on in the arts scene — live theater, exhibitions,

Forecast: Rain likely with a strong chance of fine art

I first attended the Stormy Weather Arts Festival in 2002, and from the start, the name amused me. Stormy Weather. Who called attention to the one variable that might well keep people away? As a travel writer, I was more accustomed to

Have an old-fashioned Dia de Muertos — with Aztec dancing

When Jose Carlos came to Oregon in the mid-1990s, he didn’t see much of his own Mexican culture in the community. Other Latinos attended his Woodburn high school, but public displays of culture from south of the border? No. “I didn’t see

Hispanic Heritage Month, Russian theater and music, and more

Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, is designated as a time to celebrate the contributions — not just in arts and culture, but in all human endeavors — of Hispanic and Latino Americans. It started as Hispanic Heritage Week in

Astoria show features trash-talking artists

On Saturday, when artists Cara Mico, Stephen Shumaker and Wenda Vorce welcome guests to their art gallery opening, they’ll be sharing their interpretations of what it means to truly turn one man’s trash into another’s treasure. The three are this year’s winners

Art Harvest Studio Tour of Yamhill County reaps as it sows

Given the confluence of autumn colors and great art, it’s tempting to employ hyperbole when talking about Yamhill County’s Art Harvest Studio Tour, but I’ll spare you a Thesaurus Drop and just lay out the facts. The 26th annual event includes 40

Shoring up Toledo’s Centennial Celebration Mural

This seems to be the season for kids and art — a topic that naturally came up earlier this month when the Newport Performing Arts Center celebrated its 30th anniversary. Talk of old times (and new) called to mind for many all

Connecting art to activism

Something about autumn makes the arts seem an integral part of the season. I’m not sure how or why that happened, but I do know my calendar through November is packed with opportunities — theater, concerts, readings, shows, films. In coming weeks,

Walnut City Music Festival closes out summer on a high note

It’s probably not accurate to say that Yamhill County is in the midst of a “renaissance” of live entertainment, because definitions of the word (beyond the obvious historical reference to Europe in the 1300-1600s) typically rely on synonyms like “renewal,” “rebirth,” “revival”

Gallery Theater: 50 years, 340 plays, thousands of stories

Gallery Players of Oregon has been cranking out plays in downtown McMinnville since 1968, which means we’ve arrived at the 50th anniversary. That kind of endurance for any artistic project is worth celebrating. I cannot hide my enthusiasm about it, and you

Tomorrow, tomorrow: We love ya

“Never work with animals or children” was the sage actorly advice from legendary actor and comedian W.C. Fields. Luckily for us, Clackamas Repertory Theatre steered far from this piece of advice with its production of Annie at Clackamas Community College’s Osterman Theatre

Violin virtuoso Charles Castleman pays Linfield a kingly visit

If you haven’t heard of the Castleman Quartet, don’t feel bad. This summer violin-development program has been going nearly half a century, but until recently, it was confined to the East Coast, where violinist Charles Castleman first presided over it as a

Newport honors favorite sons David Ogden Stiers, Ernest Bloch

The central Coast pays homage to two of its famous former citizens this month. As part of the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts’ capital campaign program, plans are under way to change the name of the Performing Arts Center’s Black Box

Newberg professional theater goes beyond “The Hamlet Show”

There are surely stretches over the year when not much is going on in Yamhill County, artistically speaking. Those lazy weeks will afford opportunities for deep dives into our scene, with in-depth interviews and profiles of individual artists. But July is not

Summer concerts: from opera to outlaw country

Now that the sound and fury of the Fourth of July is behind us, let’s talk live music. There’s an abundance of it in Yamhill County this summer, literally anything you yearn for: pop, blues, 70s dance rock, Latin jazz, gypsy jazz,

DanceWatch Weekly: Easy breezy

It’s a feel-good, easy breezy weekend of dance here in Portland. The air is sweet, the sun is out, and the roses are in bloom. A welcome respite considering… everything. This weekend I give you permission to step away from your electronic

Frog & Toad, together again

Oregon Children’s Theatre knows something about what it takes to put on a hit show: the company has been creating magical theater experiences for kids for 30 years. So, no wonder OCT decided to revive its 2013 hit musical A Year with

Going with the flow

You know an actor means business when he refers to the 2014 movie Whiplash (about a face-slapping, chair-throwing jazz conductor) as a model of a tough but successful learning experience. That’s what Hank Sanders, 17-year-old member of Oregon Children’s Theatre‘s improv team

Growing up, up, and away

This is probably not the first time you have heard of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up. It might not be the first time you will see his tale on stage. In fact, it might not be the first

‘Caterpillar’: No play, lots of play

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show at Oregon Children’s Theatre is tough for an adult to review fairly. It’s for the very youngest OCT audiences, after all, and it can be difficult for a lifelong theatergoer to look at a show through that

‘La Belle’ steams back

It’s a Monday afternoon in early spring, and the road warriors are back in town. “I don’t know,” Jerry Mouawad says, just a trifle wearily. “We’ve probably played a thousand venues across the country.” That covers a few decades and a few

Stars rising: Clay and Ellis

It’s pretty incredible to witness a star in the making – and that’s exactly what you’ll see at Oregon Children’s Theatre’s latest, And in this Corner: Cassius Clay – The Making of Muhammad Ali. You wouldn’t be foolish to assume I am

And In This Corner … La’Tevin Alexander Ellis

The day I met with La’Tevin Alexander Ellis, the star of Idris Goodwin’s And In This Corner: Cassius Clay — The Making of Muhammad Ali, opening Saturday at Oregon Children’s Theatre, he had just come from teaching middle schoolers about the eponymous character of

‘Chitra’: tale as old as time

You may not have heard of Northwest Children’s Theater’s latest, Chitra: The Girl Prince, but the tale has been around a long time – as the narrators, the gods Madan (Heath Hyun Houghton) and Vasant (Sudipta Majumdar), explain during the setup. “This

Crazy fun with Pete the Cat

“That was kind of crazy. Also kind of funny, right?” – Pete the Cat (Dave Cole), Pete the Cat: The Musical Pete himself might as well have been reviewing this lively, fun, infectious musical, the latest from the ambitious Oregon Children’s Theatre,

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