Trending Articles

Friends of SOAR

For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE!
ArtistsBillofRights.org reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
We support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto.  Metadata is information such as copyright notice and contact info you can embed in your images to protect your intellectual property, save time when uploading to social sites and promote your art. Click to visit the site and learn more.

All of the Above


On one of the rare weekends this summer we weren’t camping, my husband and I attended our church’s outdoor service. We sat beneath an umbrella on a beautiful morning, the sky broad above us. Our friend, Niesje was leading worship. Before beginning a song about bringing Heaven to Earth, she reminded the congregation that, with God, anything can happen. 


God often speaks to me in wordplay (I like to call Him the Wordsmith). As Niesje spoke, I heard in my heart the phrase “all of the above.” Such words and phrases usually arrive simultaneously with layers of meaning, and it can take me a moment to unfurl them. One layer to “all of the above” was Heaven, as in: all of what is higher, all of what is possible. At that moment, beneath the expansive sky, I was reminded of the vastness of possibility. 


But “all of the above” also referred to that pesky option on multiple-choice tests. 


I was never a good test taker. I could study, and I did—hard. But because I didn’t have the knack of knowing what test makers expected, I spent way too much time trying to memorize things instead of learning their context and how they worked together. 


When required to answer essay questions, I could “show” my work and explain nuances, which helped. But for multiple choice tests, there is just one right answer. Pretty black and white. Unless there is the shades-of-gray option D: All of the above. 


In school, I loved and hated “all of the above.” It meant there was more than one correct answer (which I secretly believed about most everything). But it also meant I’d have to know the subject well enough to know that A, B, and C were all correct, too. 


That Sunday beneath the Heavens, I recognized that I’d been slipping back into old patterns of limited, either/or thinking—of believing I’d have to choose just A, B, or C. I was reminded that God is big enough to be both/and—even big enough to offer an alphabet-length set of options and for all of them to be possible! He is big enough to offer all of the above.


I was recently reading about dialectics, which is basically a fancy way to say “both/and” thinking. It’s the paradox of seemingly contradictory things being true, like feeling sad and hopeful at the same time. In other words, there is usually more than one “correct” answer—or at least more than one way to arrive at it. 


Life will throw tests at us—both essay and multiple choice. But it helps to remember that God offers more answers than any test key. It also helps to remember that He is not sitting around in Heaven with a big red pen, waiting to tally our mistakes and write a low score across our lives. In fact, I have a feeling God isn’t really into tests. Humans? For some reason, we seem to like them. So here’s a test on subject matter I’m trying not to memorize but to learn, to embody: 


A. God is not a test maker, waiting to fail us


B. God is love, and love is BIG: bigger than our closed either/or thinking and bigger than our most open and noble imaginings


C. He invites us to dream with Him and Heaven—to get to know Him well and to embrace the mystery of what we do not know


D. All of the above

 

 

Truth Teller Tribe Returns

During my 40 some years of being an artist and teacher, Tribes of Truth Tellers have manifested themselves in many ways.

I taught Sculpture for many years in public schools and tall, cylindrical sculptural forms showed up in paper maché and clay forms. It was so fascinating to see the variety of expressions that resulted when a challenge was put forth to 30 students and they found 30 ways to express it. I worked along with them in order to teach technique. As always happens, we all inspired each other to make our sculptures unique.

The Tribe has also shown up in layered textural acrylic paintings and in collaged, cut, and layered painted paper forms. These two new ones are acrylics painted on paper with a forest in mind. However, the Tribe inserted itself into my consciousness, so I cut them free from each other and re-assembled them on painted wooden panels. I also cut a tree from another painting to add to the mystery.

There they were in all their glory, telling me Truths I hadn’t known before. As it turns out, the story they tell each viewer is specifically tailored to each individual.

Brief Beauty

So brief, these.

So long from seed to blossom

then so quick to drop their petals.

But worth the pink while.

Yellow: A Month of Focus On One Color

Yellow! To explain, this May I am taking a beginning still life class with artist Karen O’Neil instructing. It is an online class offered by The Art Student’s League of NYC. And, we are exploring the color yellow. Warm or Cool? You might think, or rather I might think, that yellow is yellow. What else …

Yellow: A Month of Focus On One Color Read More »

The post Yellow: A Month of Focus On One Color appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

May-June 2021 Art Opportunities


Ashland Galleries
May Visual Arts News
May = Art Opportunities

We’re excited to share a handful of art opportunities that are being offered this month to foster your inner creativity.
 
Allen Smith, Skin, Oil on Paper

Central Art Gallery
Display Your Artwork!
Deadline: No Deadline 
Central Art Gallery is a 650 square foot exhibition space located at 101 N. Central Avenue in Medford. The gallery will be offering exhibition opportunities for visual artists monthly during Downtown Medford’s Third Friday Art Walk.  

For those who are interested in participating, please click here or email all inquiries to [email protected]


Sarah F Burns, Late Spring, Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR, Oil on Panel

ART BEYOND
Saturday in the Park: Lithia Park Plein Air Painting Event 

Saturday, June 19, 2021 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Open to all, artists can come and go throughout the day. The general public will be encouraged to engage with the artists between 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. where artists can talk about their work and process. Artists will be invited to show one piece created at this event at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum from June 21 – September 16, 2021. Art will be sold at and by ScienceWorks, with 50% of sales prices going to the artist and 50% to ScienceWorks.

Please register here to be a participating artist by June 1, 2021.


Charlotte Peterson, Three Pink Ladies, Watercolor

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center 
Community Gallery Exhibitions
Deadline: Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center invites artists to submit a portfolio of work for the 2022 Community Gallery Exhibition Series. The gallery is a smaller, more intimate exhibition space. Shows include one artist and special themed exhibitions. Artists working in all media are encouraged to apply.

For those who are interested in participating, please click here or email all inquiries to [email protected]


Northwest Ceramics Studio

Northwest Ceramics Studio
Ceramic In-Person Classes
May 20, 2021 
Times Vary 

Come have fun and get a little dirty at Northwest Ceramics! They offer ceramic classes at all different levels. It is recommended to register for classes early due to small class sizes.

As of right now, a Beginning Hand-Building Workshop and One Time Clay Class on the Pottery Wheel are available. For more information, please visit, https://www.northwestceramicstudio.com/book-online



Vince Carl, Wound for Rebound, Acrylic

Grants Pass Museum of Art
Rogue Valley Biennial 

Deadline: May 16 and May 17
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

  The Grants Pass Museum of Art is hosting the Rogue Valley Biennial and the exhibition will be juried IN PERSON! The call for art is open to artists living in Jackson and Josephine counties only. Artist(s) must be able to hand deliver artwork on May 16 or May 17 between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. for jury consideration.

For those who are interested in participating, please click here or email all inquiries to o[email protected]

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Thank You! 

To thank and support the Ashland Gallery Association, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is offering a couple of discount codes to view performances. How exciting! 

Currently streaming until May 29 is Snow in Midsummer. This 2018 U.S. premiere production interweaves two stories of a young woman who curses her city from beyond the grave, and of a wealthy businesswoman who must face the parched, locust-plagued city. This modern ghost story beautifully reimagines a classic myth and explores the legacy of trauma, the heart of injustice, and the lengths to which we go for love.

Length: Approximately 2 hours, 25 minutes, with one intermission.
  Codes:
$5.00 Tiks Code: Connects (If you’re experiencing a hardship) 
$5.00 Student Tik Code: StudentSpring5 
$10.00 Indigenous Community Code: IndianC10Spring 
$10.00 Theatre Lovers of Color Code: TLOC10Spring 
$10.00 Teachers for Social Justice Code: T4SJ10Spring 
$15.00 Group Price (Up to 30 people: per show/per group) 
https://www.osfashland.org/en/shows-on-o/groups.aspx
 
Website:
https://www.osfashland.org/en/productions/2021-digital-plays/d-snow-in-midsummer.aspx

Copyright © 2021 Ashland Gallery Association, All rights reserved.

Of literature & Landscaping

 

I am being lazy on the literary front by not writing something fresh for this post, but all my spring creativity has been going toward landscaping!

So for this month, I’ll just say: I am delighted to have won an Oregon Book Award for my poetry collection, Hope of Stones. It was far more rewarding than making my own mulch! Immense gratitude to everyone at Literary Arts for honoring these poems and to dear Press 53 for publishing them. 

Here’s to words and wheelbarrows and wonder,

Anna 

Oh, So Many Choices

Oh, So Many Choices

I have used collage as a technique in some of my paintings for many years. I also keep every scrap of paper left over in case I need it later on in another painting. Needless to say, I have hundreds, maybe thousands of colorful scraps in my flat files.

It struck me that I actually could never need to paint on another clean white sheet of paper again.  Of course, that is an impossible thought because I love those clean white sheets and watching the images appear in the layers of color and texture applied. But I did decide to dive into an exploration of only using already existing scraps to collage together new creations.

With three different sizes of cradle board surfaces to collage onto which gave me some structure as well as variety. I started by letting my intuition guide me to select scraps as anchors or focal points to build onto.

This is where the plot thickens. Every piece I added affected every other decision and the possibilities were so immense that my mind boggled. Since pieces were still loose, I took photos so when it was time to glue, I’d have a map. Well, there was still so much fluidity that the glued results were never exactly according to plan.  

The Home Planet

Being used to following circuitous threads, I am pleased with the results.

The Poet Wonders

Nationally, it has been poetry month, but personally, it has been gardening month (with plenty of gravel schlepping!). In the realm of poetry, my collection Hope of Stones was nominated as a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards. I wait to hear the results. In the realm of gardening, I planted seeds. I wait to see the results. 

 

I’ve always honored the timeless metaphor of a garden, but it’s one thing to write about it. It’s another to prepare the soil and plant the physical seeds. 

 

Since I’ve spent far more time with a shovel than a pen this month, I thought I’d pull out a poem from Hope of Stones. Unlike the opening line, it is still the “month of April & maybes.” So much waiting. And even more than the results of the book awards, I am excited to see what this coming harvest season will bring. 

 

The Poet Wonders

Oregon, October

 

The more I wonder, the more I love.—Alice Walker

 

It is no longer the month of April & maybes. 

It’s October & root vegetables—the soil-

pulled concretions of harvest. What we seeded 

in spring has grown up & down & waits 

for us to lift it from the skin of earth. 

 

How silent prayer was revelation & heresy.

 

The clouds roll in. The leaves redden. 

The cat’s coat thickens. We gather 

the tangible close & prepare for cold. 

 

How physics is the science of prayer.

 

One friend is dying. Another is trying to love 

someone who doesn’t love her back. 

 

I visit the first friend, & we sit on his deck 

watching tractors in the adjacent forest dig 

foundations for new houses he will never see. 

 

I visit the other friend & notice the old 

potatoes she keeps on a shelf. They’ve 

shriveled a bit but have new eyes—new shoots 

already looking for somewhere else to grow.  

 

How a perennial can inspire prayer.

 

The Baumann Effect Live Demo

Central Art Supply logo

541.773.1444   101 N. Central Ave., Medford, Oregon 97501   centralartsupply.com
MON-FRI: 10-6 | SAT: 10-5


Thursday May 6, 2021 / 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Central Art is proud to announce a FREE [in-person] painting event:
“The Baumann Effect” presented by Stefan Baumann
Live in-person demo Thursday, May 6 2021 From 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Central Art
“Fundamentals – What Every Artist Should Know”


“The Baumann Effect”  is new series of classes/workshops based on Stefan Baumann’s successful YouTube channel and his PBS Painting Show “The Grand View”. This FREE introduction lecture and demonstration will be presented Thursday, May 6 from 2:00 to 4:00pm in-person at Central Art and is open to the public.

During the introduction, Baumann will introduce his 12 Keys to Painting demonstrating many proven keys that will improve your painting instantly, and set your painting on the path to success.

These lively talks will be part of an overall series that dives into “The Baumann Effect” and answers questions that many instructors fail to address. There is so much more to painting than color, value, and drawing. In this series, Baumann will explore the secrets to painting with the audience.

Through the study, exploration and evaluation of mastering art in Baumann’s lectures, along with your participation, you will discover not only your style but your core – the essence of why you paint. Students are encouraged to bring a painting for critique and a list of questions that they wish to have answered.

*Registration required. To sign up, visit centralartsupply.com


Stay in touch with us!   Facebook   Instagram   YouTube

2021 And We Are Back In Oregon!

Hello!  Happy 2021! I had not realized that I have been gone so long!  So, I send you my deepest apologies! And, I am sitting here, having recently finished a cup of espresso, wondering where I have been.  That is, what has kept me away from this blog?   January: Class. You see, the year …

2021 And We Are Back In Oregon! Read More »

The post 2021 And We Are Back In Oregon! appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.