July 2019
Are you a supporter of the arts? Well then what's holding you back? Help make a difference by coming to the best dang party around this August 30 at Shangri-La Farm.

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.
Art can bring us together

Like nothing else, art can reach across boundaries that divide us. Art, inherently, is an experience that is bigger than all the clutter and noise in our lives.

Art doesn't actually need to have "meaning," narrative, message, or an agenda. In fact, some of the best art just asks us to "look at this" or "listen to this." (If a painting had more to say, it would have been said in the language of paint.) In this excessively verbal world, we so often feel compelled to use words to lend credence to art.

But it is actually the transcendent quality of art that needs to be cherished and protected from influences that tend to limit it. That's why when we meet someone who thrives on creating and sharing their art, we ought to recognize that we're witnessing an ancient impulse to communicate in a language without words. We'd do well to pause for a moment and take in the much deeper experience of art that defies analysis, critique, or labeling.

To find joy in making art may be one of the most satisfying human experiences.
A young Liz and her dad, 1961.
We first met artist Liz Pike in Olympia at the February 2017 Arts and Heritage Day event with the state legislature. Later that spring, she eagerly applied to join Artstra's Clark County Open Studios Tour. This fall will mark her third year in the tour. Liz has become a big fan and supporter of Artstra and is truly a powerhouse of energy and optimism.

Liz grew up with seven brothers and five sisters on her family's dairy farm in Brush Prairie, Washington. Her parents instilled in her a strong work ethic and sense of personal responsibility, evident in every lovingly cared-for corner of her organic farm.

After years owning and operating Pike Advertising, three years running Pike Art Gallery, developing the Camas First Friday Art Walk, serving as political director with the Building Industry Association of Clark County, divisional board member of Umpqua Bank, Camas City Councilor, and board member of her homeowner association (whew!), Liz served three terms as a Republican in the Washington House of Representatives, representing the state's 18th Legislative District.

Retired now from politics, Liz talks about her political career with pride and also with a renewed understanding of how hard it is to get stuff done. "I feel like I earned a degree in Olympia politics," Liz says. Her stint in the legislature was always to be temporary. It was an episode. And her life, like art, is much bigger, and richer, than all of that.

A Hootenanny for the Arts!
Liz Pike
Liz has begun a new chapter in her life, turning her full attention to tending Shangri-La Farm, creating her artwork, and putting her family first as she always has. Earlier this year, she approached Artstra with a generous offer to convert her very successful annual political fundraiser party to a fundraiser for the arts, with Artstra as the beneficiary. We said yes, yes, and YES!

What could be more fun than a Hootenanny for the Arts, chicken poop bingo and all? It's going to be a hoot, and we hope y'all can come!

Yes, there are artists who are introverts, but Liz isn't one of them. Like her trademark sunflowers, both her farm and her personality seem to radiate their own warm golden light.

Please support the arts and register today for the Hootenanny!

Also be sure to check out Liz's opening at Camas Gallery featuring "Field of Sunflowers," a new body of work in oils on canvas during the month of July. The gallery is located at 408 NE Fourth Avenue in downtown Camas. Join her First Friday artist reception this Friday, July 5 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Camas Gallery, meet Liz and celebrate her new work. During the reception, Liz will be doing a live painting demonstration in oils on canvas. Enjoy complimentary wine, cheese, and Liz's famous chocolate truffles.

More about artist Liz Pike from last week's Camas-Washougal Post-Record
Liz Pike, Susan's Sunflower, oil on canvas
Speaking of artist/politicians ...

Congratulations to Rep. Sharon Wylie (D-Vancouver), representing the 49th district, on her appointment to the Washington State Arts Commission! It's wonderful to have our community's arts and culture interests represented in Olympia.

Sharon is an artist an past participant in Artstra's Clark County Open Studios Tour.

Read more about Sharon Wylie's appointment
Poetry Moves student poems selected

Season 8 poems are now being installed on C-Tran buses and will be on display July through December. Congratulations to all Season 8 poets! Artstra thanks Clark County Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Morgan for her work in selecting nine poems from more than 70 submissions from K-12 students in Clark County. A tenth poem was written by Gwendolyn to complete the Season 8 set of poems:
  1. Fox, by Layali U., 4th Grade, Sprouting Seeds School
  2. Cats, by Nafisa U., 2nd Grade, Sprouting Seeds School
  3. Fern, by Lyla B., 3rd Grade, Sprouting Seeds School
  4. Bus Dogs, by Mikaylee F., 9th Grade, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
  5. Give Some Kind, by Natalie W., 4th Grade, Chinook Elementary
  6. In My Basket, by Anna C., 2nd Grade, Southridge Elementary
  7. Frog's Song, by Madeline C., 12th Grade, Camas High
  8. Kindness is a Match, by Cass K., 4th Grade, Chinook Elementary
  9. Moose Wearing a Tie, by Emmy P., Kindergarten, Lakeshore Elementary
  10. Honeybee Haiku, by Gwendolyn Morgan, Clark County Poet Laureate, 2018-2020
Season 8 (July through December 2019) poets as well as Season 9 (January through June 2020) poets will be honored at a Celebration of Poetry during National Poetry Month in April 2020. Beginning in 2019, rather than having a celebration event for each season of Poetry Moves, Artstra has set a calendar of annual celebrations, each time honoring two seasons of poets.

50 artists to participate in 2019 Open Studios Tour

Jurors Bonnie Meltzer, Donna Guardino, and Eleanor Erskine have selected 50 artists for this fall's Clark County Open Studios Tour. Each year, new artists apply to join the tour so the mix of artists continually changes. See the complete list of artists and samples of their work.

First Friday picks
Artstra Chair Karen Madsen testing out Liz Pike's Sunflower Mobile (aka the Hootenanny shuttle bus) at Shangri-La Farm.
Liz Pike's "Field of Sunflowers"
at Camas Gallery

During July, Camas Gallery features "Field of Sunflowers," a new body of work by Liz Pike. Meet Liz during the First Friday artist reception and watch her live painting demonstration. Enjoy complimentary wine, cheese, and Liz's famous chocolate truffles. The public is also invited to view the "Sunflower Mobile," Liz's latest 'moving' original oil on fiberglass. This one-of-a-kind 6-passenger golf cart is hand painted in Liz's signature sunflowers and will be parked in front of Camas Gallery during the afternoon and evening of July 5.

Opening reception: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., First Friday, July 5

408 NE 4th Ave., Camas
Sarah Dillon The Hearing (left) and Samyak Yamauchi, The Race Against Time (right).
Sarah Dillon and Sam Yamauchi at the CAVE
Art at the Cave presents the works of Sarah Dillon and Sam Yamauchi July 5 through July 29. Dillon's exhibit, "Where We Are" encourages self-reflection in her newest series, taking on entitlement, social analysis, politics, and history. Sam Yamauchi offers a story in 10 paintings in her exhibit "From Japanese Hair to Sword Ferns." She describes her process as "part contemplation and intention and a whole lot of playing around until she knows it's right."
Opening reception: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, July 5.  

108 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
For other Vancouver First Friday listings, see VDA's Hot Sheet
Support local theater!

Join Magenta's fundraiser to be held July 13 at 6:30 p.m, at the Main Street location. Entertainment will feature live music by Ensemble Gitane, a subgroup of Vancouver-based The Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra specializing in the sounds of 1930s Paris. Band members include Samuel Murry-Hawkins (band leader/flute/vocals), Twayn Williams (guitar), Hamody Hindi (guitar), James Cook (double bass), and Mary Rowell (violin). A sneak preview of the 2020 season will also be revealed during the course of the evening.

Magenta Theater
1108 Main St., Vancouver
Washington Dance Creative. Photo by Julie Godbolt.
Washington Dance Creative
at Magenta Theater

We all experience a unique biological bond with each person we come in contact with. Attraction, friendship, excitement, love, loyalty -- chemistry is the bond that ties us together. Come see how Washington Dance Creative dancers respond to the music, to each other, and to the audience, in a percussion based show on July 17, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.)

Magenta Theater
1108 Main St., Vancouver
Poetry happenings
Book Launch Celebration for Toni Lumbrazo Luna
at Angst Gallery

This month's Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, July 11, at 7 p.m., featuring Open Mic co-host Toni Lumbrazo Luna, launching her third book of poetry, Driven by Hope, containing glimpses into the lives of people she has met throughout her career as a Social Worker and Life/Career Coach. Toni's two previous books of poetry are Jesus is a Gas and Wind Wing. She is currently working on her memoir, titled Life in View of the Crazy House. Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna of Printed Matter Vancouver, Open Mic sign up begins at 6:30 p.m. and closes at 7 p.m.

Angst Gallery
1015 Main St., Vancouver

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.
4 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. 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.
  3. Shop online
    Use this link to login to Amazon, and they will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase back to Artstra.
  4. 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.
ARTS brief team

Cam Suttles, editor,  designer 
Jackie Genis, contributing writer
Editorial Policy and submission guidelines
ARTS brief is intended to be useful to readers by offering a curated selection of stories and announcements related to the growth of arts in our region. Submitted items should be newsworthy. This means that arts-related items for content consideration must perform well in at least two of the following five areas: timing, significance, proximity, prominence, and human interest. Please submit materials to artsbrief@artstra.org, no later than the 25th of each month. Note that submission does not guarantee publication. We evaluate each submission to determine how it fits our goals for ARTS brief and whether the item under consideration aligns with the mission and vision of Artstra. We do not accept materials that primarily have a commercial objective.
About Artstra
Artstra, formerly "Arts of Clark County," 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.