There’s a new cultural phenomenon in town – Paint Night. Gather with your friends for an evening of creating a work of art. Teachers supply you with a canvas, paint, brushes, and instruction on how to create your own painting.
All you provide is an evening of your time, curiosity about your own creative juices, and a group of friends to share the evening. While you sip your favorite beverage and enjoy some snacks, you pick up your brush and find your creative muse.
Working from a painting of a famous artist, you experiment with design, composition, color and techniques with your brushes, and are able to take home your very own creation. Everyone else in the room is also at work, and enjoying their own creativity.
Art Accelerated has sponsored several paint nights in Tillamook, partnering with the Pelican Pub, with the proceeds supporting Art Accelerated’s youth art classes, as well as raising money for the Oregon Food Bank. We have more paint nights in the works, including a benefit for the local Serenity Club.
Other paint nights are popping up around town, as well, including the Tillamook High School charity drive’s annual paint night and Blue Heron’s Vine Gogh series.
Check out our website and our Facebook page for coming Paint Nights. Register early, as they sell out!
By Neal Lemery
It has been an amazing year for Art Accelerated. A year ago, we were celebrating a successful year of several pop up shows, and several open mics downtown. There was no permanent home and the Gallery was only an idea, a dream.
During the holidays, we held a successful evening open mic at Phoenix Rising, our first true cooperative effort with a local business. Despite awful weather, the place was packed and both readers and the audience had a splendid time celebrating local creativity. We all realized we wanted more opportunities for local artists and to build our creative community downtown.
Our next pop up show was during the Presidents’ Day weekend in February. We put up a show on the corner of Third and Main, in a deserted storefront. Despite poor weather, we had a very successful sale, noteworthy in that most of our sales were to local residents.
In the last several years, one of the dreams of the board of directors was to open an art gallery in downtown Tillamook, on a permanent basis. We could have a consistent presence downtown, showcasing local artists, have revolving shows and offer classes and workshops. A regular, established location would drive sales and give both local residents and tourists an art experience downtown.
Our open mics at YoTime Frozen Yogurt became a monthly event, drawing larger audiences and a wide range of poets, musicians, and other local talent. Our partnership with YoTime and the support of the community now has firmly established our regular monthly open mic on the third Saturday night of the month. Wow, a nice family oriented artistic event on Saturday night downtown! A cultural shift! People want artistic experiences!
Our dream of a permanent, “brick and mortar” gallery came into reality when we moved our “pop up” gallery to our new home at 1906 Third Street in June. We quickly put up our first show there, and have enjoyed a new show every month ever since.
Thanks to your support and creative endeavors, we offer fresh and exciting art work every month to the public. We have had a steady stream of visitors and, even more exciting, sales of local art work. Visitors from all over the world have wandered around, exclaiming about our talented artists, and, taking some of the work home!
Our January show, “Pamper Yourself”, opens next week, and in February, we are focusing on valentines and presidents. I’m not quite sure how that will play out, but we will find our creative voices for the “month of love”. Maybe we can celebrate chocolate, too!
In June, we are going to celebrate Highway 6, with an art show, sketch crawls, maybe a plein aire experience at the Forestry Center, and thinking of a song writing contest. Put your Muse at work on those ideas.
Our card rack, jewelry case, and our local author book shelf have also attracted customers, and we are also now offering CDs from several local musicians.
Partnering with the OSU Extension and 4-H, we have offered summer and after school art classes for grade school kids. We’ve also partnered with the county library and Pelican Pub for a variety of events and workshops, and joined with the Pioneer Museum for the very first “Mook Book Fair” in November, giving 20 local authors an attractive venue for holiday book sales.
Our national fabric print art show in November was a nice collaboration with the Frogman's Print Workshop. Thank you, Christine and Dennis, for your trip to Nebraska for that workshop and for bringing that amazing show back for our community to enjoy!
Other workshops and classes have included a sketch crawl. This was in conjunction with the Saturday downtown farmers’ market and Pelican Pub’s first Salmon Run 5K race. We have also held successful print making and prayer flag painting events.
Monthly artists’ receptions focus on our artists, offering them a chance to meet the public, talk about their art, and showcase their work and our monthly shows. We actively promote these events, and I hope you do, as well. We are a team.
None of these events would have happened if we hadn’t had the support and creative energies of our artists, and the enthusiasm and support that a community arts center and gallery has generated in our community.
Art Accelerated now has an accepted presence in the downtown community. We are active in the Chamber of Commerce and the downtown merchants association, and are actively involved in downtown business events, such as Moonlight Madness, Halloween, and the Chamber’s “Construct Downtown Sweepstakes”.
Tillamook’s mayor, Suzanne Weber, has repeatedly told me that we are a vital and essential part of the revitalization of the downtown area.
These activities and partnerships bring us business and promote the art gallery at part of a vibrant and thriving downtown “scene”. These partnerships don’t just magically occur, either. They are the result of a great deal of continual effort by your board of directors, especially our gallery manager, Christine Harrison.
Our website, Facebook page, Yelp, and Instagram accounts continually promote the gallery and our artists’ work, and represent literally hundreds of hours of volunteer promotional effort by your board of directors. Dennis Worrel is our resident “Square” expert now, with our cash register system on the cutting edge of small business technology. I’ve been fleshing out our Facebook page with a variety of events and posts. Cindy Gardner and Linda Werner continually add their expertise and creativity to our many projects.
All of these activities help promote you and your work, and give your creativity the visibility that your work deserves.
There is more work to be done. And, I am asking for more help from you. Much of the work of marketing the gallery comes from word of mouth and the social media and networking of our friends and contributing artists. Your Facebook “likes” and your Facebook and website postings and promotions that promote the gallery and its events can have a substantial impact You can also follow us on Instagram and add photos of your work and creative inspirations.
You can do this promotional work on Twitter and Instagram, too. Again, the power of word of mouth and those wonderful one on one relationships that build connection, and, ultimately, sales.
One of the treasures for me this year is getting to know other artists, and to be able to examine their work, learn about new processes and experience the creative energy of my fellow creatives. Being in an artistic community is now a reality in Tillamook, and I am so thankful we now can have these experiences.
“A rising tide lifts all boats” is my mantra for marketing and social media promotions.
I also want to remind all of us how Art Accelerated is managed. The gallery is operated by a professional gallery manager, who has sole discretion on selecting art work, arranging shows, and marketing the gallery and its many events. Christine Harrison has many years of experience as a professional artist, and has a strong network of friends and associates in the professional art gallery world. Her expertise and professionalism are a tremendous asset to your work and presence in the gallery, and to our organization.
We are a non profit corporation, governed by a five person board of directors: Linda Werner, Cindy Gardner, Dennis Worrell, Christine Harrison, and myself.
Artists’ dues and the dues of the general membership only cover a fourth of our expenses. We also rely on donations, income from our 4H and OSU Extension classes, workshop fees, fundraisers, and commission sales.
This spring, a very generous donation allowed us to purchase the Square retail sales and inventory equipment and software, and beef up our website to a professional level. The end of the year has not brought forth another generous donor, however.
Artist members are selected by the gallery manager, through an application process, to ensure that the art work exhibited meets the high standards of the professional art world. Much like a juried show, the artwork is screened by the gallery manager in order to be considered for each show. Pricing of work is a collaborative process between the gallery manager and the artist, with an emphasis on consistency, market value, and competitive, realistic prices.
The gallery’s business model and business plan mandates these standards and this process. We must act and conduct business in a manner that ensures our viability and long term financial success.
This process is the standard of the national professional art gallery business environment, and has proven to be a sound marketing practice and beneficial to artists. We believe in this process and these professional standards.
The board’s goals and standards include these concepts. We desire to bring a high level of professional art standards to Tillamook, and provide local artists with a professional venue that will promote and enhance their marketing, and the art experience of our customers. We won’t accept anything less, because our community deserve the best.
2018 holds much promise. We expect gallery quality LED lighting to be installed in the gallery soon, thanks to a grant from the Tillamook PUD. We have hopes to soon be awarded a marketing grant from Visit Tillamook Coast that will allow us to improve our website, create artist focused videos, produce more brochures, and add public signs. The board, especially Christine Harrison, put in over 200 volunteer hours in writing that grant application. Fingers crossed! As in life, nothing in the world of grants is a sure thing.
Additional classes and workshops, and more grant possibilities also await us, as well as the excitement of showing even more of your incredible work at the Gallery and around town.
On behalf of the Board, thank you to everyone who helped this be a fantastic year. And, to quote my fellow board member, Linda Werner, “Something great is happening!”
See you at the Gallery!
Neal C. Lemery
One thing leads to another!
Clyde Zeller's metal piece, Experimetal was on display the first afternoon of our 4H afterschool art program for first through third graders at the gallery. One student in particular, Yuuki was very taken with Clyde's piece. It inspired her to draw Flying T-Rex. I put her drawing up on the wall. When Linda Werner came to gallery sit, she was inspired to write a poem!
That's the great thing about creativity, one creative endeavor leads to more creative acts. Christine Harrison
A BIG SURPRISE AT THE GALLERY
On the wall, a dinosaur,
a T-rex, actually,
as the label describes.
Green, with red markings,
big head, sharp teeth,
little arms and little feet.
This kid, scribbling with crayon,
knows her business.
Suspended in blue sky,
surrounded by fluffy
And a yellow sun,
Mr. T-rex scares
no one, this day.
“I’ve learned so much from my mistakes.”
“I can create anything.”
“Making something beautiful is so much fun.”
The two eight year olds shared their insights with me, as they were finishing up their four weeks of summer art classes. I was in their class their last day as a teacher’s aide, but the teaching was all on them, and I was the eager student.
Part of my task today was to ask the kids what they had gotten out of the summer art classes. I wasn’t expecting their deep, insightful responses. After all, they are only eight years old.
Self portraits, abstract design, proportion, perspective, mixing and matching colors with a variety of media, expressing their creative energy, and serious reflection on their work with me, the new teacher’s aide, were all happening in the classroom.
Wearing big grins and laughing, they showed me their portfolios. Today’s assignment was choosing several of their works to exhibit at next week’s county fair, and they took to the task with seriousness and solemn assessment.
“That one isn’t my best work,” one boy said. “This one, though, it shows I figured out my colors.”
The rest of the students also worked quietly, choosing their fair exhibits, and then taking on a new project for the day. Their tables were a rich collection of paints, papers, brushes, and nearly completed projects.
I wandered around the room, emptying and refilling water dishes for their brushes, fetching a clean sheet of paper, and tidying up their used up paper towels and the leavings of their mid-class snack. The teacher was busy offering some tips, demonstrating a new technique, and helping a young girl decide which of her works should go in the fair.
As we tidied up at the end of class, and parents came to pick up their kids, there were smiles and moments of pride, as new work was shown to moms, and bulging portfolio folders were carried out under kids’ arms.
“Thanks,” one young boy said to me. “I had a blast.”
He handed me a fresh watercolor of a man’s face on a paper where the two ends had been crinkled up, framing the face.
“That’s you,” he said. “I thought you needed a portrait, too.”
I teared up, his spontaneous generosity filling my soul. My heart was bursting with all of the enthusiasm and passion I’d experienced with those kids, knowing that this experience had challenged and enriched young lives. Young artists has been nurtured here, kids empowered with knowing that they were creative and imaginative people.
My portrait is now on my refrigerator, brightening the kitchen and rekindling that glow I had when I brought it home to show my wife, and answering her question, “How was your day at art class?”
There’s a familiar slogan that art changes lives. And today, that became real to me, in the faces and smiles of kids, lugging home their new treasures, and the knowledge that they realize they are talented, that they can create their own happiness, for all the world to see.
What is the value of art in our lives? Does it have an impact?
“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” (Pablo Picasso)
Art is a way of finding and expressing the truth in our lives. It allows us to explore and find things within ourselves we may not have realized are there. Art allows us to discover who we are.
“Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world,” said Dana Gioia, chair, National Endowment for the Arts. “There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images. Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions.” (Commencement address, Stanford University, 2007)
Working in high school art classes, researchers Hetland and Winner found that arts programs teach a specific set of thinking skills rarely addressed elsewhere in the school curriculum—what they call “studio habits of mind.” One key habit was “learning to engage and persist,” meaning that the arts teach students how to learn from mistakes and press ahead, how to commit and follow through. “Students need to find problems of interest and work with them deeply over sustained periods of time,” write Hetland and Winner.
They found that “the arts help students learn to ‘envision’—that is, how to think about that which they can’t see. That’s a skill that offers payoffs in other subjects, they note. The ability to envision can help a student generate a hypothesis in science, for instance, or imagine past events in history class. Hetland and Winner, Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Art Education (2007).” Karin Evans, Arts and Smarts, Greater Good Magazine, UC Berkeley, (December 2008)
“Along with the perks of enjoying and experiencing art, there are real-world benefits to making the art with your own two hands. According to a 2014 study, producing visual art improved psychological resilience and increased brain activity for the participants by the end of the experiment.” Gabe Bergado, Mic.com (December 15, 2014)
“Art allows children to express emotions that can be difficult to discuss with others.
“According to research conducted by the Childcare Education Institute, ‘art offers children an important outlet for emotional expression and the assurance that their feelings are valuable,’ which is particularly critical for disadvantaged children whose feelings might have never been validated. Expressing emotions such as anger or fear through artistic expression such as dance or writing allows children cope with aspects of living in a healthy, safe space. It also enables them to release difficult emotions instead of repressing them.” K. Nola Mokeyane, Information on How Art Helps the Behavior of Disadvantaged Children, (oureverydaylife.com)
Does art have value? I would argue yes.
“When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply asked,'then what are we fighting for?’ ” (Kazuo Ishiguro)
In my own life, art has had a tremendous impact. By allowing myself to be creative, and to have space in my life where I can explore and play, I have greatly expanded my view of who I really am.
I’ve always been a photographer, exploring light, composition, and “seeing” the world in a different way. That creativity helped balance my life in college and law school. I played in school bands, and loved music.
My interest in art, and my hunger for a creative outlet brought me to look at my love for gardening as a way of expression. Years later, I took art classes at my local community college. In that work and discipline, I found a sense of freedom and self expression.
Over time, I’ve learned to give myself permission to experiment, to “let go”, and be uninhibited with my art. In many ways, it is a return to the spontaneity of childhood play. Now, I play my guitar, and pick up my paintbrushes with a sense of excitement and limitless possibility.
And, in my art, I have found a self I never really honored before, and am getting acquainted with my soul, a person I really enjoy.
The last few days had been a blur of activity at our new gallery. The empty room was cleaned, windows washed, and the sidewalk swept.
One daunting task was to repaint a portion of a wall that was a ghastly dark teal, and transform it into a showcase for our beautiful art work. Three coats of paint later, and the room seemed to be transformed with a new sense of brightness and warmth.
Moving day arrived, and an enthusiastic crew began to carry our pop-up collection from our previous site across the street. Street construction had slowed traffic to a standstill, so we paraded our art work between stopped cars and trucks, occasionally chatting with the idled drivers and their passengers.
It was quite a parade, and included easels and our prayer flag collections.
The empty storefront windows soon blossomed with a variety of art, and the walls sparkled with a large variety of paintings, prints, sketches, and encaustics.
It was a gallery!
Sunflower Flats brought a gorgeous arrangement of peonies, brightening up the whole gallery.
We set up a table for food and coffee, as company was coming. It was the night of the annual Cork and Brew festival downtown, and we were the last stop on the tour of local businesses that were serving food and drink to 250 patrons. Each of them carried a passport to be stamped by each participating merchant, and we were the drop off station, the last stop.
A beautiful, and generous, gift basket was proudly displayed at the gallery, and passport holders were entering a drawing, each hoping to be the lucky winner.
At 4 p.m., we flipped the “open” sign for the first time and put our Art Accelerated sandwich board out on the sidewalk. We were open!!
Nervously, we found our cashbox and figured out how to swipe a credit card and write a receipt. Would anyone come?
Indeed, they came. Old friends, people walking by, and other merchants came by to check us out and look at our beautiful art and books by local authors. There were several displays of art cards and a bin bursting with a variety of art work.
The room filled with happy patrons, checking out the art, and meeting our artists. Great conversations and reunions with old friends were going on all over the place as the evening progressed.
Excitedly, we made our first sale, and then another, and another. There were smiles and laughter, and lots of fun.
Finally, the last of the happy Cork and Brew patrons ambled out of the gallery and it was time to shut the door. 196 people had crossed our threshold, leaving with memories of a good experience and our new brochure.
“We’ll be back,” we heard again and again. “This is so beautiful. What a great addition to downtown.”
I put my tired feet up and contemplated the day. I still had a little paint on my hand from that last coat of paint, and a sore finger from missing a picture hanger with a hammer when we were hanging the last few paintings on the wall.
We were open, and all I could do was smile. We were on our way!
The April 22 Open Mic at YoTime Frozen Yogurt in downtown Tillamook thrilled a standing room only house with enthusiastic readers, singers, and musicians. It was our biggest bill of entertainers and our largest crowd.
Five elementary school students from Tillamook’s East School brought their talented voices, sharing music they had performed at their school lunch program. Thank you, Jim Nelson, for encouraging these energetic singers.
A visiting trio, Wanderlust, entertained with cello, guitar, and harmonica, including several songs in French.
Denise Harrington, Bev Buffington, Penny Eberle, Josi Mizee, and Joan Cutuly read from their poems, essays, and books. Thanks, Denise and Josi, for premiering with Art Accelerated! We want to hear more from you.
The popular local band, The Associates, returned with several rock ‘n roll songs, and Miguel Santos brought us to our feet with his rendition of “LaBamba”.
Eric Sappington, one of our county’s most popular entertainers, brought the evening to a close with three original guitar songs, including the debut of his latest composition, much to the delight of the standing room only crowd. His 12 string guitar and his mellow voice rounded out two full hours of local talent and fun.
Donations help support our children’s art education classes starting this summer and our continuing work on our downtown cooperative art gallery. Help us support local artists and provide them a showcase for their amazing talents. Look for more pop up art shows and art events later this summer.
By popular demand, we are returning to YoTime on Saturday, May 20 for what is now our monthly Open Mic. See you at 6:30 for an evening of fun and local talent. We hope to host these fun events every month.
And, mark your calendars. The Fairview Grange is having their annual Open Mic fundraiser on Saturday, June 30. We will be there and hope you will be, too, to support the Grange and all of its many community activities.
Art Accelerated has brought open mics to downtown Tillamook.
An open mic is a public forum, where artists can publicly express their creativity in front of a welcoming, friendly crowd.
At its essence, an open mic is a microphone and an audience. It is a friendly place to express yourself, and to share your creative work with others.
Our open mics have featured musicians, poets, authors of books, and essayists.
Say what you need to say and share it with your community!
We don’t focus on the political; we focus on the creative!! Express yourself and get your work out there for others to hear. Be heard!
It’s easy to be a reader, a performer. There’s a sign up sheet, there’s an emcee, there’s a microphone, and there’s an appreciative audience.
The emcee is usually me – Neal Lemery: Board member of Art Accelerated, writer, poet, musician, a real local. I’m interested in focusing on local talent and giving people an audience, so that they can share their work, be heard, and find a friendly, welcoming audience who appreciates your courage in coming, in sharing, and in speaking from your creative heart.
By sharing our art, our creativity, we are sharing our souls, and we are truly building community. We are building a creative, caring, and soulful community.
By reading our writings, singing, playing music, expressing our souls, we are making a healthier, more engaged community. We all benefit from that. And, we build ourselves and we build each other.
So, come. Read, sing, play, spill your guts, and be loved by your friends and neighbors, your fellow artists, your soul-mates.
Almost nothing compares to the energy of children finding their way on a blank piece of paper, holding a bulging paintbrush ripe with possibilities. Whether at the kitchen table on an 8 1/2”x11” white sheet of paper and a plastic dime store set of watercolors, or out in the field with that paper masking-taped to a primitive cedar easel facing a sunflower audience-wherever it happens-captivated energy emerges and children “go forth.” No hesitating; no looking around to see what the other guy’s doing; no waiting; no holding back-just pick up the brush, swish it around in the water and paint (the more–the-better). Get the paint to the paper swishing, skittering, glopping and glopping until, according to the artist with face beaming, the composition is finished.
Providing a place for that energy to come together and emerge is my dream-my hope-for Art Accelerated in downtown Tillamook. We have an opportunity RIGHT NOW to create a vibrant place where Tillamook County’s children (and adults) are welcome to dive right into art in all kinds of forms full speed ahead! Exploring. Discovering themselves and their worlds.
We’re at the very beginnings of creating that vibrant space, but hopefully one day soon, open and ready for art in downtown Tillamook. We hope you join us.
Below are pictures of Cindy's grandchildren from the past and from the 2016 Tillamook County Fair.