Monday, November 16, 2015

Essence of Self Image & Motifs Across Societies

This November, forty students of Camas High School’s Integrated Arts and Academics (IAA) program will exhibit their personalized and meaningful artwork informed by academic studies. 
The Freshmen cohort created oil pastel, self portraits based on a journey into their personal “essence” as they wrote memoir poetry in their English class. The Sophomores will show mixed media, altered books based on their personal response and mindful connections to academic content. The theme of “motif” helped them to find those connections in world civilizations and religions (World History), ecological systems (Biology), and the novel “The Secret Lives of Bees” (English).
In its second year, IAA students have the opportunity to study connections between academics concepts and themes while integrating that content with the arts. This makes their learning more relevant and personally meaningful. 

“For our youth, the opportunity to show their art publicly with a live audience makes for an authentic and unforgettable experience. Students will be interacting with the public at the First Friday Artist Reception which will give them public speaking experience, and it will undoubtedly be exhilarating and affirming for them. We are grateful to the Camas Public Library for their tremendous support of our program’s students,” commented Gina Mariotti Shapard, Art Teacher and Program Leader.

The artists will be on hand at Second Story Gallery’s opening night reception Friday, November 6, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. upstairs in the Camas Public Library.   

The exhibit will continue through Saturday, November 28 during the library's regular hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  However, the library is closed on November 26 and 27 for Thanksgiving.

Friday, September 4, 2015

What's BLUE to you?

When you see the many shades of blue all over this blue planet of ours, how do you feel?

The color blue has more symbolism than any of the other colors --- from feeling blue or singing the blues, to the serenity of a calm blue lake or the watery blue of camas lilies and of course, the vast blue of the sky.

High Fiber Diet, a group of artists who use fiber and textiles to create their art, have challenged themselves this year to “observe the visual and conceptual presence of blue in their lives and creative processes,” according to their artists' statement.

The result makes up the September exhibit at Second Story Gallery in Camas, “What’s BLUE to You?”  Each artist offers a unique approach to the color blue, including blue steps in Portland’s Japanese Gardens, blue waves hitting the sandy shore at the beach, the deep blue night sky sprinkled with stars, a blue burqa worn by a woman whose feet dance in their red sandals, an Oregon wetland complete with great blue heron, and many more.

The collection takes the form of fabric panels measuring 24 inches wide and 60 inches long, running around the gallery in a display of individual  interpretations of the color blue.  The pieces are the latest project of the group, High Fiber Diet, which has been using fiber as its creative medium for over 25 years.  Living on both sides of the Columbia, the fiber artists meet and devise a challenge each year that gives them strict boundaries--such as size or color--and wide interpretation.  Their work is juried before sending it out into the world.

Artists taking part in the Second Story Gallery show are Mary Arnold, Christina Brown, Bonnie Bucknam, Lynda Christiansen, Susan Circone, Gerrie Congdon, Kimberly Connelly, Sherri Culver, Jeannette Duke, Diane English, Mary Goodson, Terry Grant, Carol Heist, Jill P. Hoddick, Anita Kaplan, Mary Ann McCammon, Annette McFarlane, Karen Miller, Sara Shayne Miller, Sharry Olmstead, Maarja Paris, Pamela Pilcher, Emily Stevens, Gerrie Thompson, and Marie Murphy Wolfe.  

The artists will be on hand at Second Story Gallery’s opening night reception Friday, Sept. 4, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  upstairs in the Camas Public Library.   Music will be provided by Jeremy Tuell.  

The exhibit will continue through Sept. 26, giving viewers a chance to answer the question, “What’s Blue to You?”

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Tale of Two Artists

Local residents Tamra Sheline and Claire Bandfield are joining forces, combining unique materials and experimenting with new methods for their August show, “A Tale of Two Artists,” at Second Story Gallery in Camas.  Their differences will be on view too; Tamra paints in watercolor, often on a plastic sheet called yupo, while Claire's medium is gritty cement.

Tamra says she started young, drawing as a child, then majoring in fine arts and later graphic arts in college. Her studies led her to work as an art director and graphic designer while never giving up her true passion for fine arts.  She creates computer illustrations and also works at the drawing table with watercolor, acrylic, pencil, brush, and ink. She has also won an award for her jewelry designs.

Tamra will feature works using watercolor on a synthetic “paper” that is really a plastic.  She likes yupo, this paper-like material, because it has a silky surface designed to take ink smoothly and richly, resulting in flowing and blending images.  She is  putting finishing touches on her part of the show as she prepares a retirement party at her Camas home for her husband Eric, who is leaving the Marine Corps as a Sergeant major after 27 years of serving his country.

Claire is a self-taught artist also living in Camas. Her three-dimensional art is inspired by mid-century architecture and traditional Japanese gardens. 

She said she started by making hand-cast stone pots and planters for her own garden.  The material she uses is frost proof and weighs less than concrete.  Over time the surface attracts moss and lichen which give the pot a subtle greenish tint.

Claire experiments with shapes and textures, making forms from reclaimed wood, foam board, and all kinds of found objects for her one-of-a-kind pieces.   She started her own business, "apotspot" two years ago and markets her handmade planters through local nurseries.  Her workspace will be part of the Clark County Open Studios Tour in November.

The Aug. 7 reception for the two artists, part of the downtown Camas First Friday activities, will also feature music by Anthony Utehs and Andrews Dodge.   “A Tale of Two Artists” will continue through Aug. 29 in the gallery inside the Camas Public Library at 625 NE 4th Ave. 

Both artists will also sell their art at the Vintage and Art Street Faire scheduled for Fourth Avenue on Saturday, August 29th.   A Second Story Gallery booth will  showcase their work at this one-day sale while the month-long exhibit continues at the other end of the street, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.

First Friday Artists' Reception
August 7, 5 to 8 p.m.
Music by Anthony Utehs & Andrew Dodge

Friday, June 26, 2015

Cruise In--to See Reflection Paintings by Keith

Keith Russell, the July artist at Second Story Gallery, has a fascination with cars.  His car portraits show off each model's curves and details.  And even though the cars are standing perfectly still in his portraits, they look like they could go zero to 60 at a moment's notice.
1956 Buick Roadmaster

Perhaps Russell visualizes himself at the wheel.  He was born Feb. 15, 1955, just 45 minutes late for Valentine's day, and he says he's been somewhat late ever since. 

That tendency to run late is not why the artist's reception has been moved to the second Friday in July however.  It's delayed because the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library, will be dark for First Friday due to the Fourth of July holiday. 

The car exhibit, called "Cruise In--to See Reflection Paintings by Keith," will be open for viewing during regular library hours starting July 2 and continuing through July 31.  The reception for the artist, with live music by Caryn Jamieson, will be held Friday, July 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the gallery.  This is a special date and time for the month of July only.

The month-long show featuring paintings of classic automobiles will coincide with the real car show taking place along 4th Avenue Saturday,  July 11, sponsored by the Downtown Camas Association.   In fact, Russell will be streetside at the car show offering more car paintings and letting people know about his on-going exhibit at Second Story Gallery.

Russell says his interest in art started early and remembers asking his mother for a variety of oil paints and brushes before the age of five, although he was told he'd have to make do with his color crayons instead.  But the young Russell had an inner drive to be an artist.  He took his older brothers' model car paints, grabbed an old paint-by-number canvas and used his toy horses as models without a lot of thought about the consequences. 

Russell says his mother was so impressed with his finished work that she protected him from his brothers when they got home from school.  And, somehow, his mother was able to work the cost of some tubes of oil paint and brushes into the family budget for his fifth birthday.

Throughout his growing-up years Russell says he took every art class that he could, including correspondence classes from Famous Artists School, financed with the help of his mother's Avon sales.  Throughout junior high and high school art classes helped to boost his GPA.  Russell went on to choose a rather artistic college major and has made a career of mechanical engineering.

The artist has resided in Camas for the last 28 years and has shown his work at several local businesses, First Friday events, Camas Days, and the Art, Wine & Music Festivals.  In 2008 he donated two portraits of Lewis and Clark to Helen Baller Elementary School where they are still being enjoyed by students and staff.

For the last six years Russell has focused his artistic energy on a classic car series, in acrylic and oil, using an impressionistic-realistic style.  He has developed a technique for capturing  reflections on the surfaces of cars that bring them off the canvas and onto the pavement.  He lovingly applies his paint the way collectors lovingly restore their automobiles.  “Classic cars are an American tradition and they are what I grew up loving;  they are history,”  says Russell, “the things that are the most fun to paint are cars and sunsets, or cars in the sunset.”

Artist's Reception
Friday, July 10
5-7 p.m.
Music provided by Caryn Jamieson

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I See Beauty Everywhere -- Myrna Leija

Loving Eyes

Beauty, beauty everywhere.  Photographer Myrna Leija says beauty is her subject matter. 

June will mark Myrna's first exhibit in Camas and quite naturally, she is calling her solo show at Second Story Gallery "I See Beauty Everywhere." She explains, “I have never focused on a theme, as my goal is to capture the beauty of everyday life that all of us can miss if we don't stop to smell the roses.”

She firmly believes this David Roper quote she stumbled across: “Sometimes in life we must hurry.  But overall, life should be less hurrying and more noticing.  Life is the present.  Life is being aware.”

Taken by the beauty of the ocean and the mountains of the Pacific Northwest when she moved to the region in 1967, Myrna began trying to capture that beauty with her camera.

“I was overwhelmed by my feelings of seeing beauty everywhere!” Myrna says. “I carried a camera with me over the years and even if I was driving, I would pull off the road to capture the beauty of the moment.”

Without any formal training, she was named the grand prize winner in a Seattle photo contest in the early 1970’s. At that time, she was a stay-at-home mom, raising her four children and volunteering in the community.   But, still, “I constantly took pictures of everything, entering my photography at the Evergreen State Fair, in which I won best of show and blue and red ribbons.”

After Myrna moved to Clark County, she worked for 21 years with the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.  She lives in Battle Ground, where she is a member of the Battle Ground Art Alliance and stays active in the arts community throughout the county. She has answered many "calls for artists," which has led her to opportunities that have included a two-day Artist Trust Workshop.  Her photos have been in shows at Gallery 360, the Northbank Gallery, and the Sixth Floor Gallery in Vancouver; and at every spring's Battle Ground Art Alliance Annual Show and at the Ridgefield Bird Festival.  

Myrna will unveil her photography at Second Story Gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library, on Friday, June 5.  She is dedicating the show to her father, Ralph W. Homes, who passed away in October at the age of 94.  A portrait of him in his last year will grace the gallery.

The June 5 reception, from 5 to 8 p.m., is part of the downtown Camas First Friday activities.  In addition to having Myrna on hand, the gallery will feature live music from guitarists Anthony Utehs and Andrew Dodge

"I See Beauty Everywhere" will continue through June 27.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

All Things Natural

Local artists Lynda Raven Brake and Mary Anne Harkness will be showing “All Things Natural” at a reception May 1, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Second Story Gallery. 

The reception is part of the downtown Camas First Friday activities.  In addition to introducing the artists and their work, the May 1 reception will feature music by Todd Walker and Jean Bucher, known as the Tics.

Both Lynda and Mary Anne lived in the American Southwest before moving to Clark County, and both have been celebrating nature through their painting for years. They have more in common, too--the ability to use deep colors and textures to convey feelings and a sense of place.

Cup of Gold - Lynda Raven Brake

Lynda specializes in watercolors that feature birds, animals, and flowers, as well as images from her extensive travels and portraits of Native Americans and their culture.  She earned a bachelor of fine arts and masters degrees while residing in the Southwest where she became a signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society.  Lynda is now an active member of the Oregon Society of Artists, the Southwest Washington Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, and the Washington Artists Trust.

Mary Anne says she became interested in art as a child growing up in Southern California, fascinated with the ocean, waves, and tidal pools. She studied art at Arizona State University and American University, earning a bachelor of fine arts degree.  Mary Anne describes her art as reflecting natural lines, textures, color and forms, sometimes in a realistic and sometimes in an impressionistic mood.  In all her work, she challenges herself to “capture nature in an instant of time.”

Iris in Gold - Mary Anne Harkness
She has lately expanded her tools to include acrylics, pours, monotypes, and textual materials to take her work in more spontaneous directions.

Mary Anne is currently an instructor with Clark College Continuing Education, teaching Basic Techniques in Watercolor.  Her art may be seen in various shows through the Southwest Washington Watercolor Society and Northwest Washington Watercolor Society.


May 1
5-8 p.m.

Music by the Tics -

Todd Walker & Jean Bucher

Monday, March 16, 2015

Guardians of the Columbia: Landscapes of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens

Photographer Darryl Lloyd will be featured at Second Story Gallery in April with his show titled “Guardians of the Columbia: Landscapes of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens.”   It is a retrospective of over 40 years of shooting the three "Guardians" from different angles--many of them vertical as the photographer climbed up for better views.

Mr. Lloyd grew up at the base of Mt. Adams, and when he was given a Brownie Holiday camera at the age of 10, he began recording his climbs of Adams, Hood and St. Helens. That in turn led, he says, to “a lifetime of mountain travel, freelance photography and the study of geosciences, which nourished my love of volcanoes.”

His experiences hiking the Guardian volcanoes gave him a unique perspective as he continued to photograph other North American landscapes.

“I try to embed my own emotional and physical experience in the photos, such as shooting alpenglow on a high peak from a wilderness camp,” he says. “Some of my favorite shots required a difficult hike or climb, and took careful planning to reach a spot where the light, sky and foregrounds were just right. I want my exhilaration and joy of being there to somehow be a part of my best shots.”

The Guardian volcanoes are “like old friends to me, changing and evolving over the years, always there in the time of need,” says Mr. Lloyd. “Whether hiking, ski touring or just gazing, the mountains and surrounding wilderness provide a sense of well-being and renewal of spirit.”

He says, “I also love to photograph people interacting with nature in a quiet way. For me, photography reflects a way of life. It gives depth to composition and landscape interpretation.”
His experiences have led him to become active in protecting the wild places and expanding the wilderness areas of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. He donates photos for money-raising to groups working to protect the Gorge and other wild places in Oregon and Washington.

Mr. Lloyd became a full-time photographer in 1997 and his fine art and stock photos are available at his web site, His photos have won awards and have appeared in many publications.   He lives in Hood River, where in addition to his environmental work he is active in the arts community. He is in the process of compiling 50 years’ worth of photos into a book of nature photography.

Second Story Gallery is upstairs at the Camas Public Library, 625 NE 4th Avenue. Mr. Lloyd’s show will continue through Saturday, April 25 during the library's regular hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  

Artist's  First Friday Reception
April 3
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Murmurations of Art

Five artists are getting together to present their work at a reception for "Murmurations of Art" at the Second Story Gallery Friday, March 6, from 5 to 8 pm.  They’re from all over the country, using different mediums, but all approaching art with a love of creating, in whatever form. 

The women have selected one painting by Sanders-Wood to represent themselves at their upcoming show.  It's a top-down view of five pairs of feet and is fittingly called "Sisters' Circle."  The women not only come together to paint but to exhibit.  

AnnaMarie L. Clement says that coming from a household of artists, she didn’t have much choice but to create art, but she notes it’s more than that: “I feel comfortable using any and all of nature’s canvases, which allows me creative freedom in finding my voice.” And, she adds, “I glean from the opportunities life reveals along my journey and incorporate what works for me into my creations.”

“How appropriate that ‘ART’ rhymes with ‘HEART,” says Linda McCulloch  “Our group's connection through mind and spirit helps to provide the emotional aspect I feel when creating my piece and I hope those who enjoy my work will feel that, too.” Her work has evolved since she moved to Camas from Massachusetts, from a realistic approach, to creating through color, line, texture and design.  She adds, “My new work reflects the essence gained from my painting group and art classes." 

Carolyn Gunderson is that rarity, a native of the Northwest, where she spent much of her childhood with family on a small dairy farm in Washington.  She painted at first “from love and instinct,” starting with a love of the animals on the farm, and carried this passion throughout her life.  She has gone on to study with well-known artists, including local artists. She says, “Watercolor is an amazing medium, at times frustrating but always exciting…  However, my real passion is experimenting with mixed media, and being surprised and excited when you have discovered something new, different and one of a kind.”

Judith Sanders-Wood, a California native, grew up with artistic parents who encouraged her talent. She, too, was inspired by nature, and is still inspired by living in the Pacific Northwest. She says, “When I am creating a new painting, I fully involve myself in the process. I like to try new techniques and hope that my audience feels the wonder and excitement that I find when I paint.” She has taught art classes for Clark Continuing Education and continues to teach private workshops and classes. She works mainly in acrylics and watercolor, but also works with mixed media and collage.

Kathy Sork paints “for that warm fuzzy feeling I get when a painting is complete and I say to myself - through struggles, doubt, why's, what will they, can it be - my painting is finished!”  Then she can call it her own and move forward to her next Picasso. Her goal is always to “paint something really worthy,” something that makes her smile with pride. She has exhibited at the Second Story Gallery before, winning rave reviews in a group show in Sept. 2012.

The Murmurations of Art Exhibit can be viewed during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  The show, will continue through March 28 in the Gallery upstairs in the Camas Public Library.

The First Friday reception March 6 will feature music by Avery Gunderson on keyboard.  She is the talented granddaughter of artist Carolyn Gunderson.  The reception is free and open to the public.

5-8 P.M.
MARCH 6, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Familiar Terrain

Autumn Paint
Bonnie Bucknam is a multi-talented artist who has spent years working with fibers, dyes, various drawing tools  and wax.  Her abstract compositions from nature will be displayed at Second Story Gallery during February in a show she calls "Familiar Terrain." 

The terrain she's talking about is nature as seen through her creative lens.   “My abstract compositions are informed by the colors and shapes of the natural world.  I use various media, including collage, ink, acrylic, watercolor pencil, oil pastels, oil, and cold wax to create landscapes," Bonnie says, inspired by her love of travel.

The artist will be unveil her latest pieces at a reception Friday, Feb. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  The show continues through Feb. 28 during regular library hours.

In high school,  Bonnie launched a successful mail order business manufacturing fabric purses and that was her start in the creative artistic world.  She studied art for two years before switching her college major to anthropology and geology.   While spending 31 years in Alaska, she says she used "every spare minute" to create.  In 1997 she started a business, Handwerk, to market her quilts and hand-dyed fabrics.  After retirement, Bonnie moved to Vancouver where she now makes art her full time job. 

In addition to winning a national quilting award, Bonnie's abstractions have been exhibited in many parts of the world, including Italy, Japan, Ireland and the Netherlands.  Her work is in the permanent collection of  textile museums in Neumunster, Germany, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as the State of Alaska Art Bank.  Conveniently for a traveler like Bonnie, she currently has a solo exhibit of fiber art at the Portland International Airport in Concourse D, which will remain on display throughout 2015.

Bonnie says she loves to travel.  "The anthropologist in me is fascinated by other cultures."  Her interests in geology and earth history have influenced her as well, as she works to capture variations in terrain and the spectacular shows created by natural earth processes.

First Friday Artist's Reception
February 6
5-8 p.m.
Music by T. Walker Anderson