Coast calendar: Long-lost drawings and celebrating the nude

A fundraiser auctions a Rick Bartow sketch, the 14th annual "Au Naturel" show opens in Astoria, plus play and author readings, and cranky old men in Cannon Beach

Newport artist Rick Bartow died nearly four years ago, but his work is the gift that keeps giving, in some cases, surprisingly so. Last year, staff at the Olalla Center, a nonprofit in Toledo that provides mental health care for children, set out to do some spring cleaning. In the process, they discovered seven line drawings by Bartow stashed away and gathering dust.

They’ve set aside one of those drawings to be auctioned off at a Valentine’s Day fundraiser, Sea of Love, at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The framed drawing will be revealed the evening of the auction.

A Rick Bartow sketch similar to these, found in storage at the Olalla Center, will be auctioned during a Valentine’s Day fundraiser. Bartow created the drawings as part of an Earth Day exercise for children.

“We were literally clearing out a storage room of old games and toys and random items, sort of typical rummage sale items, and we found Rick’s pieces all at once,” said Diane Teem, executive director at the center. “We were so happy to find them. It was like a treasure. Our staff had changed since they were created, and we didn’t realize they existed. I don’t know how they came to be in storage, but we’re super happy we discovered them and can now honor Rick’s memory and contribution to the children of the Olalla Center. Rick was all about the children.”

The pieces, which Bartow called “eco art,” were created in 2010 as an Earth Day classroom exercise Bartow participated in. The drawing to be auctioned is 2.5 feet wide by 2 feet tall, framed in metal and signed. Teem is working to have the artwork appraised.

The other drawings have the children’s names on them, and on the back, a bio and picture of Bartow along with an Earth Day poem and the answers to a classroom assignment.

Bartow was a regular at the Olalla Center, Teem said. “Once we discovered them, we thought they needed to be out in the public,” she said. “Rick was very meaningful to our community, especially the Native community, and very meaningful to the children at the center. He was a big part of the Olalla Center.”

The Sea of Love benefit will include a silent auction, music, admission to aquarium exhibits, food, a no-host bar and childcare for up to 45 children. It takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14. Get your tickets — $50 until Jan. 31, after which the price goes up — here.

Astoria artist Robert Paulmenn’s painting, “Stigmata” (oil on linen, 60 by 32 inches), is among work in the “Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century” exhibit in the Royal Nebeker Art Gallery.

Elsewhere on the coast ….

AU NATUREL: THE NUDE IN THE 21st CENTURY opens Thursday in Clatsop Community College’s Royal Nebeker Art Gallery. The international juried competition, in its 14th year, focuses on the nude human figure, “an art form that continues to inspire and challenge many artists today as one of the most potentially rewarding subjects to explore,” according to press materials. Interpretations range from representational to abstract and include drawings, paintings, and prints by artists from around the world. The exhibit runs through March 12 with an opening reception at 6 p.m. Feb. 20.

AT THE NEWPORT PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, the second season of “One Night Delights” opens Jan. 29  with a reading of Eric Bogosian’s Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll — and a serving of pineapple upside down cake at intermission.

The one-man show, which includes 10 oddball characters, is described as “profane, raunchy, and smart.”

The “One Night Delights” series features live play readings – one night only – in which a script is paired with a “delight” – a delectable dessert or savory dish for the audience to enjoy.

Tickets are $18. All proceeds benefit the remodel of the David Ogden Stiers Theatre in the Newport Performing Arts Center, as part of the “Entertain the Future!” Capital Campaign launched by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.

AUTHOR KIM TAYLOR BLAKEMORE will read from her latest novel, The Companion, at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 as part of the Manzanita Writers’ Series in the Hoffman Center for the Arts. Admission is $7.

Author Kim Taylor Blakemore will read Feb. 15 in Manzanita.

The story takes place in New Hampshire in 1855 as Lucy Blunt is set to hang for a double murder. But is she a murderer or victim?  The story continues: “In the shadow of the gallows, Lucy reflects on the events that led to her bitter downfall — from the moment she arrived at the rambling Burton mansion looking for work and a better life to the grisly murders themselves.”

Blakemore writes about “dangerous women with tangled lies and hidden motives,” according to her website.

The Companion is her debut in adult historical mystery. Blakemore is also the author of YA historical novels Bowery Girl and the WILLA Literary Award winner Cissy Funk. She is the recipient of a Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award, WILLA Literary Award, and three Regional Arts and Culture Council grants. She also teaches novel intensives in Portland and will lead a workshop earlier in the day in Manzanita.

A BENCH IN THE SUN opens Jan. 31 at the Coaster Theatre Playhouse in Cannon Beach. Written by Ron Clark, the play centers around two residents of Valley View Gardens, longtime friends, “who spend their days on a bench in the garden bickering.  A once-famous actress has just moved in, giving them something new to argue over. When they learn that the home is about to be sold and they will have to find a new residence, the three join forces to prevent this upsetting development.”

The play, which Coaster advises is PG-rated, runs through Feb. 22. Ticket information and showtimes are here.

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