Cannon Beach Library

No news like good news

ArtsWatch Weekly: I Am MORE, Broadway Rose's 'Story of My Life,' PDX Jazz Fest, art around Oregon.

A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO MY FRIEND (AND OCCASIONAL ARTSWATCH CONTRIBUTOR) STEPHEN RUTLEDGE, who writes the Born This Day column and other stories for The WOW Report, sent along a YouTube link to an old clip of Sam Cooke singing Good News on American Bandstand. Along with the link he sent high praise for the recent movie One Night in Miami, a fictional imagining of an actual meeting in a Miami hotel in 1964 of Cooke, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and football star Jim Brown to celebrate Ali’s heavyweight-championship victory over Sonny Liston. Rutledge’s note reminded me that, yes, even in traumatic times there is good news, it’s worth singing about, and its triumphs so often are the result of hard creative work and leaps of the imagination.

S. Renee Mitchell (left) and, from left, Jeanette Mmunga, Justice English and Johana Amani of I Am MORE.

In Building Resiliency with the Arts, the latest chapter in our occasional series The Art of Learning, Brett Campbell relates another story of Good News, one with deep Portland roots. The poet, activist, and former Oregonian newspaper columnist S. Renee Mitchell, he writes, “had been recruited to Roosevelt High School to teach journalism. But she also helped mentor students with their personal issues; brought in fruit, day-old bagels and cream cheese; revived the Black Student Union; created a Black Girl Magic Club, and invited in community members to perform, speak, encourage and share their wisdom with the school’s low-income students.”


Pandemic prose and poetry

The Cannon Beach Library hosts a virtual reading Saturday of pieces inspired by life during COVID

Lisa Mayfield’s relationship with her partner was not an easy one. He was a Vietnam vet, a hoarder, an artist. And she loved him. She was reminded of that six months after his death, as the world was adapting to the new normal dictated by COVID-19.

Mayfield is one of 37 writers who responded to a call from the Cannon Beach Library to write about what the pandemic means to them.

Among the things Lisa Mayfield’s boyfriend left her after his death were masks he carved from stone. The story she will read in the Cannon Beach Library’s Writers Read Celebration explores the gifts she gained from that difficult relationship. Photo Courtesy: Lisa Mayfield
Among the things Lisa Mayfield’s boyfriend left her after his death were masks he carved from stone. The story she will read in the Cannon Beach Library’s Writers Read Celebration explores the gifts she gained from that difficult relationship. Photo Courtesy: Lisa Mayfield

She called her submission to the Writers Read Celebration On Toilet Paper.

“It actually has to do with toilet paper, but it’s not really on toilet paper,” said Mayfield, talking by phone in the midst of an ice- and snowstorm as trees crashed around her Salem home.

“I gave it that title because when the pandemic came and people were hoarding toilet paper, I had found myself with a 48-roll package of toilet paper … because my boyfriend hoarded things.”  The piece, she said, “is really about him and about some of the gifts of that very difficult relationship.”

This is the third year the library’s NW Authors Series committee has put out a call for manuscripts for the contest. The goal, said Nancy McCarthy, library volunteer, is to reach out to the community and “let people know, yes, libraries do exist and we really want to be part of the community.”  Ten writers will participate in the virtual reading at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20. For information on how to access the reading, go to the library website and click the banner at the top of the page, or check out the library’s Facebook page.

Five judges — four library volunteers and a staffer for the Cannon Beach Book Company — selected the 13 submissions to be read; three authors each had two pieces chosen. Judges picked from the 51 submissions, which included stories, essays, and poetry, based on language, interest, theme, and emotions the piece evoked.

The library received more submissions this year, McCarthy said, “probably because people had more time to write, also because of that universal theme. Everyone is going through it. I was interested to see people’s different perspectives how they are handling that. One person wrote a poem, and you realized it wasn’t about this pandemic, but the polio pandemic in the early ‘50s. It was very interesting how she wove it.”

Several of the selected submissions address mourning, though who, what, how, and why are vastly different.


Coast calendar: Cultural Festival, mosaic art, writing contest

The Olalla Center's event and a Chessman gallery tour are virtual, but Siletz Bay Music Festival is hoping to welcome live audiences next summer

Despite surging COVID numbers in some coastal communities — Lincoln County could be moving into the extreme-risk category — people continue to find ways to keep the arts alive.

The Olalla Center is hoping to spread some cheer with a virtual Cultural Festival to be aired 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.

“We want to highlight some of the local artists, but also it is about going into the community to have a break from all that is going on, give them a little entertainment to enjoy for a little while,” said Alex LLumiquinga, outreach program coordinator for the center.

Huehca Omeyocan is among the groups that will participate in the Olalla Center's Cultural Festival.
Huehca Omeyocan is among performers scheduled for the Olalla Center’s Cultural Festival.

The lineup includes music, dance, food, history, and art from El Salvador, Guatemala, Ireland, Mexico, Ecuador, and Oregon. The OSU Extension Service will make a presentation before the fiesta at 5:30 p.m.

The fest will be prerecorded and broadcast through the Lincoln City Cultural Center Facebook and YouTube channels.

“Our lives have changed so much in the past few months, we miss the ones that have left us, we remember them, we think about them, and we want to dedicate this event to them because they are still here in our hearts,” said LLumiquinga.

There is no charge for the event, but donations are welcome and will be shared between the Lincoln County Cultural Center and Olalla Center. The Toledo-based nonprofit provides mental health treatment and services for children and their families in Lincoln County.

“Activate the Midline” by Lynn Adamo is among mosaic work featured in a show in the Lincoln City Cultural Center. Adamo will walk viewers through a virtual tour of the exhibit.
Mosaic work including “Activate the Midline” by Lynn Adamo is featured in a show in the Lincoln City Cultural Center. Adamo will walk viewers through a virtual tour of the exhibit.

THE PJ CHESSMAN GALLERY in the Lincoln City Cultural Center is hosting a live virtual gallery tour of the latest exhibit, Tradition, Transgression, Transformation. The exhibit showcases mosaic artists from Oregon and Washington “who seek new paths to meaning as they absorb, reinterpret, and reinvent the mosaic tradition.” The virtual galley tour will be posted at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, on the center’s Facebook page and will be available for viewing any time after. Gallery Director Krista Eddy and mosaic artists Joanne Daschel and Lynn Adamo will walk visitors through the exhibit.

The exhibit will be on display Thursdays through Sundays through Jan. 3 and by appointment. Masks and social distancing are required in the building.

SILETZ BAY MUSIC FESTIVAL is moving forward for 2021, with plans for nine events from June 26 through July 4, including appearances by Ken Peplowski, award-winning jazz clarinetist and tenor saxophonist. But the festival needs to raise money.


Art gallery reopens at Salishan Resort

The gallery director says she hopes to oversee restoration of John and Betty Gray's art collection to the coastal landmark, as well as support new artists

After decades of decline, the Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach may be looking at a brighter future. New owners, Alpha Wave Investors, took over the property a little more than a year ago and are promising to restore the resort to its glory days. That includes a commitment to showcasing Oregon artists, which has already seen the Gallery at Salishan reopened, once again under the direction of Patricia Williams, a close friend of the original developers.

Gallery at Salishan’s current show includes paintings by Allen Cox, including “Materia Medica,” 48” x 36”, oil and wax on linen (2016).

The resort was built by John Gray of Portland, whose other landmark Northwest projects include Sunriver and Skamania Lodge. “When John and Betty Gray opened the Salishan Lodge in 1965,” Williams said, “their mutual love of art became an important component of the lodge’s aesthetic. They had already started an impressive collection of Northwest art, and worked closely with well-known art professors from Oregon State University.”

When the Marketplace at Salishan shopping area opened in the mid-1970s, Gary Lawrence opened a gallery, partnering with art collectors Patrick and Darle Maveety. Patrick Maveety was director and curator of Asian art at Stanford University.

New owners took over Salishan in 1996 with an eye toward turning it into a corporate retreat. Valued art was lost, rumored to have been given away, stolen, and even found in dumpsters, and the gallery closed.