Yaquina Art Association’s New Gate Welcomes Visitors
Recently a new gate was installed at the Yaquina Art Association (YAA) Gallery at the Nye Beach Turnaround. The new gate was made possible by a grant from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund (STCCF). Funds from the STCCF were used to purchase high grade steel bars for the basic support structure of the gate. A donation of recyclable steel from the Georgia Pacific mill was used to create some of the decorative features on the gate.
The new YAA gate replaces a metal gate that was installed in 1986. The harsh coastal weather had taken its toll on the gate and it was badly rusted. The new gate is a great entry to the gallery with its representation of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Yaquina Bay Bridge.
Kelli Simonds, an artist and YAA member, constructed the gate. It took her just over a month of part-time work to complete the project. Kelli learned to weld at age 12 from her father. She has been welding and creating sculptures ever since then. She shows her work at the YAA Gallery. Following a family tradition, she is now teaching her young sons to weld.
Kelli drew the decorative features on sheets of metal and then cut them out by had using a plasma cutter. After welding the gate together, she used oxygen and an acetylene torch heated to different temperatures to achieve different colors and highlight certain features on the gate.
The Yaquina Art Association plans to have a celebration party for the new gate once the construction at the Nye Beach turnaround is complete.
The YAA Gallery is located at 789 Beach drive in Nye Beach. The YAA is a cooperative of local artists. Membership is open to Lincoln County residents. The organization offers free art classes, scholarships, and an opportunity for members to sell their artworks in the Gallery. A portion of the sales from the Gallery supports the free art classes.