This Labor Day weekend, August 30 through September 1, Toledo’s arts community will celebrate its 21st annual Labor Day Weekend Art Walk in galleries and studios throughout Toledo. The public is invited to enjoy the displays, refreshments, lectures, and more on this self-guided tour from 10 am to 5 pm daily. Maps of the event are available in the Friday, August 30 issue of the Newport News-Times and at participating galleries and studios. The event is sponsored by the Yaquina River Museum of Art, the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, Toledo Ace Hardware, Maxine Moodie, and LaRue Hart. More information is available at www.ToledoArts.info.
Toledo’s Art Walk began as a one-time event in October, 1993 as an open-studio for Michael Gibbons, a Mentor Artist for the Corvallis based Vistas & Vineyards program. Artists Douglas Haga and Ivan Kelly, recent arrivals to Toledo and neighbors of Gibbons, were invited to open their doors during the festivities. Several hundred visitors came for the event, and in 1994 and 1995 the trio of Toledo artists staged a repeat. Each artist invited a guest artist, swelling the number to six showing art. In 1996, prompted by the challenges of October weather, the Art Walk event date was changed to the three days of Labor Day weekend, where it remains to this day.
This year’s shows promise to be outstanding. Internationally acclaimed artist Michael Gibbons will be displaying a number of oil paintings and prints, as well as offering art talks and refreshments in the outdoor garden behind his signature gallery.
Ivan Kelly, an award-winning marine and wildlife oil painter, is opening his studio and gallery. Ivan is a signature member of the prestigious American Society of Marine Artists.
Award-winning artist Becky Miller, who is best known for her large oil paintings of kelp, will be joined in her studio by mixed media artist Karen Fitzgibbon (Fikaa Designs) and fused glass artist Alice Haga. Much of the work is being shown for the first time and the show promises to be a lively one.
Nationally recognized basket-weaver, gourd artist, painter, and encaustic artist Caroll Loomis will be showing at Port Station One. Caroll has won many awards for her work, which is represented in collections around the world.
Heather Fortner’s beautiful gyotaku art is a must-see at her studio in the Floweree Community Center. Heather’s degree in Natural Sciences lends much authenticity to her stunning images of seaweeds, fish, and other sea creatures.
Janet Runger’s imaginative mixed media work will be on display at Things Found Mercantile, a shop that specializes in all the sort of found objects that she uses in her sculptures.
Master woodturner Rodney Lehrbass will be showing a wide variety of his work at Impressions Pacific. Rodney’s work includes bowls, pens, items made from driftwood, and other gift items and is carried by Made in Oregon shops.
Corvallis artist Bill Shumway is Michael Gibbons’ guest and will be showing his oil paintings at the JP Studio behind the Yaquina River Museum of Art (YRMA). Shumway blends abstraction with plein air for an innovative approach to landscapes.
An annual exhibit of the Toledo Art Walk Founders will also be showing at the Toledo Public Library. Work by nationally exhibited and awarded “en plein air” artists Michael Gibbons (Signature Member of Oil Painters of America) and Ivan Kelly (Signature Member of American Society of Marine Artists), as well as master painter, print-maker, and photographer Douglas Haga will be featured in this show.
A special juried Plein Air Show is being held at YRMA’s School House exhibit space. Several artists from around the area, as well as jurists Michael Gibbons and Becky Miller, are showing paintings painted on location in a show intended to highlight the Yaquina watershed region. Participating artists include Marion Moir, Colleen Caubin, Sue Andrews, Leland John, Laurel Buchanan, Bill Shumway, Marie Martin, Steve Bennett, and Sue Bennet.
For more information about Art Walk, including biographies and photos of work on each participating artist, see the Art Walk website, www.ToledoArts.info. Signage will guide visitors to the Art Walk locations.