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.

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