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Each year, Cannon Beach marks the advent of warmer weather with the arrival of its favorite seasonal visitors: the Tufted Puffins who alight annually to spend spring and summer on Haystack Rock. However, after a long coastal winter, the proposition of hitting town to feed one's senses isn't just for the birds. Those hungry for a heaping helping of fresh art are invited to ring in spring at the Cannon Beach Gallery Group's 12th annual Spring Unveiling event May 4-6, when artists will be on hand at galleries around town to debut brand new works and to demonstrate their crafts.
New art unveilings are scheduled throughout the weekend, and galleries will also offer plenty of receptions and artist demonstrations as well as wine, snacks and even a little mood music. A variety of mediums will take center stage at this year's event, from paint, glass and fabric to metal, furniture and jewelry. "Just about every element you can think of is going to be a part of this," says event organizer Bonnie Gilchrist. Well-known local artists and gallery owners will demonstrate and discuss their new works, but as spring is a season for delighting in variety, plenty of new faces will be among the cast of visiting artists, Gilchrist says.
Spring Unveiling has long been a feast for the eyes, but this year's event will also cater to the taste buds, promises Gilchrist. After getting their visual fill, attendees are invited to sit at the tables of local chefs and sample creations inspired directly by the art on display. Chefs around town will select a work of art from a gallery and use it to inspire a new menu item, be it a cocktail, dessert appetizer or full dinner, and the item will be available for purchase throughout Spring Unveiling weekend.
"We thought it would be fun to get more merchants involved and to have this be an event for the whole community," Gilchrist says. Whether the feast is intended to feed the eyes or the mouth, the events of Spring Unveiling offer art fans and artists alike an opportunity to engage directly with each other, says Gilchrist, and such interactions can't help but infuse art with a deeper meaning.
"When you buy a piece of artwork, you bring it home, you hang it in your home, and your guests come and have questions and it's fun when you can say 'I met that artist and let me tell you how he does this,'" she says.
For their part, gallery owners say they love watching new customers develop emotional attachments to works of art, Gilchrist adds: "It's really fun as a gallery owner when somebody comes in and you watch them fall in love with a piece of art and they buy it because they love it, not because it matches with the yellow paint in the bathroom."
DragonFire Gallery will host one such first-timer, silk painter Anne Anderson. Her subject of choice? The flower, captured up close á la Georgia O'Keefe and rendered with wax and long-lasting dyes. Anderson first saw silk painting while visiting France 24 years ago, and she was captivated by the process and its vivid results. "It was this instant passion that arose in me that this was what I was going to do someday," Anderson says. "I never could find any classes so I had to teach myself to do it." Anderson plans to work on a piece-in-progress throughout the weekend, and she hopes her art will serve as a reminder that spring is just around the corner. "I'll paint a big, bright, gorgeous and encouraging flower so we know there's hope and we're going to get out of this weather soon," she said. "I think there isn't anything more perfect than a lovely blossom."
Icefire Glassworks will feature the works of owners Jim Kingwell and Suzanne Kindland as well as visiting artist Michelle Kaptur. Kingwell will unveil works from two glass series inspired by agate and granite. "For years I've been fascinated by the depth of light penetration into stones," Kingwell says. "People often think of stone as being opaque, but it isn't. Particularly when you polish the surface, color deep in stone shows, light will pass through outer surface and you'll see amazing subtleties in the color and depths of rock." Kindland will unveil a piece from her forest glass series, while Kaptur will feature a series inspired by the landscapes surrounding her home in Bend, Oregon. After a long winter, Spring Unveiling offers the perfect excuse to try something new, Kindland says: "Any event like this is an opportunity for us to either deepen our explorations into an already existing series or develop something totally new."
Bronze Coast Gallery will host bird sculptor Don Rambadt, who will speak about native wild birds while flanked by a miniature menagerie of feathered friends on loan from the Wildlife Center of the North Coast.
Cannon Beach Gallery will feature Linda Piacentini-Yaple, a book artist whose work draws from a variety of genres. "This is a fantastic sculptural medium that goes way beyond 'the book,' incorporating sculpture, painting, literature politics," says Piacentini-Yaple of her work.
Haystack Gallery will host creative realism landscape painter Michael Schlicting, sculpture welder Mike Orias and painter Rogene Manas.
Two galleries, Northwest By Northwest Gallery and the Jeffrey Hull Gallery, are celebrating their 25th anniversaries this year. The Jeffrey Hull Gallery will feature new watercolors by Jeffrey Hull, who has been painting Cannon Beach for 40 years. In addition, a gypsy jazz band will perform Saturday evening. Northwest By Northwest Gallery, also celebrating two and a half decades in Cannon Beach, will feature sculpture from Georgia Gerber, fine art color landscape photographer Christopher Burkett, and plein air oil painter Eric Jacobsen.
Click here to see a full schedule of events for the 2012 Spring Unveiling Art Festival in Cannon Beach.