CMNW Council

Central Coast artists join forces to connect with fellow artists and art buyers 

The pandemic inspired five women to find a new way to "keep each other buoyed in the storm," both financially and spiritually.


Lincoln City artist Katia Kyte “prefers to keep her paintings suggestive rather than refining them to a polished state,” according to her website. “Saying less is more powerful.”

Artists looking for a place to create often look to the city – New York, L.A., Chicago — places where venues are plentiful and buyers frequent. But some artists opt for the small and quiet, despite the lack of the amenities a city offers. 

Here on the Oregon Coast, a handful of Lincoln County artists have figured out a way to bridge the gap. Finding it sometimes difficult to get their work to the people – the coast is, after all, a largely rural 365-ish miles long — they’re opting to draw the people to them. On Sunday, Nov. 20, two painters, an illustrator, a mosaic artist, and a sculptor will host a one-day sale of their work – much of it created specifically for the day — at the Lincoln City Cultural Center.  The sale will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“As we five women artists planned the sale, it struck me how much talent there was in our group, how fabulously supportive everyone has been of each other, and how the synergy that we have created by pooling our talents has helped each of us thrive more than if each of us were going alone,” said Sam Jacobson, sculptor. “I am in awe of what these women are doing.” 

Joanne Daschel, a mosaic artist whose work is featured in the new Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport and at the cultural center, and Nora Sherwood, wildlife science illustrator, hosted the first holiday arts sale in 2017 when the two shared studio space in the cultural center basement.   

“We had been studio roommates for a while and we are good friends,” Daschel said. “The artist’s path is always up and down. You come to different times of the year, and you say, OK, what is the opportunity? We just sort of very quickly put together a sale to hold in our studio space. It went very well. It was fun to interact with people.” 

The pandemic soon shut the sale down, but even that came with a bright note, inspiring struggling artists to find new ways to connect, Daschel said. “These small artists’ groups formed just to keep each other buoyed in the storm, both to keep each other financially afloat and to lift each other up spiritually.” 

The crisis past, the artists are again hosting the holiday gallery. Painter Emy Syrop is the newest addition to the group and fairly new to the coast.  When she and her partner decided to leave San Diego, they looked for someplace smaller, on the water, affordable and, topping the wish list, supportive of the arts.  


Cascadia Composers May the Fourth

They found that six years ago in the fishing community and burgeoning marine science center of Newport, which also offers a renowned setting for Syrop’s plein air work. Since moving here, Syrop, whose partner Jeff Syrop is director of the North Lincoln County Historical Museum, has been named the first artist–in-residence at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (a.k.a. Yaquina Head Lighthouse), headlined a show at the Newport Visual Arts Center and found a community of artists who have welcomed her. That community includes Russian immigrant Katia Kyte, who shares with Syrop a passion for plein air painting. 

“Last year was wonderful,” Kyte said. “It was great to connect with people. My friends came, local people, too. It was like having a little show get-together and spreading the word. It was really successful, and I loved spending time with my fellow artists.” 

This year, the artists are focusing on work that will make good gifts. Kyte is bringing framed and unframed works, many discounted from gallery rates. Syrop’s offerings include a unique memory game featuring miniatures of her original paintings, as well as originals, prints, greeting cards, and postcards. Sherwood will also sell originals and cards, along with mugs, calendars, and notebooks. Sculptor Jacobson’s mini gallery will include lots of teapots, she said, fish sculptures, bowls, and vases. And from Daschel, it’s “little tiny works of art you can wear or give to someone else,” made from a hardwood base with a tiny glass mosaic inside. 

“This is almost like a trunk show,” Daschel said. “We open the doors for one day, bring what we have and visit with our audience. This is the chance to buy something unique for yourself or as a gift before you go visit family for Thanksgiving.” 


While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by jdc Fine Art at the Salishan Marketplace in Gleneden Beach for the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology pop-up gallery and art sale featuring limited edition prints from the Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency Program. Through Dec. 18, framed and unframed prints are available from more than 30 artists, including Avantika Bawa, Clare Rojas, Katia Santibanez, Patti Warashina, Heather Watkins, Jenny Lind, Chris Antemann, Ellen George, Ryan Pierce, Samantha Wall, Marie Watt, and Brenda Mallory.  

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Photo Joe Cantrell

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 pup Gus.

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