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Sitka Center for Art and Ecology e-Newsletter

May 2009 - Vol 5, Issue 6


  • Notes
  • Resident Open House
  • Fiber Art -- Kumihimo: The Braided Silk Cords of Japan
  • Creative Discovery -- Praise the Process, Squash the Critic
  • Encaustic -- Exploring Drawing and Encaustic
  • Sculpture -- Found-Wood Sculpture Constructions
  • Drawing -- Spirit of the Rough Sketch
  • Sculpture -- Figurative Sculpture in Clay


harbor seal

I make the drive from Portland to the coast on a fairly regular basis. Yesterday was different. It was 6:00 AM on a Sunday morning. Traffic was light, the sun was shining. On the road from Salem to Lincoln City, the trees and fields were bursting with fresh green growth. I found myself dreaming of what was possible. The world seemed to be offering up hope and promise and rich renewal. No matter how dark the winter, Spring brings optimism that allows us to start over and begin again.

I have struggled in the last few months to capture what Sitka offers to the world. How do we ask funders for money, competing against basic human needs of food, shelter, and safety? What is it that we bring that would justify someone making a basic decision to write a check that will allow Sitka to continue to operate?

As I drove past those brilliant green fields, bursting with life, I had time to think about the Romans and Greeks. Today we still marvel at the architecture, the art, and aesthetic cuisine that came from cultures that were the triumph of civilization 2000 years ago. How do we stack up? I doubt any society is remembered for their great accounting practices (as important as they are). We don't fly across the world to see Italian banks, we fly to see the art of Michelangelo. We don't travel to Egypt to see their groovy manufacturing facilities, we go to see the pyramids, and the ancient sculptures carved from stone. Art endures. Art inspires. Art allows us to transcend the mundane and search for meaning beyond our selves.

At Sitka, we serve the world by celebrating that creative spark that lives in all of us. I was visiting with a neurosurgeon recently and after a brief discussion of brain health, he enquired about my work. When I mentioned the Sitka Center, his eyes lit up. "I paint, you know," he told me almost conspiratorially. "I do encaustic; I even had some of my work sell recently." Here is a man who saves people's lives and finds great fulfillment through his work, but his painting brings a depth and richness to his life that would otherwise be missing.

Yes we do need to feed the hungry, but we also need to have places that feed our souls. Sitka feeds that internal craving that we all carry within us to create something beautiful, powerful, meaningful. . . something that gives back to the world. Sitka's workshops give us room to play and create, learning how to express ourselves more completely. Our writer and artist residency program provides space for professional and emerging artists to create new work and inspire us to greater heights of awe and pleasure.

I've never been in a place where I've experienced such power and passion for the creative process. The trees bring it out, the ocean expands it, the harbor seals playing in the estuary bring it home.

Right now, we need your help. Oregon's foundations are directing all of their funding to help the neediest people of our society. But that sudden redirection of funds has left us gasping. Our great society needs places where the finest parts of the human spirit can be explored.

Imagine yourself on Sitka's campus, finding inspiration in a workshop, or in a hike up Cascade Head. Then imagine yourself investing in making all of this possible. Write us a check for any amount. $7, $70, $700 or $7000. We will dance and shout, and celebrate the opportunity to provide inspiration for the creative side of you that yearns to be free.

Resident Open Houseopenhouse0509

Spring has brought a flurry of art work around the Sitka campus! The residents are putting the final touches on their work in preparation for the open house on May 16th.

Wonder what they're working on? Kathleen is sewing together cross slices of driftwood. Sayaka is incorporating glass sculpture and moss. Annette is filling the fresh, spring air with indescribably beautiful music. Rich is back home developing the final prints of the images he captured while he was here.

Sound interesting, intriguing, and irresistible? We hope you'll join us in celebrating the residents' work created during their time at the Sitka Center.

Saturday, May 16th 1 pm to 4 pm

Fiber Art -- Kumihimo: The Braided Silk Cords of JapanNeilson

Uncover the mystery of Japanese Braided Silk Cords!

Learn to use traditional Japanese equipment in making a variety of braids, for decoration and jewelry, with the feel and luster of silk.



Creative Discovery -- Praise the Process, Squash the Critic


"A stunning exploration of the spiritual side of Art Making!"

Let your creative muse out to play! Discover new paths into your hidden muse and for creating art. Spend quiet time reflecting and have fun exploring new, artful techniques.

"This class transformed the way I look at making art."I

nstructor: Lauren Mantecón

May 25 through May 28
10 am to 4 pm

Encaustic -- Exploring Drawing and Encaustic


Encaustic extravaganza from masters in the field...valentine
Five incredible days of artistic exploration! Hone your drawing skills and then add a layer of encaustic for luscious results. This workshop takes your work to a whole new level.

Instructors: Cathy Valentine and Anne Kinkade
June 1 through June 5
10 am to 4 pm


Sculpture -- Found-Wood Sculpture Constructions rathbun

You can make incredible art with objects that surround you. Learn to tell stories with wood that will forever change how you see the world.

Bring your interesting (or boring) wooden objects and transform them into an intriguing finished personal narrative.
The instructor, Keaney Rathbun, will also be offering a free lecture the evening of May 31st. Details will be shared soon.

Instructor: Keaney Rathbun

June 1 through June 4
10 am to 4 pm

Drawing -- Spirit of the Rough Sketch


Your sketchbook is a rich resource for creative exploration and discovery. This workshop gives you new ideas on how to make the most of your sketches adding power and potency to your images.

Learn to combine several different styles of media, how to use your sketchbook as a tool for your ideas and so much more. Ken's workshops are profound and inspiring.

Instructor: Ken O'Connell

June 6 and June 7
10 am to 4 pm

Sculpture -- Figurative Sculpture in Clayanderson2workshops

Whether you're an aspiring sculptor or need a focused refresher, these workshops will deepen your understanding of the human form. Choose between drawing or sculpting in clay. If you can't choose, take them both! Students rave about M.J.'s workshops.

Instructor: M.J. Anderson
Figurative Sculpture in Clay
June 6 and June 7
10 am to 4 pm
Life Drawing
June 13 and 14
10 am to 4 pm



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Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, PO Box 65, Otis, OR 97368 PH: (541) 994–5485. FX: (541) 994-8024 Web: www.sitkacenter.org; Email: info@sitkacenter.org