This Labor Day weekend, August 31 and September 1 and 2, Toledo’s arts community will be hosting its 20th annual Art Walk in galleries and studios throughout Toledo. The public is invited to enjoy the displays, refreshments, live music, lectures, and more as they explore the hidden treasures of Toledo’s arts community on this self-guided tour. 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, Terri and Stu Strom, 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. Springhill Winery from Albany set up a tasting table and local musician Mike O’Donnell supplied music in Gibbons’ studio. 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, Toledo artists Michael Gibbons, Ivan Kelly, Douglas Haga, Larry Sommer, Becky Miller, Heather Fortner, and Sarah Gayle will each host individual shows throughout the weekend. Gibbons, Kelly, and Miller, who are all located one block up from Main Street in the Arts District, will display primarily oil paintings. Haga and Gayle will be showing acrylic paintings and mixed media work at SolaLuna Gallery on Main Street. Additionally, Haga will be showing his hand made brushes constructed from horse hair and carved handles that are up to 5 feet long. Sommer is opening his glass studio on Sunnyridge Rd. to show new fused glass pieces. Fortner will be showing her gyotaku at her Sea Fern Nature Printing Studio at the Olalla Center. Additionally, several guest artists will be participating. Michael Gibbons has invited Hyatt Moore (an oil painter) and Anne Moore (a printmaker), to show at JP Studio and the Yaquina River Museum of Art has asked Rick Bartow (drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture) to show at the Schoolhouse exhibit space. Becky Miller has invited Carla Axtman to show her photographs at Becky Miller studio.
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.
Throughout the weekend, several of the artists will stage events. At Gallery Michael Gibbons, visitors will enjoy art talks at 1:00 pm in the Vicarage Gallery Garden by Michael and guest artists Rick Bartow, Hyatt Moore, and Anne Moore. Short art work demonstrations are given as well. Patrons of the arts are invited to sit in the flower garden under the shady tent to listen to the music of Bert Sperling, a favorite singer/guitar player with friends, billed as Bert Sinatra playing easy listening music. In addition to a fabulous display of Michael’s art, visitors will enjoy complimentary Oregon wines and cheese refreshments, art drawings, Art Walk discounts on reproductions, and more.
Becky Miller Studio will be hosting events throughout each day. At 12:00 noon daily: Meet the brewer and taste locally made ales from Twisted Snout Brewery in Toledo. At 1:00 daily: Carla Axtman will give a presentation on the inspiration for her work and take questions. At 2:00 daily: Becky Miller will give a presentation on the inspiration for her work and take questions. At 3:00 daily: Fulton Miller will give a live vocal/guitar performance. And at 4:00 daily: Meet the brewer and taste locally made ales from Twisted Snout Brewery in Toledo.
At Heather Fortner’s Sea Fern Nature Printing Studio, daily demonstrations will be ongoing. On Saturday, Heather will be demonstrating gyotaku – the art of printing from an actual rockfish found in local water. See how the fish is prepared, inked, and rubbed in order to get exacting details. On Sunday, Heather will be doing a series of nature monoprints using a 30″ etching press. Nature monoprints are done with an inked plate with repetitive runs through the etching press. With each run the plants imprint onto the paper, and change in values. By turning the plants over and reprinting, a series of beautifully detailed nature printed images can be created. Finally, on Monday, Heather will be demonstrating gyotaku with a small octopus. Gyotaku, or fish printing, can be done with any creature from the ocean or freshwater environment. The octopus, because of its soft texture, can be a challenging subject. See how it is prepared, inked, and printed.
Saturday night, a reception will be held at SolaLuna Gallery on Main Street for Douglas Haga and Sarah Gayle from 7:00 to 10:00 to highlight new work by Douglas Haga combining his large brush paintings and Native American symbolism and the new collection by Sarah Gayle titled “Negative space, Positive growth.”
After a hiatus of three years due to health reasons, Larry Sommer is again opening up his studio in the beautiful countryside one mile outside of Toledo. There he will be displaying new fused works in a variety of styles as well as older works from his own collection. Throughout the weekend he will be demonstrating the various techniques and equipment used in the art of glass fusing.
For more information about Art Walk, including biographies and photos of work on each participating artist, see the Art Walk website, http://www.toledoarts.info/. Signage will guide visitors to the Art Walk locations.