Fall + Art in the Mid-Valley

The Corvallis Arts Center

By Brian Egan

Have you ever wondered how The Arts Center in Corvallis ended up housed in an old church? The building was constructed in 1889 and served as a church for the Corvallis Episcopal congregation until they outgrew the facility and moved to a new building in 1962. The style of the church is Carpenter Gothic architecture with a scissor truss system in which the cross beams and arches are the reverse of a railroad bridge. In 1877 Wallis Nash, a lawyer from England, came to Corvallis as counsel for the railroad under construction between Corvallis and Yaquina Bay. Nash, along with a crew of railroad workers built the church at the corner of 7th and Jefferson Streets in 1889. The architect, an engineer from the railroad, donated his services. Many of the building materials were salvaged from the Episcopal Girls School and chapel, then located in Central Park. The building was donated to The Arts Center in 1967 and moved to it’s present location in 1970. Stop in sometime and take a good look at the exposed ceiling beams and rafters. Not only are they a great example of design and workmanship but the soaring space provides wonderful acoustics for music concerts.

OSU is hosting an art exhibit named “Loosely Bound: a group of creative women with strong bonds and loose bindings” at the Memorial Union Concourse as part of the 150 Years Celebration. The exhibit features fiber art, mostly quilts, depicting the Land Grant, Sea Grant, Space Grant, and Sun Grant mission of OSU over 150 years of its history. The show ends on October 23rd so be sure and visit soon. The group, Loosely Bound, is made up of 12 art quilters who have been together since 2005. More info about the group can be found at www.LooselyBound.net.

   The 15th Annual Philomath Open Studio Tour (POST), is coming soon! Local artists are opening their studios again, for free self-guided tours. In addition, several shows will be available in local wine tasting rooms. Artists will discuss their processes and show work that may never have been on public display. A full spectrum of artistic mediums will be shown, including collage, painting, fiber art, jewelry, photography, ceramics, wood, sculpture, and many more.

POST is a unique opportunity to visit with artists in their studios, see work in progress, and discuss their ideas and inspiration. A variety of work spaces are on the tour— daylight basements, special purpose additions and buildings, barns, attics, living rooms, and pop-up studios in local businesses. Tools and techniques specific to each medium can be observed firsthand. We invite you to shake the hand of the artist that made the artwork in the place where it was conceived and created, and learn about their creative journeys.

The 2018 POST Brochure and Tour Map is available at The Arts Center, The Benton County Historical Museum or the Wine Vault in Philomath. Large yellow placards dot the route to keep visitors on track through the vineyards, valleys, woodlots, downtown Philomath, and west Corvallis areas where the studios are located.  The tour dates are October 20,21,27, & 28 from noon to 5pm each day. www.philomathopenstudios.com

Winter weather got you down? Brighten your spirits by visiting the The Corvallis Arts Walks on October 18th and November 19th.  Just pack up your rain boots, jacket, umbrella and good friends and head to Downtown Corvallis to visit the many galleries on the Arts Walk tour.

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at The Arts Center where a parade of traditional skeletons made by artists of all ages will be on display from October 25th through November 10th. The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated by people of Mexican heritage worldwide. The exhibit is a collaboration between The Arts Center and Casa Unidos.

Okay maybe it is a bit early to be pushing holiday shopping but you will not want to miss the Toys exhibit and sale at The Arts Center from November 15th to December 29th. Local artists have been challenged to create toys or art about toys for the exhibit. All the toys will be for sale with proceeds benefiting art education. During the night of the Corvallis Arts Walk Dec 20, we’ll hold a “last minute shopping and gift wrapping” event. Patrons who bought work to give as Christmas gifts may pick up their purchases that day and have them gift wrapped. This is a great opportunity for you to find original gifts and help The Arts Center education programs.

Creative Connections

Guilds: Local artists connect at monthly meet-ups to share information and build professional skills. The Arts Center has had long-time affiliation with these Guilds, and many were instrumental in our founding. Some still meet at The Arts Center and support The Arts Center with an annual donation toward scholarships. They are independent organizations, each with their own mission, bylaws, and membership dues, and all have members with rich backgrounds in art making experience.

Corvallis Art Guild

Willamette Valley Photos Arts Guild

Willamette Ceramics Guild

Mid-Willamette Valley Woodworkers Guild

Corvallis Belly Dance Performance Guild

Contemporary Fiber Guild

Fire & Light Glass Guild


ARTS CENTER HOURS 12 to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday,
evenings for special events.
Phone 541-754-1551


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