Tag Archives: Sitka Center for Art and Ecology

Art notes: 1st Thursday, Sitka Invitational

Margot Voorheis Thompson at Sitka InvitationalMargot Voorheis Thompson/Sitka Invitational

By Bob Hicks

Tonight is First Thursday, Portland’s monthly gallery art walk. (We also have First Friday, Last Thursday and a few other gatherings, but this remains the big one.) Of course you don’t have to see the new exhibits tonight — most of them will be up all month — but if you like the party atmosphere and the thrill of being there first, tonight’s the night.

Fritz Liedtke, "April," from his show "Astra Velum" at Blue Sky.As always there’s a lot to see, more than any sane person can manage in a single evening. I have this roundup of highlights in this morning’s Oregonian, and as much as it covers, it leaves more out. Catch what you like, catch what you can, and remember: you have pretty much all of November to catch up with what you don’t catch tonight.

This weekend is the 18th annual Sitka Art Invitational at the World Forestry Center, just across from the Oregon Zoo. I covered the basics in this story on OregonLive. There are special events Friday night and Saturday after hours, but the big party is 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday, and it’s a bargain: $5 (or free, if you’re younger than 18) gets you in the door, with unlimited return visits. About 120 artists, many of them leading regional names, will have roughly 450 works for sale, all to benefit the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology at Cascade Head on the northern Oregon coast. I’ve visited there, and it’s a very cool place, a haven for artists in residence and also a busy center for people wanting to take short-term art and nature courses.

Jim Neidhardt's "Atomic Fireball" at the Littman Gallery show "unGrounded."


  • Margot Voorheis Thompson at the Sitka Art Invitational.
  • Fritz Liedtke, “April,” from his show “Astra Velum” at Blue Sky.
  • Jim Neidhardt’s “Atomic Fireball” at the Littman Gallery show “foreGround,” curated by Jeff Jahn of PORT.

Scatter spruces up on Sitka and the weekend

Mr. Scatter had coffee today with Deborah Elliott (actually, she had tea, something in a purply-roseish hue) and she reminded him that the 16th annual Sitka Art Invitational Exhibit and Sale is coming up this weekend.

I shouldn’t have let it slip my mind. This annual bash in Miller Hall at the World Forestry Center, up on the hill by the Oregon Zoo, is a very rootsy, Northwest-feeling thing.

The 2008 Sitka Invitational. Sitka Center for Art and EcologyIt’s the big yearly benefit for the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, a hands-on arts retreat and workshop center on the Oregon coast, and it always has a generous cooperative feel. Plus, if you play your cards right, you can go home with a good deal on some good art.

The Sitka Center was begun in 1970 by artists Frank and Jane Boyden, and its link between artists and naturalists just seemed, well, natural. I like the way that tie has continued, and the way the invitational brings together a lot of people and ideas that don’t ordinarily cross paths but seem very comfortable sharing the couches in this great big living room. Established artists and up-and-comers, city and rural, contemporary and traditional, a lot of people who fit into that increasingly loose category called craft.

Among the long list of artists whose pieces you can buy (or just appreciate): Frank Boyden, Ron Cronin, Dennis Cunningham, Pat Courtney Gould, George Johanson, Liza Jones, Royal Nebeker, Richard Notkin, Andy Paiko, William Park, Hilary Pfeifer (Bunny with an Arts Blog), Lillian Pitt, Tom Prochaska, Laura Ross-Paul, Judy Vogland, Margot Thompson Voorheis, Sherrie Wolf, Christy Wyckoff. And, as they say on late-night TV, much much more!

The public exhibit/sale is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 and 15. An opening night party with the artists runs 6:30 to 10 Friday the 13th, and costs more.

Check out the details here.


Oregon Music News is off the ground and flying into the blogosphere.

omn_logoThe new online news and reviews service is an attempt to bring pretty much the whole Portland area music scene under one big umbrella, from classical to hip-hop to jazz and blues. Tom D’Antoni, a longtime music freelance writer and producer/reporter on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat, is editor-in-chief. Nancy Glass is publisher.

A lot of what’s here might be of utterly no interest to you. But the beauty of it is, it’s easy to go straight to what does interest you: logical navigation is a wonderful thing.

The breakdown is: classical (editor: James Bash of Northwest Reverb), jazz/blues, rock, acoustic, indie, DJ/electro, soul/hip-hop, experimental. A lot of familiar music-writing names have signed on board.

Welcome, OMN! Here’s the link.


Voices of Our Elders, the theater piece from Well Arts Institute that opened last weekend, continues with two shows Saturday and one Sunday. You might recall having read about it here.

elder51It’s the result of a 10-week workshop with older residents in care centers, listening to their stories and helping them set them down. The results are by turn comic, sentimental, regretful, nostalgic, and sometimes harrowing — the way life looks when you’ve traveled a long way down its path. A cast of good professional actors and musicians is interpreting the stories.

Final shows are at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14-15, at the Olympic Mills Commerce Center, 107 S.E. Washington St. Each performance includes a guest reader or two who wasn’t part of the workshop project; I’ll be doing a piece at Saturday’s matinee. Details here.