November 2018
Take a free, self-guided tour of artist studios this weekend and see how artists do what they do. You might just find the inspiration you're looking for, or maybe even a holiday gift to take home with you. Welcome to November!

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Advancing the arts

50 artists open their studios this weekend

The sixth annual Clark County Open Studios Tour takes place this Saturday and Sunday, November 3-4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 50 different artists across Clark County will share how, why, and where their art is created. As an ongoing program of the nonprofit Arts of Clark County, this free, self-guided tour has gained a regular following and is eagerly anticipated each fall by artists and art lovers alike.

A preview exhibit before the weekend tour
The public is invited to a preview exhibit and artists' reception on First Friday, November 2, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the CAVE Gallery at 108 E. Evergreen Blvd. in downtown Vancouver. This kick-off for Open Studios, held the evening before the tour weekend, is an opportunity for people to see artworks from each of the fifty artists and choose the studios they want to visit as they plan their tour for Saturday and Sunday. Trusty Brewery will be pouring tastes of their award winning brews. The exhibition will remain at the CAVE through the month of November.

Plan ahead
Visitors on the Clark County Open Studios Tour will see artists and studios that run the gamut, and they will enjoy an intimate view into how artists in our community do what they do. With studios located throughout the county, it's best to plan your tour so that you can get to each artist on your must-see list. Free guidebooks are available in advance of the event at sponsor business locations and other sites in addition to being at the First Friday preview show. You can also access an interactive map showing studio locations and suggested routes, learn more about each artist, and get a list of locations where you can pick up a guidebook -- all from the event website.

Learn more about the Clark County Open Studios Tour
View sponsor locations to pick up a free guidebook
Paul Solevad, Screentime
Striking a balance between art-making and the online world

Open Studios Tour reveals the diverse ways artists pursue their passion
As any artist knows, there's incredible satisfaction in actually creating physical objects with your own hands. This is the real attraction of the studio - not just for the artist but everyone who encounters an artist in their place of work. Yet now we live in a world where an artist's livelihood, career, or business success depends increasingly on effective use of the web.

Visitors to this fall's Clark County Open Studios Tour will find a broad cross-section of artists and artisans, many of whom are finding their own way of striking a balance between their art making and the digital world. Studios on this fall's Clark County Open Studios Tour are scattered far and wide, from Woodland to Washougal. While there are 50 artists on the tour each year, there is always a different 50. In fact, 15 of the artists are entirely new to Open Studios this year. Among disciplines represented are wood turners, ceramicists, printmakers, fiber artists, glass artists, and many others.

Business-savvy artisans like leathersmith and painter Kathleene Kavanagh or textile artist Deb Spofford, while working with old-world crafts, are optimizing their success through personal ecommerce websites.
Kathleene Kavanagh's offline home
World traveler and second-generation leather worker, Kavanagh combines her father's craft with an understanding of what an artist or journaler wants in a book. Her pieces are one-of-a-kind heirlooms, crafted by hand, yet her online store shows that she is as connected to the web as she is to the ground. (Kavanagh lives in a canvas Sibley Bell tent as "artist in residence" on a farm in Brush Prairie.) Though she prefers meeting face-to-face with her buyers and handing out her business cards at Night Market Vancouver, it's her website with beautiful photos of each product, that can close the deal. "I wanted the website to be true to my nature, simple and honest," she says.

Spofford, a self-acknowledged member of the "slow fashion" movement, developed much of her knowledge of textile design and block printing from her time living in China. She now produces beautiful hand-printed textiles in her rural Felida studio, successfully marketing them through her "Made on 23rd" website. A first-time visitor to her classy website would be surprised to learn that every item is made in her small studio. "Actually it's been hard," Spofford says, "to balance looking so professional with getting people to understand that everything is done by real human beings and not printed on a big machine in China." Her solution: Creating and sharing a stop animation video on Instagram to show how her block printing is done. A hands-on traditional craft is made sustainable thanks to the tools of the web.

"Social media and technology are a critical part of our business," Spofford says. "We have the ability to reach people within our local community and around the world through the Internet that otherwise would not know we exist. Customers have access to our business 24-7, even when we are sleeping!"
Noah Matteucci sharing his process with visitors
Fine artists are finding ways to use new tools as well. Artists Paul Solevad and Noah Matteucci both have supplemented their more exploratory, creative work with work that can be marketed with an effective presence on the web.

Solevad is an accomplished painter working in a style he calls "cartoon expressionism." With a background in both fine art and illustration, he is able to evolve his fine art painting while positioning himself on his website for illustration work with stunning examples in the form of graphic posters. His work speaks to this moment. "I think I'm reflecting these times," he says, "just the way artists have always created work that's a reflection of the world around them." In doing so, he subtly injects his own commentary on what's going on in the world.

Matteucci embraces technology as he uses algorithms that loop pixels, lines, and dots to generate images for his art. While he creates both digital and traditional prints, the majority are pulled by hand. In the eclectic output from his computer-generated imagery, Matteucci wants to show the human side of digital art. His fine art prints and avant-garde printmaking installations are balanced out by more traditional products that he creates in his basement studio for "Pixel Press," his Etsy shop.

Learn more about the Clark County Open Studios Tour
View sponsor locations to pick up a free guidebook
One of the many sessions at October's Cultural Congress and Confab in Ellensburg, Washington
Highlights from the Cultural Congress and Confab

The Cultural Congress and Confab, a 3-day conference hosted by Washington State Art Alliance with support from the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA), brought together art educators, advocates, students, non- and for profit art groups to address some of the most relevant issues affecting the arts in Washington state. This year's conference ran from October 11-13 and offered panel discussions, presentations and entertainment. Arts of Clark County board members Sharon Svec and Jean LaCrosse attended 13 different sessions in total, collecting information and resources to help further our advocacy for the arts in our community. There was a wealth of information at the event. Here, Sharon and Jean document some of the themes that captured their interests, including Gallery One, legislative advocacy, and culture and heritage.
First Friday picks
Free guidebooks are available at Friday's preview exhibit.
Clark County Open Studios Preview Exhibit

Get your free guidebook!
Join the preview exhibit and artists' reception this Friday, November 2, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the CAVE Gallery, Pick up your Open Studios tour guidebook, see works from each artist, and plan your tour.  
108 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
Oleg Ulitskiy, Astoria Boats
Oleg Ulitskiy
Art on the Boulevard opens "The Beauty that Surrounds Us," a new solo show of works by artist Oleg Ulitskiy, celebrating the artistry found in nature all around us. (Ulitskiy is also a participating artist in this weekend's Open Studios tour.) The exhibit runs through December 29.

Oleg Ulitskiy was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. He was classically trained in the Odessa School of Art. As a dedicated plein air artist, he prefers to work outside to capture the light and atmosphere of his subjects. Ulitskiy has built a dedicated following of collectors throughout the Northwest and beyond. He and his family live in Vancouver, Washington.

Opening reception: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, November 2.

210 W. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
James Lee Hansen, sculptor
James Lee Hansen sculpture studies
"During a career that has spanned more than seventy years, Battle Ground Washington, artist James Lee Hansen has produced more than seven hundred sculptures ranging in size from small studies to monumental works of public art. Working primarily in bronze, Hansen's sculptural series relate to his ideas about human origins, existence, identity, and reality."
-- Courtesy of Maryhill Museum of Art

View a select group of sculpture studies for one evening only. This is a rare opportunity to meet world renowned James Lee Hansen, who makes his home here in Southwest Washington.
Opening reception: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, November 2. 

Eric Runyan Jewelers
501 Main St., Vancouver
For other Vancouver First Friday listings, see VDA's Hot Sheet
Magenta Theater 2019 season tickets now available
Magenta Theater's 17th season launches with pure British humor in the production of Jeeves Takes a Bow.  Rapidly following on Jeeves' coattails is the based-on-a-true-spy-story Pack of Lies based in 1960s England. Next is the whirlwind comedy Curtain Up!    Death in High Heels, starts off the darker days of Fall with glamour and murder.  To round out the season, Magenta presents the eternal classic Miracle on 34th Street.

1108 Main St., Vancouver
Poetry happenings
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, November 8, at 7 p.m., and will feature Ann Tweedy, author of The Body's Alphabet. Originally from Massachusetts, Tweedy has lived in many places in the Midwest and on the West Coast. She currently makes her home in Washington State, where she works as an in-house attorney for the Muckleshoot Tribe.. Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Partington of Printed Matter Vancouver, Open Mic sign up begins at 6:30 p.m. and closes at 7 p.m.

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. Arts of Clark County'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 Arts of Clark County is doing for our community, please consider these ways to contribute: 

  1. Donate
    Use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to Arts of Clark County. 
  2. Shop
    Link your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Arts of Clark County using our code #84120. Just by using your rewards card number, and at no cost to you, every time you shop you'll help Arts of Clark County 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 Arts of Clark County.

  4. Volunteer
    Arts of Clark County 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, 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 Arts of Clark County. We do not accept materials that primarily have a commercial objective.
About Arts of Clark County
Arts of Clark County (AoCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created for the purpose of promoting, encouraging, and enhancing creative expression and artistic opportunities in Clark County and Southwest Washington. The arts contribute to this region's unique character as a desirable place to live, work, and visit. AoCC and its volunteer board of directors supports all forms of art--music, theater, dance, and literary, visual, and media art--and works to ensure that arts experiences are inclusive of individuals of all ages and backgrounds.