The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents the “Mayors’ Show” in the Runyan Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center from January 6-29. The “Mayors’ Show” includes eight Lincoln County artists selected by Newport Mayor Sandra Roumagoux, Toledo Mayor Billie Jo Smith and OCCA VAC Director Tom Webb, from among the 124 artists who contributed work to the 2016 “PushPin Show,” on display at the VAC during December 2016. A First Friday opening reception will be held on January 6, 5-7pm, at the VAC, and the artists will speak at 6pm.
“Choosing the work for the “Mayors’ Show” was a difficult task. Billie Jo, Tom and I struggled to narrow down our choices,” says Roumagoux. “I want to compliment the artists who entered this year. The Push Pin Show is truly a community art show and is wonderful to see and enjoy.”
“We didn’t really follow a theme like last year (painting) in our selections,” says Webb. “Rather, we selected work that moved us.”
The eight artists selected for the 2017 “Mayors’ Show” are Cheri Aldrich, Holly Byrnes, Juergen Eckstein, Mark Erlander, Bill Farley, Aspen Hamnlet, Kit Sugrue and Janet Webster. The artists’ works include acrylic and watercolor paintings, fibre arts, black and white photography, mixed media and sculpture.
Cheri Aldrich is a self-taught, multimedia artist. Her work includes jewelry making, basketry, clay work, felting, working with kelp, gourds, and clay, and, most recently, mixed media, paper and book arts and eco printing on fabric and paper. Born and raised in La Crosse, WI, Aldrich moved to Newport in 1974 and has been a full-time, self-supporting artist for 43 years.
Holly Byrnes studied art at the University of Oregon and Portland State University before receiving her BA in art from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has taught art at summer fine-arts camps, through Elderhostel and at the Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, AK. She now resides in Newport.
Juergen Eckstein is a German-born artist who settled in Newport in 2000. A self-taught artist, Eckstein works in oil-painting and ceramics. He has been in solo exhibits at the Emerald Art Center (Springfield), the Newport Visual Arts Center, the Briseno Gallery (Toledo), the Chessman Gallery at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, the Talisman Gallery (Portland) and Gallery 21 (Singapore).
Mark Erlander has been a resident of Lincoln County since 1972. He currently lives in Seal Rock. His creative focus is on ceramic sculpture and acrylic painting. Erlander received his B.ED in arts education from Pacific Lutheran University and an MA in sculpture from Central Washington State. He taught art in the public schools of Tacoma, WA, and led the beginning sculpture course at Oregon Coast Community College for 19 years.
Bill Farley moved to Toledo from Seattle in 2005. He considers himself mostly self-taught, though he studied under King Wong (chief photographer for the Houston Chronicle). Farley’s creative focus is on black-and-white photography.
Aspen Hamnlet is a student at Eddyville High School in Lincoln County. She enjoys working in various medium, including mixed media, illustration and painting.
Kit Sugrue is a colored-pencil artist who focuses on commissioned people and pet portraits. Having graduated from university with a degree in fine art and art history, Sugure moved to New Haven, CT, where she exhibited and sold work in various galleries and gift shops. She moved to Colorado, and then the Oregon coast, where she also designs cover art and script for books, and labels for locally made products.
Janet Webster is a fibre artist who started as a weaver but moved to quilting to work more directly with color and fabric. Webster was born and raised in Portland and has been living in Lincoln County since 1976. She worked for over 25 years as the librarian at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
The “Mayors’ Show” was established in January 2016 as a way to build connections between the Lincoln County creative community and area public officials and employees. The exhibition also adds another level of interest to the annual “PushPin Show, open to all Lincoln County residents.” The standing mayor of Newport and one additional Lincoln County mayor (selected on a rotating basis) and the OCCA VAC director serve as exhibition curators. In 2016, Waldport Mayor Susan Woodruff teamed with Roumagoux and VAC director Tom Webb.
The Runyan Gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-7pm.