November 2019
This Thursday's ghosts and goblins get replaced by artists and artisans the very next day as we invite you to our First Friday Open Studios reception and exhibition where you'll meet real live artists and get a sneak peek at what to expect on the weekend's studio tour. 

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.

Guidebooks available for this weekend's Open Studios Tour

Be sure to plan ahead for this weekend's free, self-guided Open Studios Tour! The best way to be prepared is with a guidebook showing all studio locations and information about each artist. Printed guides will be available at the First Friday's preview reception at Art At The Cave gallery, at our various sponsor locations, and at each studio during the tour.
Open Studios Tour highlights an evolving community of artists
Adrienne Eliades in her studio
The weekend of November 2-3, 50 local artists will open their doors to the public as part of a free, self-guided tour of artists' studios in Clark County. Artists will share how, why, and where their art is created. The tour provides a rare opportunity for the public to visit artists and artisans in their studios, view diverse works, and purchase pieces specifically created or made available for the event.

Each year, in addition to artists who have participated in the tour in past years, there are always a number of new artists who apply to the juried event and become part of the tour for the first time. So new and veteran tour-goers can expect to discover new artists and see the latest works from artists they may already know.

"What's interesting," says Karen Madsen, chair of Artstra, "is that the new mix of artists always gives us a glimpse into how the local community of artists is changing over time."
Plan your self-guided tour of artist studios for the weekend of November 2-3. Get all the details plus maps in the printed guidebook or online at
Among the new people arriving and choosing to live in Vancouver and Clark County are artists, artisans, makers, and creatives. Some are former Portland residents and some come from thousands of miles away. They come to enjoy the benefits that others do: neighborhoods, parks, schools, and affordability.

But they also see themselves as a part of the flourishing arts and culture scene of Greater Portland while, at the same time, wanting connections with a local arts community.

"Our open studios program provides that kind of opportunity for local artists to connect with others in their own neighborhood or right down the road from them," says Madsen.

Two recent arrivals, from across the continent and from across the river have each made Vancouver home and both are first time participants in the Clark County Open Studios Tour.

Adrienne Eliades, originally from Northern Virginia and a granddaughter of Greek immigrants, took a circuitous route to Vancouver. From Wilmington to San Diego to Gainesville to Vancouver -- pursuing her education and her art -- Eliades' arrival here in 2016 was somewhat random, she explains. But now she's putting down roots with her home and renovated garage-turned-studio space in the  Continue reading
First Friday pick
Jim Young, The Beginning of the Separation
Open Studios preview exhibit and reception at the Cave

Art At The Cave presents a preview of works by 50 artists participating in the Clark County Open Studios Tour. This is your chance to get an advance look at the work of each artist. You'll be able to meet the artists, pick up a guidebook, and plan your personalized tour to see the studios of your choice.

Opening reception: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, November 1. 

The exhibit will remain in the gallery through the month of November with hours extended to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

108 E Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver 
Last call
Procrastinating poets: Please pop us a poem

The time is now to send in your poems to be considered for Season 9 of Poetry Moves. Get published on the bus! This program is your chance to inspire, delight, or move thousands of people as they are moved along our streets and roads. Artstra's Poetry Moves program features original works by poets in our region on C-Tran buses. The upcoming six-month season runs from January through June 2020. Poems are due October 31 at 11:59 p.m.

3 Clark County artists receive GAP awards from Artist Trust

Artist Trust recently announced recipients of its 2019 Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) Award. Sixty-one artists from across Washington State received grants of $1,500 each, totaling $91,500 in funding.

In Clark County, Beth Harrington received GAP award funding to support her documentary film, Beyond the Duplex Planet. Dru Holley received GAP award funding to support his documentary film about Buffalo Soldiers of the Pacific Northwest. And Judy Rose received GAP award funding to create a CD recording of her original choral spiritual I've Found Me A River.

Congratulations to all!
Out and about
Día de los muertos celebration

Come celebrate 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, November 10. Enjoy live music, activities and entertainment, including pre-hispanic and traditional Mexican dancing, and crafts for all ages.

Columbia Room
Vancouver Community Library
901 C St., Vancouver
Washougal middle school students create salmon mural
Chinook salmon mural at the corner of "D" and Durgan Streets downtown Washougal
Local muralist Travis London with JMS student Bianca Montoya
Washougal students from Jemtegaard and Canyon Creek Middle Schools are the newest contributors to the surge of public art in Washougal. On October 12, a crisp, sunny Saturday morning, more than 25 student artists from the Club 8 after-school program met to create a patchwork Chinook salmon mural on a public retaining wall at the corner of "D" and Durgan Streets downtown.
The creative work began weeks ahead when Club 8 students, lead by JMS art teacher, Dani Allen, met with local muralist Travis London to come up with their individual designs for the piece. Allen was the driving force behind the project that has been envisioned for several years.

According to Allen, the message around the mural was to celebrate diversity and individuality.  "Students took inspiration from the theme that being different is okay and differences should be celebrated," she said. "They wanted the images to be positive and inspirational. The students took their design and this project very seriously. Just look at how many kids came out early on a Saturday to be a part of it."
"I love painting and love making our world a better place," explained Aubrey Kleiva, JMS 6th grade student. "It is cool because I can make people smile through art." Her section of the mural included a quote to offer encouragement. Her words are; "Life can be a rough current but just keep swimming through it."
Magenta Theater 2020 season tickets on sale November 1

Magenta Theater's 18th season launches with a jukebox musical set in a high school gymnasium. The Marvelous Wonderettes features over 30 classic 50s and 60s hits. In April, Magenta presents an adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing set in the 1940s. The romantic comedy, Wake Up, Darling! warms the Magenta stage in June. Then to add mystery to the Fall season, Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express opens in October. Rounding out the season is Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story, which despite its ghostly title, is an ideal production for the entire family to enjoy during the holidays.

More info and tickets
Magenta Theater
1108 Main St., Vancouver
Concert pianist Svetlana Smolina
Musica Lanterna presents pianist Svetlana Smolina

Experience a Saturday night concert event with classical music, visual art, café/bar with selections of local brew and after-concert talk with artists in the intimate space of Tandem Hall in Downtown Vancouver. Join Russian-American concert pianist from New York, Svetlana Smolina in a solo piano performance. The program will include solo piano works by Schumann, Liszt, Chopin, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Balakirev.

Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, November 16. Concert begins at 7 p.m.

Tandem Hall
808 Main St., Suite B, Vancouver
Poetry Happenings
Poet Rod Nelson
Celebrate 15 years of Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic with Rod "Kenny" Nelson

This month's Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, November 14, at 7 p.m., featuring Rod Nelson, a spoken word poet in Central Washington. Nelson's work focuses on modern day social issues and addresses the divide between rural and urban America. He was born in Kansas but grew up in Selah, a small town in Central Washington.

Nelson was the first place finisher in the YVCC Black Box Poetry Slam in 2017, and finished second in that contest in 2016 and 2018. He was the first place finisher in the Litfuse Poetry Slam in 2018 and 2019, and finished second in that contest in 2017. He was a presenting poet at the Ellensburg Poetry Prowl in 2018. His poem "A Note From Mallory's Progeny" was one of the winners in the Yakima Coffee House Poet's Poetry Contest in 2017 and was published in its chapbook that year.

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.
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.