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Ashland Art Center Offers Free Studio Space

September 14, 2020

Hello friends and supporters,

As many of you know, Ashland Art Center closed its doors to the public in March 2020 due to the impact of COVID 19. We have been using this down time to re-imagine and restructure the organization and have made considerable progress towards our goal of resuming operations in 2021. The recent catastrophic fires have presented some formidable new obstacles to that goal, but we are determined to persevere.

Even though the Art Center has currently suspended all programs and services due to the absence of staff and income, the Board of Directors unanimously agree that we must find ways to offer whatever resources we can to our beloved artistic community. The need for shelter/food/clothing is immediate and critical, but we realize that those needs are best handled by the many organizations who have experience in disaster recovery and services.

Therefore, the Art Center is currently formulating ideas on how to effectively provide some assistance in the aftermath of the fires. Due to our circumstances, and COVID social distancing requirements, our options are limited. But what we CAN offer immediately is temporary studio space at no cost. Priority consideration will be given to artists who have lost their working spaces due to the fire. We are asking you to please share this information with anyone needing a place to resume working on their art. (All types of art mediums)

Please email [email protected] regarding studio space.

We will continue to explore ways to be of assistance, including some restorative art related projects. (Look for upcoming announcements on our Facebook and Instagram pages)

We ask that you bear with us as we implement these services as we are all dealing with various levels of impact, from emotional trauma to devastating property loss. The Art Center is committed to offering as much support and comfort as possible to our community during this time of immeasurable hardship.


The Ashland Art Center Board of Directors

We are Resilient. We Can Reimagine. We Will Reopen!

We Are Resilient.

The coronavirus is having an unprecedented impact on the world, the full extent of which is yet to be known. Like all of you, the Ashland Art Center has had to maneuver around the impacts of this pandemic and make many sacrifices in order to be in the position to bounce back in the future. The closure of the Art Center was traumatic for all that had counted on the center as a place for creative exploration, artistic expression, income,  and community connections. A crisis of this magnitude can bring people together or push people apart. It is our sincere hope that the collective spirit of endurance so evident in our community can help us come together and overcome the challenges we face. We cannot know what the future will bring, but we can be confident that artists will help capture those moments and share the story of our experiences and our values with future generations.

We Can Reimagine.

The hard work is just beginning. Reopening the Ashland Art Center requires reimagining every part of our business. Through establishing revised business practices that better address the economic changes before us, we can ensure we move into the future in a sustainable way. In response to the pandemic, we are working to create an environment where artists, students, performers, and customers can be confident that their health and safety will be protected as they return.

This revitalization of our organization from the ground up is an opportunity to foster broader engagement and provide offerings that are  focused on inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. Through artists with diverse backgrounds we can better highlight the distinctiveness of the human experience by sharing their stories  through art with the community we serve.

The Ashland Art Center’s most valuable asset has always been the relationships that have been formed. Fostering such strong connections between local artists, educators, performers,  cultural organizations, and the community at large has long been essential to our success and this will not change. We rely on the community to assist us in achieving our mission of being a vital resource for art experience and education, while offering economic and social support to a wide variety of artists. The culture and identity of the Ashland Art Center will change by necessity in order to respond to the economic and cultural changes occurring around us. We know that artistic expression is a catalyst for change and we can create a difference in the world through art.   During this time of change, a constant that we can count on is the creativity and perseverance of the Southern Oregon local arts community. With their help we can adapt and explore how the organization can best serve the community we all love.

We will Reopen!

The Ashland Art Center is excited to announce that we are progressing toward our goal of reopening our doors at 357 E. Main Street. The building has been home to the Art Center for over 13 years and has truly been a bustling hub of local arts, and arts education, within Ashland and Southern Oregon. An offer of generous support from the property owner, and donations from community members that recognize the Ashland Art Center’s value to the community, have made this reopening possible. Our expectation is to have a phased reopening, beginning this fall and winter, where art exhibits and special events can bring our arts community back together and help restore the center’s presence within downtown Ashland.

The exciting news of the Ashland Art Center’s resurrection is a testament to the resilience of our community and is a reason for celebration. We will be back stronger than ever with your continued support!

The Art Center Closes, Advocates Continued Support for Artists

For over 13 years, the Ashland Art Center has been a dynamic force for creative enrichment, expression, and arts engagement within the community. The economic and social support the organization has provided to the visual arts community of southern Oregon has enriched the lives of artists, members, and visitors alike. Like many non-profit organizations, we have struggled over the years to promote our mission in the face of decreasing revenues and increasing costs. There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has already had severe economic impacts , and it’s still too early to gauge the full magnitude of this crisis, we know that canceled theatrical performances, cancelled music events, and restrictions on travel will significantly reduce tourism through the remainder of the year.
Due to these unavoidable conditions, the Board of Directors has made the extremely difficult decision to fully close the art center at 357 E. Main St. Were it not for the generosity of our donors, and our landlord’s willingness to provide a period of free and reduced rent, the gallery, studio spaces, and classes would have closed many months ago. However, it is clear that even with such generosity and support, the non-profit organization can no longer cover the costs of the physical building and necessary staffing. The Ashland Art Center will not be re-opening.
We are extremely saddened to close the doors of this special place that has supported artists and students in their explorations of creativity for well over a decade. Artists, who, even before the pandemic, were making very modest incomes, have been increasingly left without commercial outlets for their work, as many galleries, auction houses, and art fairs have shut down. The Ashland Art Center organization cannot alleviate the health and economic hardships so many are experiencing but we remain committed to supporting the art community.
So, although our doors at 357 E. Main Street are closing, the non-profit Ashland Art Center Organization will continue , and will be entering into a voluntary state of dormancy. During this period we will be restructuring the organization to find new and creative ways to supporting artists and present artwork to the community. We hope we will have your continued support as we adapt to this new reality, recover, and continue to promote arts and artists within southern Oregon. We hope you can directly support our local artists during this crisis and beyond.

Special Valentine Performance Friday February 14

A Valentine Choir Performance led by Jennifer Davis & Ian Abdo
Sponsored by Ashland Art Center & Porscha’s Musician’s Fund

Join us at 6:00 pm, Friday February 14.

Over a dozen children have been studying weekly with vocal instructors Jennifer Davis and Ian Abdo preparing for their premiere performance at the Art Center. This musical  evening includes a fun and entertaining selection of songs. Guests are encouraged to sing along, cheer on our local performers, peruse three full floors of art and support music education for community kids.

FREE admission, but $10 donation to music fund appreciated
(incl complimentary glass of wine)

Champagne and Chocolate will be served.

Valentine Paint & Sip – “Finding a Connection “

Paint & Sip with Jeanne La Rae
February 14, 2020, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
As a tribute to the style of Peter Max, Jeanne has created a Tryptych painting that emphasizes color, love, reflection, and fun… Things we love and need more of in our lives. Join Jeanne in the classroom at the Art Center on Valentines Evening to be part of this joyful experience. Each person will paint one painting finding a color or stroke of paint to connect to the other people painting around them…
Bring what you’d like to drink and a bite to eat.
Cost: $35 includes materials
Please register and pay by Friday, February 14 at 3:00 pm
Register via online calendar, at front desk or call 541 482-2772 with credit card info.

Contact Jeanne at 714 743-3622 if you would like more information.

It’s not too late to make a tax deductible donation!

A message from Johnna Pope, our Executive Director:
As 2019 draws to a close, we reflect on our community with overwhelming gratitude. Mid-year, we came to you in need of funds to continue our mission as a visual arts resource to all age groups. Because of you, we were able to continue all of our art class offerings, including low and no cost to over 100 students, and provide working studio and gallery space to local artists, at a time when increasing rents challenge local businesses and creative people aspiring to earn a living. We are fortunate to live in a community so supportive of the arts. As the year draws to a close, we must continue our fundraising efforts to cover our $150,000 annual operating costs.

As the Art Center works towards long-term sustainability, we are excited about the year ahead. In January, we will finalize our clay studio expansion creating room for wait-listed clay memberships. In the spring we will welcome a new glass studio with fusing classes.This new space will also allow us to nearly double our class offerings. In 2020 we will also focus on staff development and creating stronger community ties. We look forward to partnerships with Oregon Shakespeare Festival & Ashland Independent Film Festival for new events, while continuing our relationships with Cascade Bonsai Society and Platt Anderson Cellars.

We are proud to have created a professional establishment for children and adults to flourish in their creativity. Together, we can inspire future generations through self expression. In times where art is disappearing from schools, an art community is more important than ever.

I would like to ask you to consider making a gift to the Art Center. Whether you can manage $25 or $2,500, every penny matters. You will make a difference, widen our impact, and change lives in amazing ways.

Johnna Pope

Please CLICK HERE to make a donation.

Or CLICK HERE to visit our GO FUND ME page

Ashland Art Center is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization

Coming in 2020- Artist Member Show

January 3, 10am to 8pm in the main classroom
Featuring Artist Members: Marianne Werner, Nikki Von & Kristen O’Neill. This is a free perk for artists who are members but are not currently showing at the art center.


Marianne Werner is drawn to the natural world and to colors, and she works to capture her experiences with both photographs and poetry. Through images and words—animals, flowers, landscapes, food, children—she preserves what she sees as memorable moments. A passionate traveler, she seeks touchstones of beauty indifferent cultures, usually natural images, but also those created by humankind. She has chosen canvas or metal rather than archival paper as her mode of expression; these mediums open her photos for a direct, clarifying vision. A retired English teacher and a newcomer to Ashland, she has published poetry, articles, and photos in various local and national literary magazines, in addition to Moments, a collection of poems and photos, and Findings, a poetry collection.

Nikki Von
Flowers! I love everything about flowers. In the past, I’ve had and designed extensive gardens. Now, some blooms in a vase bring me just as much joy. I’ve made art all my life. Currently, I’m mainly painting in oil, which is a luscious, wonderful medium. I think it is the role and the joy of the artist to point out the amazing things, “pretty” or not, in this world.
Kristen O’Neill
Kristen will be exhibiting select paintings from her newest series, “The Thirty-six Views of Mt. Rainier” and a few from the “Oregon Coast Trail.” O’Neill specializes in creating contemporary Impressionist paintings of hiking trails, and collaborates with hikers from around the country. She has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a passion for teaching art.

ART SALE – Friday Nov. 1 – 5pm-8pm

 Art Show in the Ashland Art Center Classroom (main floor)

Meet Anne Stine (vision quest guide), other vision questers, and the artists. Enjoy a glass of wine, visit the gallery and buy art! *early bird sale starts at 4 pm.

Featuring art by: Susanne Peterman, Kaya Hagen, Glenda “GG” Goodrich, Kate Geary and Lavelle Foos.

All proceeds go toward the scholarship fund.

Support Ashland Art Center – Shop with AmazonSmile

If you’re looking for a simple, automatic way to continue supporting the Ashland Art Center, you should start your Amazon shopping at You shop as you normally would on the site, at no extra cost to you, and you don’t need to make a separate account.

Through AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to a charity of your choice.

Though 0.5% is not a large donation and it isn’t intended to replace your regular charitable activities, AmazonSmile is still a great way to take advantage of a service you’re using anyways.

All you need to do is start your shopping at The donation will be made at no extra cost to you. Happy shopping from the comfort of your home knowing you are also helping out the local art community!

Oct 4 First Friday Special Exhibit

Living Sculpture Connecting to nature through the art of bonsai

The Cascade Bonsai Society, in collaboration with Ashland Art Center and local Ikebana artists will be exhibiting a collection of bonsai and art representing nature and the changing of the seasons. The exhibit is a collection of Bonsai Society member’s finest trees, and is timed to celebrate the fall colors.

To enhance the viewers experience, Art Center painter’s and photographer’s work has been paired with the trees to complete each display.  From rocky hillsides and mossy forest floors, to urban environments, each respective display tells its own story.

A collection of Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangements), created by local ceramic and Ikebana artists will also be on display.  These seasonal works of art will be for sale, with all proceeds going to the Art Center.  “It is the Bonsai Society’s way of supporting the Art Center and thanking them for this wonderful opportunity to collaborate,” states club president Len Vaglia.  “By participating together we can celebrate how each of our respective art forms views nature from a different perspective. It makes the exhibit that much richer of an experience.”

Ashland Art Center Education Coordinator, Jo Ann Manzone agrees, “It’s rare when we get an opportunity to collaborate with artists whose work involves living trees and plants. It gives our studio artists a way to participate from another perspective and to celebrate how they perceive the same landscape or season.”

Each bonsai tree is considered a living sculpture representing the environment its larger relatives live in.

The goal is to make the tree look natural, as if a human never touched it. The silhouette should resemble a wild tree, with proper proportions. Its shape and design should tell a story without the need for words. The trees magnify nature’s spirit, helping the soul interpret and experience the mood of the landscape.

Members of the Cascade Bonsai Society will be on hand to answer questions and shed light on the process of bonsai development and refinement.

The Cascade Bonsai Society is dedicated to the education of its members and the community in the art and culture of bonsai. Visit for more information.