February 2020
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries
with a splash of vinegar.
-- from the poem  February by Margaret Atwood
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.
Hockinson Elementary students create poetry books with assistance from Artstra board member Dorothy Bocian (right)
National Unpublished Writers' Day sparks enthusiasm for the written word
Clark County Historical Museum was the perfect backdrop to celebrate writing and the birthday of Richard Brautigan for the 2020 National Unpublished Writers' Day. Organized by Bradley Richardson, museum executive director, the January 25 event included readings, workshops on writing and publishing, and information with activities for all ages throughout the day.  
Kandy Robertson discusses the day with Curator John Barber
Artstra, with Rose City Book Pub, and Washington State University Vancouver helped coordinate this all-day event, free to the public. KXRW (99.9) was on hand, interviewing presenters and attendees. Students from Hockinson Elementary School presented readings, and information stations filled the foyer of the museum. Artstra representatives created poetry book projects with students and shared Poetry Moves opportunities for publishing adult and student poems on local C-Tran buses. 

John Barber, faculty at WSU Vancouver, a Brautigan scholar, curates the museum's Brautigan Library collection. "Brautigan suffered many rejections before achieving success as a writer," stated Barber. "The Brautigan Library celebrates Brautigan's vision and perseverance by providing a place where interested writers can share their narratives, regardless of content or quality."  

Plans are in the works for next year's celebration and informative workshops in honor of National Unpublished Writers' Day so stay tuned.

Alyson Stanfield presents her "1-Page Art Marketing" workshop Saturday April 18. Seats still available.
Artstra hosts art marketing workshop

In this workshop, Alyson Stanfield helps artists make sense of all that is possible to promote their art so that each artist can select a strategy tailored for their needs. Participants leave with a single, easy-to-follow plan for marketing their art. Stanfield is the founder of Art Biz Success, host of the Art Biz Podcast, and author of I'd Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.

The Artist's 1-Page Marketing Plan workshop

Saturday, April 18, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Community Room
Columbia Bank
101 E. 6th Street
Vancouver WA 98660

A sample workshop agenda and more info can be found here .   Workshop students receive:
  • Pre-workshop orientation and a little homework
  • Live workshop - 3 hours working with Alyson and other artists on your marketing plan
  • PDF of Alyson's book prior to the workshop
  • Hard copy of Alyson's book at the workshop
  • Follow-up check-ins for accountability
Just $57 when you register now! ($69 after March 1) Seats are still available.

Columbia Bank Community Room
101 E. 6th St., Vancouver
Job opportunity
Artstra seeks new graphic design, marketing, and creative lead

Are you a versatile graphic designer with a passion for the arts? Do you have both print and web design expertise and a head for communications strategy? Artstra is a small nonprofit organization advocating for the arts in Southwest Washington. We are currently seeking a senior-level designer as a part-time contractor to meet our ongoing need for graphic design and marketing communications support.

Our long-time graphic design, marketing and creative director is retiring from his role with Artstra and so we are now seeking a freelance contractor to take his place. If you are qualified, this can be an opportunity for you to use your skills in shaping communications across all platforms for an arts organization influencing Vancouver, Washington and the adjacent region.

Please email inquiries to Cam Suttles.
First Friday picks
"One River, Many Voices" at Vancouver Community Library

Celebrate Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna's year-long project collecting poetry from voices along the Columbia River.

First Friday Interactive
5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, February 7
Columbia Room, Level 1
A new series for adults combining an exhibit with
a hands-on project. Exhibits will have a
connection to the local area or be works by local

Taller de poesia
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday February 22
Klickitat Room, 4th Level
Taller de poesia (Spanish Poetry Workshop) por Poeta Laureada Claudia Castro Luna Este taller de poesía es organizado por Claudia Castro Luna, Poeta Laureada del Estado de Washington como parte de su proyecto One River, Many Voices; Un Rio, Muchas Voces. Traiga sus ideas creativas y amplíe sus habilidades de escritura con los consejos de esta maravillosa poeta local.

One River, Many Voices
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, February 22
Columbia Room, Level 1
Explore our place, our history, and the power of words and stories to define our communities and ourselves. Oregon State Poet Laureate Kim Stafford will be joining Claudia Castro Luna.

901 C St., Vancouver
The CAVE says "Farewell to the Pig" with group show

Rather than welcoming the Year of the Rat, Art At The Cave gallery offers a sweet farewell to the Year of the Pig February 5 through the 29. Enjoy new swine-related works of more than 15 artists including Pepe Hidalgo, Robert Bickel, Erin Dengerink, Anne John, Sharon Svec, kathi rick, Greg Bee, Cynthia Heise, Sarah Dillon, Jill Falk, Russell Ford, COWS Vancouver, Vivi LaRue and Steve Eichenberger.

Opening reception: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, February 7

Artist Talk: 11 a.m., Saturday, February 15

108 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
Michael Lindstrom, Parkdale Cottage
Michael Lindstrom's "Unbridled" at Art on The Boulevard

Michael Lindstrom's solo show, "Unbridled" runs through March 28 at Art on the Boulevard. "Ranging from impressionistic to expressive, I enjoy painting for the moment. So whatever that moment in time requires of me is how I will adjust my process, accommodating nature and always being mindful of my emotional connection to my surroundings," says Lindstrom. "My hope for the viewer is that you see and feel that connection between spirit and nature."
Reception: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, February 7

210 W. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
For other Vancouver First Friday listings, see VDA's Hot Sheet 
Elizabeth Malaska, When We Dead Awaken
Clark Art Talk: Elizabeth Malaska

Clark College's Archer Gallery presents an artist talk by Elizabeth Malaska on Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. in the Penguin Union Building Fireside Lounge

Born and raised in Portland, Elizabeth Malaska earned her MFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is known for paintings that explore the place of the female body in a range of art historical contexts, raising issues about femininity, power, domination, and vulnerability, with social and political implications in our current times. 

Her work has been included in exhibitions regionally and nationally, including in Oregon at Portland Community College's North View Gallery; the University of Oregon's White Box; Disjecta; Milepost 5; Nationale; and the Oregon State Capitol.

Clark College
Penguin Union Building (161)
Fireside Lounge
1933 Fort Vancouver Way,  Vancouver
Pianist David Kalhous
Musica Lanterna: Pianist David Kalhous with fluid artist Joanne Cvallaro at Boomerang

On February 29, Musica Lanterna Concert Series Project presents the fourth concert of the season with Florida based Czech-American concert pianist David Kalhous. His Saturday night performance will include solo piano music from Baroque to Contemporary styles in the intimate space of Tandem Hall at Boomerang. Before the show and during an intermission, enjoy an art exhibition of Joanne Cvallaro, an award winning fluid artist from Texas who recently joined the Vancouver community. Boomerang cafe and bar will be surviving drinks and refreshments. The concert is followed by an open talk/conversation during which you will be able to ask questions, share your impressions and engage in a dialogue with the artists. 
Doors open at 6:15 p.m. with an art exhibition and café/bar. Concert begins at 7:00 p.m. 
Tandem Hall at Boomerang Bistro 
808 Main St., Vancouver
Scene from The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
"VSO Goes Back to the Movies" with Hitchcock's 1927 film "The Lodger"

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's Chamber Music Series continues with its second installment of the "VSO Goes Back to the Movies" with The Lodger (1927) at the VSAA Royal Durst Theatre on February 9, 2020 at 3 p.m. The screening of the silent film will feature live chamber music accompaniment by arranger and pianist Rodney Sauer. The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog is Alfred Hitchcock's third feature film and follows the hunt for a serial killer in London. It was inspired by the novel of the same name about Jack the Ripper and the play Who Is He?. The silent film introduced themes that ran through Hitchcock's later works and helped shape the modern-day thriller genre.

Royal Durst Theatre
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
3101 Main St., Vancouver

Poetry Happenings
Armin Tolentino
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic with Armin Tolentino

This month's Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, February 13, at 7 p.m., featuring Armin Tolentino, author of the poetry collection We Meant to Bring It Home Alive (Alternating Current Press, 2019). He earned an MFA at Rutgers University-Newark and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Common Knowledge, Arsenic Lobster, Hyphen Magazine, and The Raven Chronicles. He is a phenomenal clapper, a passable ukulele player, and a bumbling, but enthusiastic, fisherman. 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.

1015 Main St., Vancouver
Calls for artists
Downtown public art projects

Vancouver's Downtown Association (VDA) has issued a Call for Artists/ Request for Qualifications for two funded projects that are slated for implementation in 2020. Both projects include components with public art. Submissions must be received by Monday, February 10, 2020 at 12:00 noon.

Clark County Historical Museum Project

The City of Vancouver is soliciting proposals from an artist or a team of artists for their first commissioned public art piece through their new Public Art Program. The piece would be located on the grounds of the Clark County Historical Museum and should demonstrate the Museum's current relevance while respecting its commitment to preserving our communities stories and artifacts.

View request for proposals
Society of Washington Artists Spring Show

The Society of Washington Artists (SWA) announces a call for Northwest artists, 18 and older, to enter their Spring Show and Sale, scheduled for April 30 to May 3, 2020 and to be held at the Vancouver Water Resources Center Community Room, 4600 SE Columbia Way in Vancouver Washington.  On-line registration for the show begins February 1, 2020 and will continue until April 17 or until 200 pieces have been registered. The Society of Washington Artists Spring Show and Sale is the largest art show held in Southwest Washington.

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.
5 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 
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 [email protected], 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.