May 2021
May is a transition to summer, a time to get outside, to make art, enjoy art, and find another opportunity to make space in your life for the arts.

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.
Advancing the arts
Espacio de Arte en el Parque
(Art Space in the Park) kicks off at Evergreen Park
A young artist shows off her work at Espacio de Arte en el Parque
Vancouver Ballet Folklorico (VBF), Fourth Plain Forward, and Artstra have collaborated to launch a new program, Espacio de Arte en el Parque, spearheaded by Anna Cruz, Artstra board member and founder of VBF. The program is also a natural extension of Artstra's Creative Relief Clark County.

Cruz's idea was inspired by fond memories of her childhood in Mexico where she had the opportunity to attend a Casa de la Cultura in Chapala, Jalisco where children of all ages would go to create art. Led by a few volunteers, the activity would take place Saturday mornings in a high ceiling house with a big terrace.
"La Casa de la Cultura helped me embrace the free opportunity to draw, paint, make crafts," says Cruz, "and to leave aside unhealthy family dynamics."

She says it was a peaceful place and she is so thankful that it existed for her. Cruz is enthusiastic and hopeful that the partnership with Artstra and Fourth Plain Forward will bring similar benefits, she says "to areas where our priority communities live, for their children and because art is a window to a different world."
Maia Cruz and Saraí Graciano paint rocks at Espacio de Arte en el Parque
Espaciao de Arte en el Parque is held at Evergreen Park, 3500 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. in Vancouver from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of each month, May through October. View flyer.

Volunteers are needed to help lead art-making projects. Please contact if you would like to help with this worthwhile and fun project.

Calling all Clark County Artists!
2021 Open Studios Tour is on for this fall
A hybrid approach — with COVID safety in mind
The Clark County Open Studios Tour is back on the calendar for this November 6–7. The tour will return after a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall will mark the eighth year of the free, self-guided tour of local artists’ studios.

“What’s new is we’ll have multiple ways to explore our amazing community of artists.” says Jennifer Williams, artist and program director. “The tour will include a hybrid of experiences including video demos and live studio sharing, online shopping opportunities, and viewing by appointment for visitors who may be at greater risk for COVID-19. And, of course, traditional tour visitors can look forward to the first weekend of November as always — but with new COVID protocols at each studio.”

Due to ever changing circumstances, rather than having a printed guidebook, tour information will only be available online to allow for real-time updates. In the days prior to the tour, the latest on COVID safety details will be added.

“Our new hybrid approach,” Williams explains, “will allow us to move forward with tour plans that are flexible while providing an inclusive event with opportunities for all visitors and artists to engage safely.”

Clark County artists encouraged to apply
Open Studios is a juried art event, offering a unique opportunity for artists to gain further recognition, open their studio doors to the public, and to show and sell their work. Artstra is asking interested Clark County artists and artisans to begin applying online for this fall’s event. The application deadline is June 1, 2021. View details and application instructions.

First Friday Pick
Michael Ferguson and David Allen Dunlop
Attic Gallery
Oregon Coast Heights by David Allen Dunlop
The Attic Gallery in Camas features landscape painters Michael Ferguson and David Allen Dunlop in their May exhibition. Ferguson will be in attendance at the opening reception is this evening, First Friday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

421 Cedar St, Camas
All Sides: sculptural works
Art at the Cave
5 Oranges, more or less by Stephen D. Walter
Art at the Cave is showcasing 3D and sculptural works through May 29 in an exhibition titled “All Sides.” Works were solicited from the local arts community, including the Pacific Northwest Sculptors group.

108 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver
View other Vancouver gallery listings on the VDA website.
Out and about
Washougal area artists open their studio doors to offer an art-filled family outing for Mother’s Day weekend. The 2021 Washougal Studio Artists Tour will be held this weekend, May 8-9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include 8 stops with 15 local artists.
Public Art Roster
The Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) is accepting applications through June 21 for its Public Art Roster. ArtsWA's Art in Public Places program (AIPP) is working to make the 2021-2025 Public Artist Roster the most inclusive and equitable ever. They seek a diverse range of artists to create artworks for state agencies, colleges, universities, and public schools throughout Washington state. The Roster is their main tool for choosing artists. It is a list of artists who pre-qualify to create artworks through their program. It allows for a simplified selection process. ArtsWA uses the Roster for 20 to 40 projects per year.

Artist resources during the COVID-19 pandemic
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.
ARTS brief team
Cam Suttles, editor, designer 
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.orgno 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 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.