The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts welcomes Newport artist Frances Van Wert and her exhibit, “Visual Effects,” running October 4 to November 24 in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artists Showcase (COVAS) at the Newport Visual Arts Center.
Van Wert represents Lincoln County and will feature recent collage, assemblage and encaustics works in the COVAS Showcase, which rotates artists from throughout Oregon’s seven coastal counties. A First Friday opening reception will be held on Friday, October 5, 5-7pm, with an artist talk at 6:15pm.
Frances Van Wert moved to Newport full-time in 2004, following a 30-year career in education and curriculum development based primarily in Washington. She took many art classes at the University of Oregon, where she earned her master’s degree in education, and has continued her arts education through various workshops at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology in Otis, Oregon.
Van Wert is the co-founder of For Arts Sake, Newport’s cooperative art gallery located in the historic Nye Beach neighborhood, and is an active member of the Oregon Coastal Arts Guild and the Lincoln City Cultural Center. For Arts Sake gallery recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, with Van Wert continuing to play a leadership role.
“For me, the hardest part of collage, assemblage and encaustics is knowing when to quit, so as to avoid visual clutter,” Van Wert says. “Sometimes you get so engrossed in materials that you forget about composition. One paper clip more can be too much.”
Van Wert has shown her work at galleries in Gig Harbor and Tacoma, Washington, as well as in Portland and throughout Lincoln County, Oregon. Her works are on regular display at For Arts Sake, where she notes that sales have been robust in recent months. Van Wert contributes to the annual Nye Beach Banner Project and auction, which raises funds for youth-arts programming.
“My favorite works start with collage and then are enhanced by assemblage,” Van Wert says. “But it all takes an abundance of stuff, which people are now bringing directly to me. Using found or recycled objects and giving them a new purpose is of particular interest to me.”
The COVAS Showcase is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4pm.