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Coast calendar: Getting back in the swim

Oregon Coast Aquarium partially reopens this week and other news from the art and animal worlds.

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After five long, lonely months with no visitors allowed, the Oregon Coast Aquarium got the green light to open its doors to the public beginning this week.

You can visit the puffins again at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, as outdoor exhibits received the go-ahead to open to the public this week.
You can visit the puffins again at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, as outdoor exhibits received the go-ahead to open to the public this week.

“We are thrilled to welcome our guests back to the aquarium,” said Carrie Lewis, president and CEO of one of the biggest tourist draws on the coast. The experience will be different with only outside exhibits open, as well as reduced admission ($15, purchased online only), enhanced safety protocols, and no crowds.

The one-hour guided outdoor tour at the Newport aquarium includes five exhibits:

  • The Turkey Vulture Exhibit featuring siblings Olive and Ichabod, who were taken as hatchlings into a private home, then turned over to wildlife rehabilitation specialists. Acclimated to humans, they could not be released into the wild and found a home at the aquarium in 2009;
  • The Sea Otter Exhibit of northern sea otters, playful little critters known to come up to the window to engage with visitors;
  • The Seabird Aviary Exhibit, the largest in North America with two pools home to tufted puffins, horned puffins, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, and common murres;
  • The Rocky Habitat Exhibit featuring intertidal life normally found in the rocky shores exhibits, minus the touch pool;
  • The Seals and Sea Lion Exhibit with a recently expanded viewing area allowing visitors “to get up close and personal with the pinnipeds.”

KEEPING IN THE VEIN OF A LITTLE GOOD NEWS from the arts and animal worlds, The Secret Gallery in Astoria announced its virtual auctions have raised $1,625 for Clatsop Animal Assistance.

The Secret Gallery held six online auctions for custom pet portraits, from May 1 through July 31. Winners of each auction will receive a custom framed portrait of their pet.

“Clatsop Animal Assistance sends a huge thank you to The Secret Gallery, the participating artists and the bidders for this very creative virtual fundraiser,” Marcy Dunning, president of the group, said in a press release. “What a great way for our community to support Clatsop Animal Assistance AND local artists during the pandemic.”

Clatsop Animal Assistance, a nonprofit animal welfare organization, supports the Clatsop County Animal Shelter by paying for veterinary care and other necessities and by promoting the shelter’s adoption program.

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Cascadia Composers May the Fourth be with you Bold new music for winds and piano Lincoln Recital Hall PSU Portland Oregon

Artist Sam Jacobson writes of “Discombobulated II” (clay, 11.5 by 6 inches), her piece in the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts Online Art Show: “Sometimes things don’t quite come together the way they should (wink).” Jacobson will host an online tour of her Otis studio on Aug. 23 as one of the Oregon Coast Art Talks.
Artist Sam Jacobson writes of “Discombobulated II” (clay, 11.5 by 6 inches), included in the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts Online Art Show: “Sometimes things don’t quite come together the way they should (wink).” Jacobson will host a virtual tour of her Otis studio on Aug. 23 as one of the Oregon Coast Art Talks.

THE OREGON COAST COUNCIL for the Arts also has announced a new COVID-inspired series. Oregon Coast Art Talks is a 13-week online series of artist talks, panel discussions, and studio tours hosted by the Newport Visual Arts Center.

The series kicks off with an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, followed by online events airing at noon Sundays, from Aug. 23 through Nov. 15 (no event Labor Day weekend). Admission is free and donations welcome, with all proceeds benefiting participating artists and the arts association.

Oregon Coast Art Talks are being held in conjunction with the Oregon Coast Online Art Show, developed in response to pandemic-mandated shuttering of most galleries and art spaces. The exhibit includes the work of more than 160 artists, including paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and wearable art. The show remains open to all artists living on the Oregon Coast, artists who have shown their work at the Newport Visual Arts Center, and current members of the arts association.

Most events will be live-streamed via YouTube Live (Oregon Coast Council for the Arts), with panelists appearing via Zoom. Studio tours will be prerecorded. Audience members can ask questions via the chat function. All events will be archived for future viewing. The series will be discussed during the Aug. 15 opening.

THE WHITE BIRD GALLERY IN CANNON BEACH is hosting a new exhibit of oil paintings by Deborah DeWit titled The Choices We Make.

DeWit is a well-known artist based on the north Oregon Coast with a career spanning nearly four decades. Several books have been published on her work, highlighting her photography, writing, oil painting, and pastels.

Of her latest exhibit, DeWit said, “In this work I’ve explored a lot of territory that interests me — how the process of painting leads to ideas and how ideas lead to meaning. The subject matter has grown out of my personal perception of the world around me, which includes nature and the human mind and heart.”

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Deborah DeWit’s oil paintings, such as “Moth,” often feature cats. She has a new show at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach.
Deborah DeWit’s oil paintings, such as “Moth,” often feature cats. She has a new show at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach.

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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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