October 2022
ARTS brief is designed to intrigue you while sharing useful information, events, happenings, and current news related to arts growth in our region. If you love what you see here, please forward this to your friends and encourage them to join our email list and subscribe.
9th Annual Open Studios Tour Runs Nov 5-6
Jessica Joner at work at her potter's wheel
Clark County artists invite the public into their creative sanctuaries

Artists across Clark County are deep in preparation for the 9th annual Open Studios tour, set for November 5 and 6. The popular self-guided tour explores the work and workspaces of 50 juried artists from the community, representing a varied selection of illustrators, painters, sculptors, potters, welding artists, photographers, mixed-media creators, digital artists, printmakers, ceramicists, glass workers, jewelers, lapidarists, fiber artists, and woodworkers.

By opening their creative spaces to the public, the community is exposed to the wide range of environments that inspire artists, ranging from traditional art studios to metal shops and barns. In addition to the variety of workspaces, the public will be introduced to artists whose creativity is expressed through more than one medium. One such artist is Barbara Sheehan, whose artistry is channeled through drawing, painting, digital art, mixed media, and photography.
The public is invited to preview works by all of the artists at the November Vancouver's Downtown Association First Friday Art Walk at Art at the Cave Gallery. The First Friday event will give the community a taste of what to expect from the various artists and will remain on exhibit at the gallery through November. Attendees can obtain a printed guide of the Open Studios 2022 tour, which are also available in advance at Aurora Gallery, Vancouver Art Space, and the Attic Gallery (Camas). The community is encouraged to use these printed guides to craft their own itinerary of the studios they wish to visit across Clark County.

Clark County Open Studios is a program of Artstra and is made possible in part by assistance from the City of Vancouver, Washington Lodging Tax Grant Program. Additional funding is provided by artist application and participation fees, our local business sponsors, plus volunteer and community support.

Work by artist Barbara Sheehan
Día de Muertos
Esther Short Park, October 22
Celebration of remembrance at Esther Short Park

Vancouver Ballet Folklorico invites the community to celebrate and honor the memories of departed loved ones at Esther Short Park on Saturday, October 22 from 4-8 p.m..
Born in a tradition that dates back centuries, Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is traditionally joyfully celebrated during the first two days of November. Customarily, families celebrate the remembrance of the dead through the creation of altars in the home (ofrendas), public festivals with treats specific to the holiday, traditional music and dancing, the visiting and maintenance of graves, and the creation of mock-epitaphs (calaveras literarias) dedicated to living friends.

The festivities at Esther Short Park will include traditional Mexican dancing and music, guest artists, catrinas (skeletal art specific to the holiday), the lighting of luminarias, and an ofrenda to the beloved deceased.

This free, family-friendly event will take place rain or shine.

Volunteers are still needed to make this event a success, with multiple options for volunteer activities throughout the event. Volunteers are asked to register here.
Día de Muertos is presented by Vancouver Ballet Folklorico and funded in part by a grant from Group Health Community Foundation with support from Artstra, Clark County Arts Commission, Columbia Arts Network and the City of Vancouver.

Sitka Art Invitational
The 2022 Sitka Art Invitational takes place October 14-16, 2022 and will be at a new venue this year, Oregon Contemporary, a non-profit organization and exhibit space in North Portland's Kenton neighborhood. The Art Invitational Exhibition + Sale brings together 100 nature-inspired Northwest artists and showcases 300 pieces of art including sculpture, paintings, ceramics, fiber art, photography, drawings, prints, and more. Art sales are shared 50/50 with the artists and Sitka’s non-profit residency and youth arts programs.

Suggested entry fee is $7-$10, no one turned away due to lack of funds. Free for Oregon Contemporary and Sitka members and youth.

The Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra at Providence Academy Ballroom
The Vancouver-based Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra has teamed up with the Historic Trust to bring hot jazz of the 1920s and sweet dance music of the 1930s to music lovers and dancers as part of the Vancouver's Downtown Association's First Friday Art Walk.

Under the leadership of master showman Sammuel Murry-Hawkins, the ensemble transports audiences to the golden age of Hot Jazz and Sweet Dance Music, specializing in the tunes of Cab Calloway, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, and George Gershwin.

The all-ages recurring event kicks off Friday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m., and will feature a number of tunes to celebrate the Halloween season. Though not available for purchase at the ballroom, outside food and (non-alcoholic) beverages are permitted. Tickets are $10 at the door, or available for advanced purchase here.

2nd year of Arts Alive! another success!
Arts Alive! celebrated second year presenting local arts organizations

Saturday, September 17 brought creative types from across Clark County together for the second annual Arts Alive! festival at the Public Service Plaza in downtown Vancouver. The event, produced through the collaboration of Artstra, the Clark County Arts Commission, the Columbia Arts Network, and the Southwest Washington Center for the Arts, collaborated with more than 25 regional artists and cultural organizations to present the 4-hour event.

The festival, with the mission of introducing the community to the artists and cultural organizations of Southwest Washington, saw the Public Service Plaza filled with tents and booths. Visitors had the opportunity of connecting with members from all disciplines of visual art, including representatives from Abstract Fine Arts Studio, the Northwest Oil Painters Guild, Kilnfolk Clay Studio, among many others. Young visitors to the event could get "hands-on" at the Clay Station with supplies donated through the generosity of Georgie's Ceramic & Clay Co.
Clark County commissioner and executive director of the Historic Trust Temple Lentz acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event, introducing local poets and performers from some of the region's top performing arts organizations. The event was bookended nicely, opening with a blessing from Cowlitz Tribe elder Tanna Engdahl transitioning smoothly into the event's first performance, a drum circle performed by the Traveling Day Society. Ora Nui Tahitian Dance Troupe closed the event with a heated performance featuring traditional dances from across Polynesia. Poet Laureate Armin Tolentino presented spoken word artists, representing many of Clark County's up-and-coming poets.
A huge thank you to all of the artists and organizations who helped make this second-year event a success, and thank you to the hundreds of community members who came to explore the region's artists!
Thank you Give More 24! donors
A very special thank you to everyone for making a contribution to Artstra on September 22 - Give More 24!, Southwest Washington's day of giving! Your support enriches the cultural community of Clark County, and every donation, large or small, makes a difference. Thank you!

Our all-volunteer organization works toward building greater arts awareness, rewarding creative excellence, and expanding arts accessibility. We are working to facilitate long-term arts development for Southwest Washington. We envision a stronger arts infrastructure that includes an art center and a community-focused performing arts facility. 

Your support will help to make this vision a reality. Artstra's current programs include our annual Clark County Open Studios Tour and Poetry Moves, a collaborative effort that features the words of local poets on C-Tran buses. Both of these programs have already demonstrated the power of art in our lives to connect us, transform us, and fuel the economy.
Five ways to support the cause
If you love what Artstra is doing for our community, please consider the different ways that you can contribute.

1- Donate
Use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to Artstra. 
2- Declutter
Give useable items to Nifty and Thrifty at 6607 E. Mill Plain Blvd. And when those items sell, the money is split 50/50 with participating nonprofits. Just let them know your items are donated to benefit Artstra. 
3- Shop 
Link your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Artstra using our code #84120. Just by using your rewards card number, and at no cost to you, every time you shop you'll help Artstra earn a quarterly donation from Fred Meyer.
4- Shop online 
Use this link to login to Amazon, and they will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase back to Artstra.
5- Volunteer 
Artstra is an all-volunteer organization. If you have specialized skills, especially in fundraising, outreach and marketing, we'd love to talk with you.
About Artstra
Artstra is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization advocating for the arts in Clark County and southwest Washington. We envision a vibrant arts economy in our region, north of the Columbia River, with public/private investments and facilities that sustain artists and enrich community. Our mission is to elevate the arts, build greater arts awareness, reward creative excellence, and expand arts accessibility.