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10th Annual Empty Bowls

The 10th Annual Empty Bowls Project takes place at Parkway Christian Center on Monday October 10th from 6–8 PM.

“Many people believe that hunger only affects a small sector in our community and don’t realize many people who struggle with hunger every day are, in fact, their neighbors.”

~ Ellen Johnson, Development Director at Options for Southern Oregon

2016 10th Annual Empty Bowls benefit event

WHEN:  Monday, October 10, 2016

WHERE: Parkway Christian Center, 229 NE Beacon Drive, Grants Pass, OR (across from Fred Meyer)

TICKETS:  Available at Options for Southern Oregon, 1215 SW ‘G’ Street, Grants Pass or purchase online at (click Events; then click on Empty Bowls link; scroll to bottom of page). Tickets are $25 each and should be purchased in advance.  Ticket price includes a beautiful handmade bowl to take home. There will also be a silent auction of unique pottery during the event.

FUNDRAISER BENEFICIARIES:  Options for Southern Oregon, Josephine County Food Bank, and the Gospel Rescue Mission. Proceeds will help children and families in our community access food.

CONTACT PERSON:  Ellen Johnson, Development Director at 476-2373 or email at [email protected]


The 10th Annual Empty Bowls event in Grants Pass, Oregon will take place at Parkway Christian Center on Monday, October 10th from 6–8 p.m. Parkway Christian Center is located at 229 NE Beacon Drive in Grants Pass.  Guests choose a handcrafted bowl and are then served a bowl of soup and bread. The handmade bowl is theirs to take home as a reminder of hunger in our community. “Last year’s event was amazing.” says Ellen Johnson, Development Director for Options. “We like to sell tickets ahead of time so that we can plan ahead. We always plan for extra people who buy tickets at the door, but we set up at least a half dozen more tables over and above that last year. The community support is always so fabulous!” Johnson also says that this year entry into the event will be reorganized so avoid long lines and waiting.

“Our agencies provide a vital source of hope and support for so many of the vulnerable people in our community,” says Options Executive Director, Karla McCafferty.

Event Mission and Beneficiaries

Options collaborates with the Josephine County Food Bank and the Gospel Rescue Mission to host the annual Empty Bowls event.  The three agencies see a great need to provide food and access to food for an increasing number of people in our community, especially children and their families.  All three agencies have long been community partners in addressing poverty and hunger issues in our community.

Josephine County is one of the most food insecure counties in all of Oregon. The unemployment rate and the level of poverty our County is still high compared to state and national statistics.   “Many people believe that hunger only affects a small sector in our community and don’t realize many people who struggle with hunger every day are, in fact, their neighbors,” says Ellen Johnson, Development Director at Options for Southern Oregon.

Parkway Christian Center Pastor, Dennis Webber, says that the Empty Bowls Project is core to the values we all live by that bring joy and meaning to life. “People doing things together is better than doing it alone. It is an opportunity for us to partner with the greater community who have life challenges,” says Webber.

Event Contributors

“We so appreciate our local restaurants who donate gourmet soups and homemade bread for this special night,” says Johnson. “This is a night to honor those in need in our community.  If you can’t attend, please consider making a donation or purchase a ticket so that a client might attend.” Casa Amiga, The Laughing Clam, Rosso’s Trattoria, The Bohemian, Twisted Cork, Wild River Pizza and Ma Mosa’s are a few of the soup contributors to this year’s Empty Bowls.

Clayfolk and other local artists are joining together to make bowls for this year’s event. “This is the most powerful event that Options does.” says Ellen Johnson, Development Director for Options. “Food and housing are issues our community needs to address.” Options is Josephine County’s Community Mental Health Program. The nonprofit agency annually serves more than 4,000 children, adults and families in our community.

This year’s event sponsors are J. D. Fulwiler Insurance Company, Bank of the Cascades, AllCare CCO, PrimaryHealth CCO, and Banner Bank.  Please join us at the annual Empty Bowls event and help alleviate food insecurity in Josephine County. Our local event is an opportunity to discuss food and hunger in our community.  Learn more about how to keep our community healthy.

“Our agencies provide a vital source of hope and support for so many of the vulnerable people in our community,” says Options Executive Director, Karla McCafferty.

Third Annual Contemporary Mosaic Art Summit Exhibition

Third Annual Contemporary Mosaic Art Summit Exhibition

Third Annual Contemporary Mosaic Art Summit Exhibition is honored to bring together an international juried exhibition of mosaic art from September 19 to October 26, 2016 at The Center for Visual Arts, Thorndike and Retzlaff Galleries, Art Building, Southern Oregon University.  The exhibition will be open to the public 10-4, Monday through Friday through October 26. This extraordinary show will be on display for over a month and will coincide with the Contemporary Mosaic Art Summit to be held October 6-9, 2016. The galleries will be open extended hours during the CMA Summit weekend.

 Third Annual Contemporary Mosaic Art Summit Exhibition : Samidare, mosaic art by Jill Stevenson Ritter

 Samidare, by Jill Stevenson Ritter

 Third Annual Contemporary Mosaic Art Summit Exhibition : The Road Past Horseshoe Bend, triptych, Mosaic art by Rebecca Cambell
The Road Past Horseshoe Bend, Tryptich, by Rebecca  Campbell
This juried exhibition invites us to enter the vast and creative world of both ancient and contemporary mosaic art. The works surprise us as we view traditional and non-traditional executed fine art mosaics which,  incorporate innovative subject matter, techniques and material, allowing the mosaic to burst forth with subtle or aggressive movement, drawing us into the subject and illuminating clarity of the art and our own vision.

The mosaicist assembles small bits of stone, glass, pottery, and/or repurposed material and assembles them into an image, a feeling, a spirit, and a representation. Mosaic artists chop, cut, hammer and nip to create beauty out of those bits. It’s a beautiful order, a deliberate order, an order of the heart, of dreams, of unending skill and patience. These artists represent the world in ways that have never before been seen.
The artists represented in this exhibition have discovered their own artistic “voice” and use mosaic art to express their unique vision of the world around them. The mosaics presented in this exhibit are a delight to the eye and an inspiration to the soul.

Come join us for First Friday Art Walk on October 7, 5:00 to 8:00 PM at SOU Art Building for a chance to view this extraordinary show, meet the artists, purchase a piece of original mosaic art to take home and enjoy a little light refreshment.  The trolley will be running from downtown Ashland and the Railroad District to the SOU campus throughout First Friday.  Park your car on campus and enjoy the trolley art experience!

 Third Annual Contemporary Mosaic Art Summit Exhibition : mosaic art by Kate Kerrigan, Sandra Groeneveld and Robyn Spencer Crompton
For more information about the Third Annual Contemporary Mosaic Art Summit Exhibition, please visit

MCFAF Announces Benefit Event

There is much on the horizon!
 October 4th don’t miss the preview unveiling of select art from the upcoming “Words in Red” traveling exhibit along with new updates on all the programs and projects of Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts.  Be a part of helping the far-reaching mission to

Visually Communicate Christ to Culture through Fine Art

Masterpiece Christian Fine Art Foudnation Benefit Event 'The Sower' October 4, 2016, Ashland, Oregon
Above:  The Sower – by artist Johne Richardson
Tuesday, Oct. 4th Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts 
Benefit Evening
2525 Ashland St., Ashland, Oregon
Featuring a Gallery of Appetizers & Dessert,  Bible-themed Art Exhibit and Sale, Silent Auction, Programs and Projects updates, Membership opportunities
6:00  Doors Open/Silent Auction begins/Art viewing
6:30  Appetizer array is served
7:00 Dessert and Program
Special guest and speaker and Biblical art advocate
 Pastor Rick Booye from Trail Christian Fellowship
$30 per person or $240 table host for 8 guests
Tickets online at , or call 541.601.7496 by Sept. 23rd
Tickets may also be purchased by check sent to
 MCFAF. 17575 Hwy. 66, Ashland, Oregon 97520.

by Sept. 23rd

 Call Jeanne at 541.601.7496 for more information.
If you missed the event last year see the vision cast for the Magna Deo project – A cultural center dedicated to the truth, beauty, grace and nobility of Christianity through the fine arts.
Magna Deo , Biblical fine art Cultural Center

Watch vision cast now!

I cannot attend the event but would like to be a part of  this far reaching
 mission with a donation now.

Your gift helps:  Commission Biblical Art
Magna Deo Project
Words In Red Traveling Exhibit Sponsor
Training Artists of the Next Generation

Words In Red

The Direct, Uncensored, Provocative Words of Jesus

A traveling exhibit coming Feb. 2017

Amazing Grace I once was blind but now I see. Ron DiCianni artist
“Go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Mark 10:52)
Blind Bartimaeus . Oil on canvas by Ron DiCianni
[email protected]

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Fall Festival’s Full Schedule

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Fall Festival’s Full Schedule

Ashland, Ore — Ashland New Plays Festival today announced the full week’s schedule for ANPF 2016, the flagship Fall Festival, which takes place October 19-23, 2016.

Four prize-winning playwrights, selected by volunteer readers from 400 submissions, will have their plays produced as dramatic readings in matinee and evening performances by world-class actors and directors at the Unitarian Center in Ashland. The festival kicks off with a members-only reception for the playwrights to begin the week’s events.

The playwrights and their winning plays are:

– Stephanie Walker with The Madres, which will be directed by Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Leah Anderson, who also played Lauren Yee in ANPF’s dramatic reading of King of the Yees at the ANPF Women’s Invitational 2016

– Michael Erickson with Oberon Springs, directed by Kenneth Albers, who has acted in and directed past ANPF performances in an esteemed career ranging from OSF to Yale Repertory Theatre

– Mike Teele with EdanEv, directed by Scott Kaiser, actor, playwright, and OSF’s Director of Company Development

– Beth Kander with Hazardous Materials, directed by ANPF’s Artistic Director Kyle Haden. Kander’s play The Bottle Tree, which will have its world premiere at Chicago’s Stage Left Theatre starting October 15, 2016, was an ANPF 2015 winning play.

The opening night performance is Wednesday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m., followed by performances at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The closing performance will be at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 23.

Additionally, immediately following each performance, the playwrights and cast will be joined by ANPF’s Host Playwright EM Lewis, who will moderate talkbacks with the audience about the plays. Lewis, originally from rural Oregon, is an award-winning playwright, librettist, and teacher, as well as the recipient of the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama.

Lewis will also conduct a playwriting workshop, “Who They Are and What They Say,” on Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The workshop is $10 at the door. Reserve your space by contacting Gray McKee at [email protected].

2016 Ashland new Plays Festival Schedule

Performances are $20 each, with tickets available in advance at Paddington Station or online, starting September 20, 2016, and at the door.

ANPF members receive benefits including one or more festival passes (tickets to four performances, $80 value), priority seating, and invitations to members-only receptions.

Tickets for Judy Morris Cuba Talk on Sale Now

Tickets Now on Sale at Art du Jour Gallery for Special Oct. 8th Judy Morris PresentationImage of Cuba II, painting by Judy MorrisDon’t Miss Judy Morris on October 8th!

JUDY MORRISWe don’t want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to attend our very special presentation by watercolor artist and teacher Judy Morris on Saturday, October 8th!  In Judy’s own words, “I’ve been to CUBA! Let me share my impressions about the architecture, the people and the art scene along the streets and in the galleries of this unique country. You will see some of my favorite photos that I’m certain will inspire several future “Cuban” paintings. I will talk about working with these photo references and explain my personal process of turning a photo into a painting. Bring your curiosity and questions.”

Tickets for Judy Morris Cuba Talk on sale now!
Be sure to get your tickets early, while seats are still available.

Check out Judy’s website at

Date: October 8, 2016, at 1:30 pm

Location: Adams Room, Medford Public Library

Tickets: $20, on sale at Art du Jour Gallery during September

Reception for Judy Morris will follow at Art du Jour Gallery from 3 to 4 p.m.

For more information, call Art du Jour Gallery at (541) 770-3190 (open Tues.-Sat., 10-4)

2016 Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights

2016 Ashland New Plays Festival Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights

They are:

Michael Erickson for Oberon Springs 

Beth Kander for Hazardous Materials

Mike Teele for EdanEv

Stephanie Walker for The Madres

ashland new plays festival anpf logoThese four exceptionally gifted playwrights will travel to Ashland to present their work during our annual Fall Festival, October 19-23, 2016.

A week of receptions, rehearsals, a play writing workshop, and other festivities will culminate with dramatic readings of their plays, which will be performed by some of our finest actors in both matinee and evening performances at the Unitarian Center, 87 4th Street in Ashland. Tickets will go on sale online and at Paddington Station around September 20.

Talk backs with Ashland’s famously sophisticated audiences will follow each performance.

We at ANPF sincerely congratulate our winning playwrights and the other eight finalists, listed below, for their extraordinary work.

ANPF 2016 Finalists

We also congratulate our finalists for ANPF 2016.

They are:

William Kovacsik for Exchanging Minka
Marin Gazzaniga for In Ways Both Frivolous and Deep
Chris Widney for Keepers
Barbara Lebow for Killing Spiders
Natalie Symons for Naming True
Desiree York for The Puppeteer
Sholeh Wolpe for Shame
Norman Simon for Where The Hell Am I?

The festival dates are October 19-23 and take place at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, located at 87 Fourth St. in Ashland.


THURSDAY 20, 1:30 AND 7:30 PM

FRIDAY 21, 1:30 AND 7:30 PM

SATURDAY 22, 1:30 AND 7:30 PM

SUNDAY 23, 3:00 PM



Playwright workshop on Saturday 9-12 at Unitarian Center $10 at door

 Join as a Member and receive one festival pass, priority seating, and invitations to members-only receptions, starting at $100


Ashland New Plays Festival assists playwrights in the development of new works through public readings and offers an educational forum to the community through discussions and workshops.

2016 Ashland Open Studio Tour

The 2016 Ashland Open Studio Tour is coming!

October 8 & 9, 2016

Save the dates and explore the working spaces of your favorite Rogue Valley artists

For more information, visit /

2016 Ashland Open Studio tour October 8 & 9, 2016

The Ashland Open Studio Tour is proudly sponsored by the Ashland Gallery Association.

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights for ANPF 2016

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights: Artistic Director Kyle Haden (center) and the ANPF 2016 readers. Image by Chela Sanchez

Artistic Director Kyle Haden (center) and the ANPF 2016 readers.
Image by Chela Sanchez

Ashland, Ore – Ashland New Plays Festival announces winning playwrights whose work will be presented Oct. 19-23 at ANPF 2016. The four winning playwrights are:

Michael Erickson for Oberon Springs

Beth Kander for Hazardous Materials

Mike Teele for EdanEv

Stephanie Walker for The Madres


The winning plays were selected from 400 that were submitted. They were read and scored in blind readings by ANPF’s core of volunteer readers, who reduced the candidates to 12 finalists. From them, artistic director Kyle Haden chose the four winners.

These exceptionally gifted playwrights will travel to Ashland for a week of receptions, rehearsals, a playwriting workshop, and other festivities that will culminate with dramatic readings of their plays. The plays will be performed in both matinee and evening performances at the Unitarian Center by some of our finest actors. Talk backs with Ashland’s famously sophisticated audiences will follow each performance.

Kander returns to Ashland for a second consecutive year, having won in 2015 for her play The Bottle Tree. The other three are first-time winners at ANPF. All of the winners are professional playwrights with numerous awards and honors to their credit. This year, Kander and Walker are both honorable mentions on the Kilroys List 2016, of “excellent unproduced new plays by women and trans playwrights.”

Read further for more information about the playwrights and their plays.

Beth Kander, Hazardous Materialsis a Chicago-based writer of plays, children’s books, and novels who “loves nothing more than a good story.”

In Hazardous Materials, she examines the course of several lives as investigators sort through the detritus left by an unidentified woman in a Chicago apartment.

Kander’s works have been recognized by The Ruckus’ 2016 summer festival; BechdelFest 2016; Ashland New Plays Festival 2015; The Kilroys List (Honorable Mention 2015, 2016); Leapfest 2015; Downstage Left residency 2014-2015; Charles M. Getchell New Play Award 2012; and, three Eudora Welty New Play awards. She studied comedy writing at The Second City and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women.

Michael Erickson, Oberon Springs, has had plays produced by theaters and colleges including the Ensemble Studio Theater, MadLab, Moving Arts, the Imaginary Theater Company, and Tesseract Theater.

Oberon Springs looks at the impact of environment on the increasingly poor health of people in a small Indiana town, and a young physician’s struggle over whether to continue her life and her medical practice there.

Erickson was playwright-in-residence at the Nashville Repertory Theatre and Coe College. His awards include an NEA Fellowship in Playwriting; a California Arts Council Award; and the Mobil International Playwriting Prize (Royal Exchange Theatre, England).  His Alien Hand Syndrome was published in Regional Best 2011, an anthology of new plays. Last Tree, Easter Island, will be published this fall in the Smith and Kraus, Inc. anthology, 105 Five-Minute Plays for Study and Performance. A graduate of the MFA Theater Program at the University of California, San Diego, he teaches playwriting at Webster University in St. Louis.

Mike Teele, EdanEv, lives in New York City. His work has been performed at theaters that include the Theatre for the New City; HERE Performing Arts Center; Abingdon Theatre; John Houseman Theater; Producers Club, Hudson Guild, and Catch a Rising Star.  He has produced more than nine works for the stage and was a Walt Disney Studios /ABC-TV Fellowship finalist.

EdanEv tells the story of four college friends, reunited in mid-life for a family wedding, and the life-altering decisions each makes about the next chapters of their lives.

Teele also created and wrote The Real Friends, a live weekly sitcom that played NYC comedy clubs, and has written dozens of educational films for kindergarten through senior high. He was awarded the Cine’ Golden Bear International Film & Video Award for his work.

Stephanie Walker, The Madres, is a Chicago native who now lives in Los Angeles. Her full-length plays have garnered awards, workshops and productions across the country including the 2015 critically-acclaimed premiere of The Art of Disappearing at Chicago’s 16th Street Theater.

The Madres explores the experiences and activism of the Argentine women whose children disappeared during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. The play has been chosen for a number of awards, including finalist for the 2016 O’Neill Playwrights Conference, for the Source Festival in DC, and for the Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize; and, winner of the BETC Generations Prize.

Walker is also author of the book and blog, Love in the Time of Foreclosure, which has been called “a heartbreaking work of staggering acceptance” and featured by the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Business Week Magazine, and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.

Thanks for reading Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights for ANPF 2016. For more information about ANPF, visit



SOAR Welcomes Art 4 Joy!!

Art 4 Joy: Fun Arts Program Opens in Central Point

Create Fun Art!

Central Point, November 18, 2015: “Sip and Paint” classes have been spreading across the U.S. like wild fire, but more often than not these venues are limited to availability in larger cities. “Sip and Paint” classes are a new social scene for adults who enjoy painting in a social atmosphere often served up with alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) beverages while guests are guided through a pre-determined painting project from start to finish in about 2 hours. At these events all supplies are included for the project and guests go home with their finished “masterpieces”.

Kim Samitore, Art Director/Owner of Art 4 Joy, located in Central Point has brought big city fun to small town America in the heart of downtown Central Point! Art 4 Joy, which offers not only “sip and paint” style classes but a full schedule of youth programs, quietly opened their doors Oct. 12, 2015, at 63 S. 4th Street in Central Point. Samitore chose to start her company as a grassroots project,rather than buying into the popular franchises offering similar services so that she could bring arts and crafts to children and adults of all ages within the Rogue Valley with her own unique program plan!

In late November 2015, Samitore moved her business to a larger location just around the corner at 425 Oak Street in Central Point (still located in 4 Oaks Centre) to accommodate for the community’s growing desire of different class offerings. Art 4 Joy has classes for children 5 years old and under that focus on tactile and motor skill development through creative art play, as well as weekly youth painting classes for first grade on up. Other classes offered include classes for Seniors 55+, some of which have never painted before, but are very excited to learn! Jim DeKorte (73), Samitore’s father, has Parkinson’s Disease and enjoys his art classes as his tremors subside and his cognition increases during art class. Other Seniors attend for increased social activity, for relaxation or mood elevation, etc. “Art is very therapeutic for mind, body and spirit,” says Samitore. She feels strongly that art classes can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what age or experience level you have. “Studies have shown that art is a valuable therapy for stress, anxiety, depression and more. Our classes are very social and always educational in a fun way, so whether a guest is young or young at heart, they leave with very positive feelings,” says Samitore.

Samitore has been fielding calls and emails for work parties, birthday parties, potential partnerships with local schools and non-profits who provide services to foster care children and more. Her goal is the bring art back to the community due to reduced art activities within the schools and to inspire adults to take a night out for social time in a new and fun way that is different and healthy for body, mind and spirit. She wants to help people feel good about themselves through creativity.

Art 4 Joy is currently working with the City of Central Point’s Recreation Department to expand their arts and crafts offerings during Community Christmas, scheduled for Dec. 5th, 2015. Art 4 Joy will be open to the public for free arts and crafts to all kiddos who attend Community Christmas, just 1 block east of City Hall so that families can enjoy the celebration a little longer where they can get out of the cold.

Samitore recently retired from teaching horse back riding lessons at Samitore Stables, also of Central Point, to children and adults with and without disabilities/learning/behavior disorders since 2005, to pursue her other love in life – CREATIVITY! She hopes to keep working with special needs children and adults as well as those without them. “What’s neat about this new learning opportunity is that no level of physical fitness, or experience is required and fees are lower (than horse back riding) so I can work with a larger population within our community,” says Samitore. She loves teaching and sharing the joy of expanding one’s horizons of what’s possible when you give something new a try!

Samitore is planning a Grand Opening/Christmas Open House in December (TBD), as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony (still to be scheduled) with the Central Point Chamber of Commerce.

Photo Opportunity: Saturday, November 21, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm, a promotional free class will be held at Art 4 Joy to introduce the community to our Taste and Create classes.

Juried Critique at Oct 26 SOSA Meeting

Southern Oregon Society of Artists announces Juried Critique at October 26 SOSA meeting

Coffee on the Pier, by Norm Rossignol

Coffee on the Pier, by Norm Rossignol

Southern Oregon Society of Artists

October 26, 2015 6:15pm

Program: Juried Critique

Medford Library, 205 S. Central Ave

Free and Open to public

Contact 1-520-471-5046

Mountain Cabin, plein air watercolor by Norm Rossignol

Mountain Cabin, plein air watercolor by Norm Rossignol

Southern Oregon Society of Artists announces a Juried Critique at Oct 26 SOSA meeting. The juror for works brought by members will be local artist Norm Rossignol. Norm began painting watercolors in the early 1980s. More than just pretty landscapes, he strives to capture scenes that convey a narrative and engage the viewer on a deeper level. His paintings have sold nationally and internationally. A juried member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon and the Pastel Society of Oregon, Norm co-founded the Plein Air Society of Southern Oregon, is a member of Southern Oregon Society of Artists, and teaches watercolors, pastels and acrylics locally.

Members may bring a single original work to the meeting between 6:15 and 6:30 to be juried.

Bandon Mist, watercolor by Norm Rossignol

Bandon Mist, by Norm Rossignol