Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cycladic Art

My husband and I spent the month of June in Greece and Turkey. We spent half of the time with his son, daughter-in-law, 4-year-old granddaughter and two other sets of grandparents (the granddaughter called us the “Wrinkles”) on Rhodes and Bodrum, Turkey. The rest of the time was in Athens (during the economic protests) and on a weeklong bus tour of ancient ruins.

We loved Athens. It is very walkable and the food is inexpensive. Both hotels we stayed at had a view of the Acropolis. (I have noticed since we returned that most news reporters in Greece have the Acropolis in the background.) We went to the National Archeological Museum twice, before and after the tour, and were overwhelmed by the richness of Greek history and art. It is truly exhausting to visit that museum.

However, for me, the highlight of Athens was the Museum of Cycladic Art. The Cycladic civilization flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea from 3300-2000 BC. The best-known art from these islands are flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble. A majority of the figurines is female, depicted nude, and with arms folded across the stomach. The Museum’s brochure says, “Their austere simplicity and abstract qualities have inspired artists of the 20th century such as Constantin Brancusi, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore."


Longview Outdoor Gallery: In my September 15 post, I wrote about the installation of the 11 sculptures on Commerce Avenue in downtown Longview. LOG is inviting the public to vote for its favorite sculpture. Ballots and ballot boxes can be found in Elam’s, Teague’s, Captured Treasures and Ken’s Engraving.

Literary Art: I blogged about Kalama Word Catcher in my May 23 post. I was very impressed with Jack Hart, former managing editor of The Oregonian and author of “A writer’s Coach” and "Storycraft" (just published). Mr. Hart, along with David Rorden, former city editor of The Daily News, will appear at WordFest on Tuesday, October 4. (The Brits, 1427 Commerce).

You can see a interview with Willy Vlautin, author of "Lean On Pete," who appeared at WordFest in June, at

On October 3, Northwest Voices will feature children's author Jennifer Blomgren, award-winning author of "Where Do I Sleep?" She will be presenting a workshop at 3:30 pm in the LCC Room Main 119, and a reading at the Longview Public Library at 7:00 pm. Both events are free and open to the public.

On October 14, the Washington Poets Association is hosting "A Night of Poetry" at 7:00 pm at the Red Leaf coffee shop, 209 W Main, Kelso. This free event will also have books by local poets available for purchase.

Mary Stone and Charolette Conklin will be offering a Creative Writing Class through Longview. Parks & Recreation on Mondays, Oct. 17, 24 (skip Oct. 31), and Nov. 7 from 5:30-7:15 p.m. at the Recreation. Building, 2920 Douglas St., Longview. The cost is $35 in-city, $40 out-of-city. Info: 360-442-5400.

First Thursday Activities – October 6

Broadway Gallery
, 1418 Commerce, Longview
Susy Halverson (paintings), Lee Boone (sculptures), Donna Patching (paintings) and Dan Sheridan (pottery); winner of Mask Show announced.
Reception 5:30-7:30pm. Music by Dian Norman. Door Prizes.

The Gift Cottage, 1414 Commerce, Longview
Local artists and gourmet food. Door prizes.
Open until 7pm.

LCC Gallery at the Rose Center, 15th & Washington, Longview
Erica Melville (paintings). Show runs Sept. 29-Oct. 28.
Open until 6pm.

Longview Public Library Koth Gallery, 1600 Louisiana, Longview
Columbia Artists Association Fall Show. Show runs Sept 22-Oct 19.
Open until 8pm.

Lord & McCord Art Works, 1416 Commerce, Longview
June Trusty (jewelry with a frontier theme) and Katie M. Berggren (acrylic paintings).
Reception 5:30–7:30pm.

Teague's Mezzanine Gallery, 1267 Commerce, Longview
Original French country canvases by Shirley, custom framed batiks, icons and parable cards by Wendy, Dawkins Gallery Wraps from original photos and many cards.
Reception 5:30-7pm.

The Bistro, 1329 Commerce Avenue, Longview
Wine tasting. Live music. Door prizes. Reservations recommended.
Hours: 5-8pm.

Cowlitz County Historical Museum, 405 Allen St, Kelso
“Mountain Man-What was life like for the fur trappers and traders that traveled the American West in the Early 19th Century?” by Bob and Peggy Johnson and Karl and Rita Graichen.
Program begins at 7pm; museum open until 9pm.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Jeanene LeRae, cute dog and "Miracle Grow with Blue Birds" by Leon White

I have been remiss in not posting to this blog since May. I have a lot of catching up to do because, although I have not been sharing it, I have had a number of exciting art-related experiences.

The most exciting was the Longview Outdoor Gallery’s installation of 10 sculptures on Commerce Street in downtown Longview on Saturday, September 10. The LOG task force has been working on this project for only 18 months. In that time they organized, raised $15,000 from local sponsors and patrons, developed a selection process, jumped through numerous bureaucratic hoops, purchased bases, and hosted the artists who came to town to install their art. (The base for the 11th sculpture was not ready; it should be installed this week.) I was at the LOG headquarters room for the installation and I cannot describe how exciting it was to hear these first class Northwest sculptors praise Longview for its beauty and hospitality. Check out my LOG article and the pictures in the September 15 issue of Columbia River Reader or on the website:

Not surprisingly, the major component to a successful enterprise is the person who will never give up-the “Champion.” There are many Champions in our community and most of them go unrecognized. Bill Kasch and his bulldogged efforts to get historical paintings, figures and signs in the downtown comes to mind. Lisa Allen from Banda’s Bouquets donates flower arrangements for so many causes. Janice and Scott Forbes not only opened up a bike shop but are also bringing bikers from throughout the west to compete in the Longview Grand Prix Criterium.

For LOG, Jeanene LeRae was our Champion. She worked endless hours on this project, including 19 Power Point presentations to local groups. She kept the other 10 members of the Task Force in line, on schedule and on budget with meetings and emails. The Longview Downtowners awarded Jeanene the first ever “Downtown Champion” I hope this award is the first of many. I would welcome your nomination for a local Champion.

Meanwhile, go downtown, interact with the sculptures, decide on your favorite, and spend some money at a local business.