Sunday, November 14, 2010

Open Studios in Washington County

A couple weeks ago I ran into Art Media, a local art supply store, to drop off my Audubon auction piece and picked up a brochure for the first Washington County Open Studios tour. Saturday was rainy and gray all day so it was a good day to find something fun to do and we decided to go visit some of the studios.

We visited a bunch of studios and it was interesting to see the work of artists out in our area. Washington County emcompasses a large area that includes part of the city of Portland, all of Beaverton, Hillsboro and a large rural farm area. I was interested to visit the Sequioa Studios and Gallery in Hillsboro.

There is a gallery and some small businesses on the main floor and upstairs are artists' studios. I discovered that one of the artists is Grace Henson, a woman I recognized as having known many years ago when we both lived in Ashland. She owned a wonderful shop in Ashland that I loved. She is now painting full time and her work is really whimsical and thought provoking. It was really great to visit with her.

When we visited painter, Jane Aukshunas' studio I learned that she used to be a fabric artist and belonged to High Fiber Diet before my time. We have a mutual friend whose daughter, it happened, was another of the artists. Connections. It is a small world.

Jane Aukshunas' studio. I entered a drawing for the painting on the table. She hasn't called to tell me I won.

Peg Weber's handmade books. I loved the way this one opened up with all the little overlapping pages.

Ana Quinn's studio had a courtyard right outside with her charming ceramic sculpture.

Also listed on the studio tour was Print Arts Northwest, which I had heard something about and I was hoping to find out more. I had picked up a brochure at another event and it said it was dedicated to printmaking and had exhibits and offers classes. The brochure for the open studios listed a street address with no other information, so we headed out with the gps guiding us. When the gps said, "you have reached your destination" we were near the entrance to the Portland Community College Rock Creek campus, but there were no clues as to where this Print Arts place might be. Ray found their web site on his phone and we learned that it is inside the Washington County Historical Museum, which is on the PCC campus. Once there we found a nice exhibit of prints and an elderly volunteer who knew nothing about the studio tour or even much about Print Arts Northwest. No one to answer questions or greet visitors. It seemed pretty odd, but we enjoyed the exhibit.

There was even a small display of printed fabrics, but no explanatory information.

I was a little annoyed that this place had advertised themselves as the sponsor of the event and were listed with the other open studios, but didn't seem to really participate. I'd still like to know more about them.

It was a fun day and we were tired, cold and wet by the end. There was one more studio we visited that, for me, was the best of all. I am saving that visit for a post of its own, tomorrow. If they do this next year I am thinking I'd like to participate as one of the artists.


  1. I'd love to come and visit you in your studio (especially if you're serving beer soup!). Is there any chance you'll be building your new studio in the next twelve months?

  2. wow that it my sort of day out. I love the paintings.

  3. You definitely should have an open studio next year. Come to think of it, you should have a studio next year.

    Print Arts Northwest is a big organization -- it's hard to imagine that they were so badly organized. Maybe this one fell through the cracks -- I think they just had a big show.

    Was the fabric printed on a press? Did it hold the shape of the press as paper does? I've sometimes thought of taking a printing class just to see if I could use it with textiles.

    And thanks again for a lovely day. I came home totally relaxed. Glad to have caught up with you, although we didn't have enough time, as usual.

  4. Thanks for the tour, Terry - and for the focus in the next post on Steve's sculptures. Sounds like a nice day, despite the weather.