Remember yearning for a snow day as a child, hoping and praying when you woke up the ground would be white and school would be closed? Maybe there would be even more than one day off to build a snowman or a snowhorse, and maybe a chance to dig out the old sled to take down the steepest hill. Growing up on the Oregon Coast, we didn’t have many snow days, however, funny thing is, the wishing and praying for one remains: a wish to take a break from life’s routines. Ahhhhh, a SNOW DAY!
School closed, meetings cancelled, games rescheduled and travel not recommended. Outside the landscape in Winter’s pristine, sparkling blanket covers completely, muffling most sound. And the to-do list? Shoved to the wayside for at least a day (or two or three) while the snow day commences.
You see, with me this day is much more than the stark, white blanket covering---it’s mostly a time-out from the busyness of life-a time to watch the snow pile up. My friend shared Maria Popova/s blog “Brain Pickings” with me last week with a quote from Jane Kenyon, poet, (1947-1995), when she was giving advice on writing and living well: “Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”
Remember to keep some snow days on your calendar for sure in February. Maybe March, but even in August!!!
By Cindy Gardner
One of my favorite eccentric painters is, James Mallord William Turner. Turner was a painter at a time when England was changing from the old world leader to the new industrial revolution leader; from the slower and beautiful world of schooner ships to steam locomotives, iron ships and bridges. It was a time of rapid changes in their world. Turner painted in an unconventional way from his contemporaries possibly because he never really felt part of their club as he came from the working class. He managed to go to the best schools because of his talent but, he never felt accepted.
When talking with TCPM curator, Carla Albright about doing a paint night at the museum, I brought up Turner. She seemed surprised and said ”that’s an impressive painter to pick!” My thought was, Tillamook is a place of storms that blow through you...just as Turner's paintings show! Storms are something that people here can relate to! Even though so far this year, we haven’t seen many!
This particular painting, Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth Making Signals in Shallow Water, has a famous story attached to it. This is the painting where Turner supposedly lashed himself to the mast of the ship he was on and painted in the storm! Can you imagine doing that? I am not sure he did do that, but the way he painted made people think it was done on the spot. It has the feeling of the moment.
So, I started my painting using his kind of tools: palette knives, brushes and his very favorite tool-- old rags! It was challenging and fun! I tried to think of how to break it down into parts and slowly build up the color, the waves, and finally... added the details,making sure to keep the rag to smudge all along! Smudging can make anything look better or completely go away! The more I study the painting, the more I see how much he left so much to the viewer’s imagination...incomplete lines.
Although we can only approximate this wonderful painting, it is a fun challenge to try painting a storm at sea! I have a second attempt started, and invite you to come try your hand. Join us for Art Accelerated’s Paint Night: Storming the Museum, Saturday, March 2nd, 6 - 8pm at the Pioneer Museum on Second Street in Tillamook. For fifty dollars we will supply everything needed for your masterpiece as well as food and drink! I will be leading the Storming Paint Night, and we will have extra helpers to aid your efforts as well.
Sign up today! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/storming-the-museum-tickets-55028275052
See you soon.
By Christine Harrison
It was a week before Christmas
When round the table
Art Accelerated Board Members did gather
When all of a sudden
Christine’s phone did ring
And who should it be but
Melo, our most generous Landlord
With news that YES, indeed,
He would love to lease us another building
With more classroom space---
The Annex right behind the Gallery!
In no time at all,
We all agreed:
Yes, we need the space for
Future growth of our programs
For youth and adults alike.
In no time at all, Melo and his crew
Renovated and sheetrocked and painted,
Even installed a new floor.
Then Diane, Connie, Dennis and Christine
Wiped and caulked, washed and mopped
Until all was ready and sparkling clean
For students one and all.
And exclamations heard
Throughout the town: “Thank you, Melo,”
For such speedy work to make our space
Top-notch in so little time,
Making it a Merry Christmas for all of us
With hope for the future in this
Love for ART
In the Heart of Downtown Tillamook.
By Cindy Gardner
Something about the fluffy, brown donkeys with their white-rimmed, dark eyes and ears in knee-deep snow draws me to them instantly. Momma’s head nestles over Baby’s back defying their wild nature. Against the gray, steel-blue light shining through the bare-branched backdrop of a cold, Utah morning outside Monument Valley, these sweet creatures want me to paint them...I can just feel it! Inspiration at last!!!
Which colors could I combine to make their coats deep, chocolate brown? I guess the young one is more a latte brown whereas momma is mocha. And how would I paint that glow in the steel blue sky? Which canvas and what size? Hmmmm,,,,which brushes? Should I start with the background and move to the donkeys or the other way around? Or do I need a class to get me started?
How about you? Have you always wanted to paint or draw simply for the pleasure of it? What about write a poem or a short story? Encouragement, along with classes and instructors, await you at Art Accelerated. We are beginning a New Year at the Gallery at 1906 Third Street right in downtown Tillamook, where we just recently added a new, spacious classroom space behind the Gallery. Newly painted and renovated with a beautiful floor, space is waiting for you to get started on this one creative life you possess. Come join us!
The next Writers’ Meet Up will be Wednesday evening, February 6th from 6-8 PM in the new classroom space and is free of charge!
Christine leads an Artists’ Workshop every Tuesday from 1:30-3:30 PM in the new classroom and she will be there to encourage you in your painting, drawing and/or printmaking. $5 per session or $20 for 5 sessions...flexible dates(bring your own materials if you have them)
Photos courtesy of my sister, Becky Williams, on her trek last week from Oregon back to Arizona via Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. Thank you, Rebecca Sue!
Every fourth Saturday afternoon of the month beginning at 1PM until 3PM, downtown businesses participate in Tillamook’s very own ARTWALK sponsored by our local artist community at Art Accelerated and The Gallery located at 302 Third Street. February 28th, 2018, marked ARTWALK’S second artwalk adventure in downtown. Adventure you ask? Yes, adventure, given the obstacle course that are our sidewalks and streets right now! Amazingly, ARTWALK participants genuinely enjoyed all that the experience entailed with figuring out how to get from point A to point B, and all were impressed with what artistic treasures were found at each of the businesses participating. Art Accelerated makes sure that each business features a different artist each month.
One of the first couples, both artists, into Sunflower Flats, had driven two and a half hours from Washington to come to our event, and were so complimentary and excited to see an Artwalk in our town. They said they would be back!
At Sunflower Flats, we decided it might be a good idea to have live artists painting while ARTWALKERS browsed the art within our shop. Since that idea hit my brain at the last minute, I quickly summoned two of my five grandchildren to help me out. Callan and Chloe Rieger agreed that it would be fun to set up shop at the flower store with their easels, paints and brushes and paint with spectators watching them live while they created. I wasn’t surprised at all by their subject matter: Chloe a horse head and Callan a snake (it was a specific kind, but I can’t remember the kind). With them both in action, the public watched them quietly and occasionally inquired how they came up with what they wanted to paint. One man quizzed Callan on what type of snake he was painting.
Another was intrigued with the easels they were painting on and took pictures so that he could go home and try to make some himself. My dad actually along with son, Sam, made the easels out of cedar poles and twisted wire about 16 years ago so that we could invite classrooms of students up to our sunflower patch to paint the sunflowers in the fall. We did that for several years before teachers decided they couldn’t take time away from the curriculum anymore. We still have the easels though, and use them whenever we paint up at Grandma Linda’s and Grandpa Ted’s sunroom, or outside in our gardens.
We’ve decided we want to try and have a different one of our local artists in our shop for each ARTWALK, if possible. It gives the public a chance to actually see the creative process, plus it’s always exciting to actually get to meet an artist and learn his or her story.
Saturday, March 24th we featured Andy and Tami Toth of Wilson River Pottery. We had a store full of people all afternoon who were pleased to meet the artists, and had the opportunity to purchase brand new mugs fresh from the kiln.
Saturday, April 28th, we will feature Dana Hulburt whose famous driftwood art has been a part of our shop for too many years to count!
Please come join the adventure downtown, and admire all of the local talent we have living among us. Local artists and business owners appreciate your support when you make the effort with all of our construction. Thank you for finding our front or back door!!!!
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.