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What, no Alyosha?

William Shatner as Alyosha in The Brothers Karamozov. No joke, unlike what follows.

William Shatner as Alyosha in The Brothers Karamozov. No joke, though what follows is.

My apologies to McSweeneys for quoting at such length, but I was too busy smiling, and ok, laughing, to rely on my better judgment:


Upon being called on to account for his life, Mr. Leskov, a thin man of about forty-five, rose from the classroom’s dinosaur-themed carpet and, in rising, acknowledged the absurdity of his condition—for all of us, in our own tragic ways, are trapped on a dinosaur carpet of despair, begging to achieve recognition. He silently stood, a pipe at his lips. The children who looked at him were waiting for an answer to a question they would never be able to articulate; the children who didn’t rested their gaze on their classmate, Lucy, who held the lizard her veterinarian father had just shown the class during his presentation.

“What if you told us about a typical day for you?” the teacher asked from a chair in the back. She was a young woman, perhaps thirty, with blonde hair so light it was alabaster and a smile that was plastered over her face, as if to hide the deep pain she felt every second of the day.

“On a typical morning, I wake up, wondering how and why,” he answered. “Light streams in through the gaps in the shades, and I dress in the preposterous costume our society deems appropriate, before entering the kitchen, where my daughter Savannah sits, eating an Eggo waffle from a yellow box . . . .  She complains about the type of syrup her mother bought and the amount of butter she used, and in that instant I know that she is the kind of person Father Zossima warned me about on his deathbed, the kind of person who will suck the vitality out of you and cast a gray pallor over all the pleasures of life. Then I curse God for these wicked thoughts and pray to the Almighty Father for forgiveness. This child of mine I must protect, and I must help her understand that it is we who determine our happiness, and we who must decide whether the ridiculous show we designate life is under our control, or whether our attitudes will be controlled by others’ ludicrous values and insane commitments—all of which are ordained by political rulers whose primary technique for gaining approval is bloodlust, and economic rulers who, in the confusion brought on by the insularity that wealth affords, view greed as a spiritual vocation.”

“I… see. Isn’t that interesting, class?” the young woman said. “Everybody pay attention because after the presentations, we’re going to open our coloring notebooks and draw what we heard. Anyone have a question for Mr. Leskov? Yes, Pete?”

The teacher pointed toward Pete, a small, impish boy who would one day no doubt do terrible, unspeakable things to the people he loves.

“How many helicopters have you been in?” Pete asked. MORE

Oregon Arts Commission Names Poetry Out Loud Winner! MoreNews...


March 27, 2014

Gypsy Prince of Springfield named Poetry Out Loud champion

Gypsy Prince, a senior from Springfield’s Academy of Arts and Academics, is Oregon’s 2015 Poetry Out Loud state champion.


Prince, who won the state contest March 14 at Willamette University, is a three-time school champion who was making her second appearance at state. She advances to the national Poetry Out Loud competition April 27-29 in Washington, D.C.


“Gypsy’s performances were so beautiful, powerful and heartfelt,” says Commission Chair Julie Vigeland. “We are very proud of her and will be rooting for her to bring home the national championship!”


Prince’s winning performance was a recitation of “Mrs. Caldera’s House of Things” by Gregory Djanikian.

Gypsy and fellow finalist Mitchell Lenneville react as she is named Oregon’s Poetry Out Loud state champion. Photo by Greg Wahl-Stephens.


(left to right) Commissioner Alyssa Macy, Gypsy Prince, Commission Chair Julie Vigeland and Executive Director Brian Rogers at the Poetry Out Loud State Contest. Photo by Greg Wahl-Stephens.
Riley Knowles, a sophomore from West Linn High School, was named Oregon’s runner up; if for any reason Prince is unable to participate in the national competition, Knowles will represent Oregon. 

Nine students who won their school contests and placed at regional events advanced to the state contest.


Read Prince’s profile in the Eugene Register Guard.

Commission joins “Conversations with Funders’ tour

Arts Commission grant managers will join Oregon Cultural Trust Manager Aili Schreiner and colleagues from Oregon Heritage, Oregon Humanities and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office April 1-7 for “Conversations with Funders,” a five-stop state tour to discuss how cultural nonprofits may apply for more than $4.7 million in collective grant funds this year.

This work by Oregon-born artist Ashley Stoddard is part of the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture’s Women’s Art Exhibit, supported by the Oregon Cultural Trust.
Organizations encouraged to attend include libraries, arts organizations, museums, cultural centers, historical societies, arts alliances, literary groups and heritage organizations. 

“Conversations with Funders” begin Wednesday, April 1, in Springfield and conclude April 7 in The Dalles. Conversations also are scheduled in Coos Bay (April 1), Bend (April 2) and Oregon City (April 7).


Click the links for details and to register.


Grant alert:

$89,375 awarded for three new ‘World of Work’ projects

Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington will train students to be concert sound technicians; Caldera will teach Warm Springs Academy students about transmedia storytelling – or telling a single story via multiple media. And Arts in Education of the Gorge will lead 20 Wy’East Middle School students in partnering with professional artists to design, create and install three public art pieces.


Dozens of middle- and high-school aged underserved Oregon youth will experience creative industry careers alongside working professionals in three new “Connecting Students to the World of Work” projects announced this week by the Arts Commission. 

The three new awards bring the total number of “World of Work” projects funded in the two-year program to 11; all 11 projects will share $30,220 in extension funds to close the program’s funding cycle.


Read the full release.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2014 PEEPS (Professional Educational Experience Program students) prepare to run sound for the Festival’s Green Show as part of a 2014 WoW project. Photo by Jenny Graham.


PAM Young Patrons to host arts ecology discussion

Meagan Atiyeh, visual arts coordinator, will moderate a conversation about collecting and patronage in Portland at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, at the Portland Art Museum. The event is hosted by the museum’s Young Patrons.

The conversation is part of an ongoing series organized by the Arts Commission with support from The Ford Family Foundation. Future discussions will be held at Portland State University and in Astoria, Eugene, Pendleton and Ashland. It also begins a series of talks organized by PADA, Portland Art Dealers Association.

Space is limited. RSVP to [email protected]

Fellow Jayanthi Raman releases two books

The public is invited to attend a free book release celebration for 2015 Arts Commission performing arts Fellow Jayanthi Raman from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, May 4, in the rotunda lobby of Portland’5 Centers for the Arts in Portland.


Brian Rogers, Arts Commission executive director, is a chief guest. Rogers wrote the foreword for Raman’s first book, “Bharatha natyam: The Dance of India.”


“It was the fellowship award that gave me the boost to publish after years of dormancy!” says Raman.
Raman’s career spans over three decades as an award-winning performer, choreographer, master artist/educator, speaker, writer, promoter and producer. She is profiled on the Arts Commission website.


Performing arts Fellow Jayanthi Raman will celebrate the release of two book on Indian dance May 4.
Grant news: Upcoming deadlines 

Three Commission grant deadlines are fast approaching. Arts Learning grant applications are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1. Operating Support and Arts Services grant applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1.


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Natural Earth Paint Spring News

Spring News: DIY Art Supplies Recipes & New Products

natural and nontoxic printmaking ink diy recipe
I recently met a local artist/ printmaker, Shannon Yost, and asked her if she’s ever made non-toxic printmaking ink (because I know it’s very hard to find). To my delight and surprise she had actually studied with visiting Japanese Master Printmakers and learned a very ancient and little-known technique called the Moku Hanga technique of making your own inks. This ancient recipe has always used all non-toxic ingredients and we had fun including natural earth pigments in the mix! This ink is for wood block prints but can also be used for linoleum cuts and mono prints.

materials needed to make nontoxic printmaker's ink at home

Materials Needed:  Rice Paste (Nori), Natural Earth Pigments, Magnesium Carbonate -optional, Alcohol (Gin is best) – optional (makes ink more archival and durable)

Tools Needed: roller or soft brush, palette, small container, metal paint spatula
Find Step-by-Step Instructions HERE


The Complete Eco-friendly

Artists Oil Paint Kit

new natural earth paints, set now comes with 10 pigments, a 4 oz jar of refined walnut oil, 4 oz jar of eco-solve, a new product, mixing instructiosn and a guide to using earth paints

We’re excited to introduce our newest product after many customer requests for a more complete oil paint kit. $44.95This kit contains:

  • Ten natural earth & mineral pigments in 2 oz. packets:  venetian red, orange ochre, yellow ochre, terre verte, ultramarine blue, ultramarine purple, black ochre, burnt sienna, titanium white rutile and burnt umber.
  • 4 oz. jar of refined walnut oil.
  • 4 oz. jar of Eco Solve: non-toxic and plant-based paint thinner/ brush cleaner.
  • Eco Oil Painting Guide & Mixing Instructions

Paint like the Old Masters with these 100% pure and natural earth and mineral oil paints. These naturally non-toxic paints create the most archival, UV resistant, durable and radiant paints available today. 
This kit includes top-quality pigments, sustainably harvested from around the world. Each has been carefully ground to enhance the beauty and luminosity specific to each pigment. They provide a texture, radiance, and subtlety of color that synthetic pigments simply can’t equal. When mixed with oil these paints are free of fillers, preservatives, toxins, petroleum-based pigments and heavy metals.


Eco-Solve, new nontoxic artists solvent paint thinner from Natural Earth Paints

Now Available in 1 Gallon Metal Containers

Enjoy a very high cost savings on Eco-Solve with our new 1 gallon option. Try our revolutionary non-toxic and natural paint thinner and brush cleaner.  
$69.95 / Gallon

My 4 year old son loves home-made play dough, but in the reality of our hectic days, I never find myself with time to make new batches for him. So when someone gave him a set of modeling clay that permanently stays moist and malleable and infinitely re-usable, I was very excited. I noticed though that there was a toxic smell and it stuck to his hands and dyed them colors. I did a little research and found that most modeling clay is made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) mixed with phthalate plasticizers, which helps keep them soft and maleable. Since these are associated with several scary, potential health risks, I decided to make our own with all natural ingredients and natural earth pigments. As an extra bonus, this modeling clay actually nourishes your skin as you play with it!

-1 cup beeswax pellets
-3 tsp. coconut oil or olive oil
-2 tsp. Lanolin (found in baby sections – commonly used for nursing)
-1 Tbsp. Earth Pigment (Color of your choice)
-plastic ice cube tray or any silicone “mold”

Step 1- Get a double boiler or fill a large pot with water and place a smaller pot with all ingredients inside. Heat ingredients and stir until melted and liquid.Recipe continues HERE


Buy 2 Natural Egg Dye Kits, Get 1 FREE

20% OFF Wooden Egg Craft Kit

Coupon code: eggs2015



Emerald Green   Brilliant Yellow

Ultramarine Purple
New Earth & Mineral Pigment Colors
Now available in 3 oz,, 1 lb. and 2 lb. containers.

Follow our Pinterest page for Eco Painting Tips, Recipes, Earth-based artists and more.
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Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts Foundation Silver Falls Art Conference

We Now Live in the Most Image Driven Generation of All Time

That’s why we’re passionate about working with artists of faith!  So we’re celebrating our 10th year! of conferences and workshops by offering three dynamic Masterpiece workshops  in 2015!  If you missed the gathering in Panama City Beach, Florida in February there are two more opportunities to enjoy amazing camaraderie, and skill sharpening workshops by unmatched top artistic talents. On the West Coast join us May 6 – 9, 2015 at the breathtaking Silver Falls Lodge near Salem, Oregon.  Or for a whole new generation of young emerging artists bursting with talent, passion and enthusiasm in the Heartland in Tulsa, Oklahoma…
Having just returned from our Southeast Florida conference  it is  an immense joy to watch artists developing their gifts to the Glory of God and honing skills for the critical role of impacting the culture with a Biblical worldview through fine arts. Share these opportunities with an artist you know!
Jeanne Randall, President, Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts

For Young Passionate Artists of Faith (ages 18 – 30 )

Mark your calendars for June 3 – 6th and “Road trip”! to the Heartland!  Willowbrush Studio + Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma will be our sponsor and co-host for our Next Gen Art Encounter Workshops.  Willowbrush is one of the largest fine art galleries in Oklahoma with over 10,000 square feet of gallery and studio space.  It is there young artists can study for 4 days on two different tracks with master Christian artists who have gained the attention of a whole generation with their award winning works in many of the most notable cultural establishments. Michael Dudash, Thomas Blackshear and Emmy award winning artist Frank Ordaz will mentor and guide students through excellence in design & composition, color theory, how to structure a narrative painting, work with models, market your work and much more. Plus students will engage in discussions of a Biblical worldview concerning the arts, worship, will visit the world class Philbrook Museum of Fine Art and the Brady Arts District. College credit also available for classes.  Registration begins March 15th at or at

Artist Calls, Jacksonville and International

Taste of Summer Jacksonville Oregon Taste of Summer is an annual celebration in Jacksonville presented by Britt Music & Arts Festival, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and Jacksonville Oregon Business Association. The event includes a wine walk, live music, food booths, art, classic cars, and more. This year they are expanding the event to include an “artisans’ alley” in which selected artisans or crafters will be invited to show and sell their products. For more information visit (Thanks to the Rogue Gallery’s newsletter for this call) Aesthetica Art Prize 2015 International The Aesthetica Art Prize 2015 is now open for entries. It is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world. Plus you could win £5,000, a group show and editorial. To enter, visit

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2015 Call to Artists for Public Art Installation

St. Johns Main Street in Portland, OR is requesting proposals from established professional artists to create and install an original public art piece(s) that represents and invigorates the St. Johns community. This artwork will achieve a sense of place and wonder; it will speak of our unique identity and history, of our diversity and dreams. It will endure for many years through both its artistic integrity and structural durability, and it will complement the quality of life here. St. Johns Main Street 2015 Call to Artists Project Description

The St. Johns Main Street (SJMS) Design Committee is asking for proposals from established professional artists to install an original art piece(s) that reflects the history, diversity, life and aspirations of the St. Johns community. The artist(s) is required to engage the community, through research and dialogue, in the conceptual development phase (Phase I) of the project. The project should be appropriate

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Ashland Gallery Association April Exhibits

A Taste of Ashland 2015 Festival illustration image

Come out and celebrate Ashland’s Visual Arts during the AGA First Friday Art Walk, April 3rd, from 5 to 8 pm! Stroll the galleries in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District. Enjoy this year-round free community event, filled with spectacular artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and conversation with other art enthusiasts!

Download the Gallery Tour Map here:

Download (PDF, 367KB)

. For more information about all of the exhibits visit:

Pick up the new complimentary 2015 Gallery Guide in member galleries now! Ashland Gallery Association Spotlight Exhibits April 2015 A Taste of Ashland 17 Galleries + Wine + Food = One delicious art experience!

Saturday and Sunday, April 25th and 26th from noon to 4 p.m.

A Taste of Ashland Poster art by Kevin Christman

Celebrating its twenty-sixth year, the Ashland Gallery Association’s signature fund-raising event is A Taste of Ashland. This annual walking tour

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“I Once Read…” at the SO Guild Gallery

I Once Read... art exhibit at the southern oregon guild gallery in Kerby, Oregon Feb 19 - April 10, 2015

I Once Read... art exhibit at the southern oregon guild gallery in Kerby, Oregon Feb 19 - April 10, 2015

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School for Creative Activism Cape Town – Participants Announced!

We’re delighted to introduce the participants for our workshop on Campaigns to Support Sex Work Activism, funded by Open Society Foundation and taking place in Cape Town, South Africa THIS VERY WEEK! Say hello to… Dimitri Delibas OSF South Africa Programme Officer A recent addition to the Open Society Foundation team, Dimitri is the Programme Officer […]

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Congratulations to John Dodero!

Raku decor urn in red by John Dodero

Congratulations to John Dodero of Dodero Studio Ceramics, whose pin drove the most traffic to in January! All the listed artists on who have Pinterest accounts are included on SOARs boards at Pinterest. We share the boards so artists can continue pinning from their own accounts, and some of them are very active. Follow them all at

This Pin drove the most traffic to your site this month: SOAR Southern Oregon Art Southern Oregon Artists

Continue reading Congratulations to John Dodero!