The Valley Art Scene

Curtis “Layers”

By Brian Egan

The year is coming to an end and I would like to take the opportunity to celebrate the creative spirit here in the Mid-Valley. My association with The Arts Center has brought me into contact with some of the most creative minds in the area. Through their mediums of paint, glass, wood, stone, etc., each artist tells a story of how their work is born, nurtured and sent out into the world. Thanks to each of you for baring your hearts and souls, bringing joy and wonder to our lives. We are a better community as a result.

You can thank local artists by shopping locally for holiday gifts. Two great places to purchase artistic presents are The ArtShop at The Arts Center and at the Teal Cooperative Gallery. At The ArtShop you will find unique gifts and colorful displays in many media including ceramics, prints, paintings, glass, wood, screenprints, and letterpress cards. Over 50 local and regional artists are showcased so you are sure to find unique gift ideas.  Each November, the Teal Cooperative Gallery team of dedicated Oregon artists transform an otherwise vacant and lifeless store front into a world of color, light and beauty, open for business during the months of November and December. On display are some of the finest works in fiber, leather, pottery, jewelry, glass, metal, wood work, mixed media, paper, and soap that the central Willamette Valley has to offer. This year the gallery is located at 334 SW 2nd St in Corvallis and will be open until December 28th.

The Arts Center is celebrating the Solstice season with an exhibit called “About Light” featuring the many interpretations of light, both metaphorically and literally. This is a community-based show featuring the work of many local artists. The exhibit runs from now until December 28th.  The Corrine Woodman Gallery at The Arts Center will show the work of local artist Deb Curtis from now until January 25th. Deb’s work relies on sustainably gathered natural materials.  She uses local materials that are hand gathered using traditional harvesting methods of the region.  As she works with the materials for a piece, she visualizes the environment of their origin.  Her vision of these environments has changed as our world has experienced development, warming temperatures and changing weather patterns. 

Salzman “Sextant”

January brings the work of artist Andy Salzman to the main gallery of The Arts Center. The show is titled “Narrative” — here is a description in the artists own words: “In the sculpture I create, I use construction methods commonly found in furniture and shipbuilding along with ceramic and cast metal components. These objects I make are conceptional, and sometimes literal references to vessel as human figure. Many of the structural details represent the relationships in my life. I want to build precious cargo aboard a precarious journey.”  I hope that Andy’s description has piqued your interest. Having seen some of his earlier work I can guarantee you have seen nothing like it before. The show runs from January 2nd until February 8th with a reception on the evening of January 16th.

The Corvallis Art Walk takes place December 19th and January 16th   from 4pm to 8pm each night.  Galleries, studios, arts/crafts stores and the occasional pop-up keep their doors open late to host an art related event or demonstration.

The Giustina Gallery at OSU’s  LaSells Stewart Center will host the Willamette Valley PhotoArts Guild for a themed show called “The Road Less Travelled” from now until January 24th with a reception on December 12th. The Willamette Valley PhotoArts Guild is based in Corvallis with a membership of 50 photographers from around the mid-valley. Formed in 1985, The Guild’s purpose is to foster the artistic growth of its members and to promote the appreciation of the art of photography through community exhibits. For this year’s theme, members were asked to interpret the closing lines of Robert Frost’s most famous poem in light of their own personal artistic journey:

                          Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

                          I took the one less traveled by,

                          And that has made all the difference.

Now is the time to start thinking about the 2020 Howland Community Open show that starts on February 18th at The Arts Center. This show is open to artists of all ages and artistic abilities and these winter days are a great time to create your entry. Drop off dates are February 11-15 for Arts Center members and February 15th for non-members.

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