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Serenity, Anyone?

In the 1980s, my grandmother had the Serenity Prayer decoupaged and hung in her guest bedroom. When my cousins and I had sleepovers as kids, I always marveled at its simple, rhythmic request:  

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 

courage to change the things I can, 

and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

I typed those lines from childhood memory. That prayer has been with me ever since. Even as a gradeschooler, I knew my life-long goal was serenity in a chaotic world. 

 

Decades later, I discovered the Enneagram. I know it’s all the rage right now, but for good reason; its pegs humanity’s nine personality types through the core beliefs of the types, the wounds they suffer from, and the healing they seek. 

 

I’m a number One: The Reformer. I want to make this world a better, more beautiful place. Which is a teensy bit exhausting and mostly impossible. Zero surprise that the life pursuit of a One is serenity. Can we say #challenge?

 

This year, we need the Serenity Prayer not just as a decoupage over the guest bed, but as cosmic light show illuminating our dark skies.

 

A few nights after the Oregon fires had ravaged friends’ homes just miles away, and another news cycle featuring Angry Everybody made me want to move to the Yukon Territory without the Internet, I found myself awake in the wee hours, whispering the Serenity Prayer over and over again until—much later—I finally fell back asleep. 

 

Honestly, the more authentic version of that prayer often sounds like the character George Costanza from Seinfeld screaming, “Serenity Now!” 

 

We can yell two words. 

 

We can whisper three lines over and over. 

 

May we pray the prayers. May we also do the work to heal our own wounds so that we don’t wound others from our unresolved pain and so that we can bring our healthy selves to serve a hurting world from a place of forgiven wholeness seeking to restore instead of retaliatory brokenness seeking to destroy. 

 

(And may we have a bit of serenity!)

 

 

My Favorite Classroom

It’s back-to-school season, but you might say I’ve been in summer school since July 4: the day I got married. I never knew that marriage would be my favorite classroom. I also never knew that no matter how much reading I did ahead of time, nothing would compare to experiential learning!

 

So-o-o much to learn. Such a variable curriculum, such a huge canon—love languages, personality styles, bathroom habits.

 

And I’ve never been more excited to study. 

 

I couldn’t really prepare for it like I did in my student days, by plowing through the required reading list and over-achiever-ing by plotting out the syllabus on my calendar. 

 

I couldn’t prepare for it like I did in my teacher days, by plotting units and setting assignments all the way till Christmas. 

 

So even though preparation is my superpower, I find myself releasing the ways I thought I learned best. 

 

And I am embracing every unplanned moment that arises. This photo is from last Sunday, when I looked up to see my husband smiling as he loaded the car after an afternoon on the lake. We had made a  detour there after an active camping weekend near the Deschutes River. The river was splendid, but he knows I love lakes, so he suggested we find one. 

 

On the obsidian-rich shore, we read aloud, napped, and played on the stand-up paddleboard. (My play looks more like a wobbly attempt to not to fall off. He can do a handstand on the thing…on a moving river). 


He is learning to enjoy the stillness I love, and I am learning to enjoy the motion he loves.  

 

It’s actually because of—not in spite of—our differences that we are on the trajectory for a master’s degree in communication someday. 

 

At this moment in our culture (and at any moment) we might do well to adjust our usual learning styles. We might do well risk wobbling as we try for new balance. To be still when we prefer motionor vice versa. Generally: to push the limits of our personal learning curves.

 

Here’s to embracing the classrooms of life: marriage and more. 

The Corndog Compromise

When Jared proposed this spring, he had a wedding date in mind: July 4. Beyond the general delight, I was also delighted he’d already thought of the day. I was game for the holiday wedding—we’d have anniversary fireworks forever! 
The venue that first came to my mind was Plaisance Ranch, a vineyard owned by dear people we both knew. We not only loved the connection to them, I had also written the poetry wine labels for Plaisance’s beautiful vintages. 
Perfect! I thought, we’ll have a wine and cheese reception.
Thing is, my now-husband is more of a beer-and-corndogs guy (though we’ve also shared plenty of cheese and wine). Still, I thought he was joking when he said he’d like corndogs as an appetizer at the reception. Beer in addition to the wine, of course. But corndogs? That would mean renting a deep-fat fryer, and…it kinda clashed with my vision. 
Enter our first compromise. 
Just after the proposal, we were talking with the Pennington’s, who had helped introduce us once upon a time at their bakery farm stand. They make a wow version of pigs-in-a-blanket, complete with honey mustard baked into the crust. Cathy suggested, “How about we make little ones and put them on a stick, and you can call them corndogs?” Wisdom from a woman married for forty years. 
And then, Jared’s parents asked if they could cater a full dinner for the wedding in addition to the planned appetizers. My solo vision expanded into something better when shared. 
There might be a lesson in there somewhere. 
And so, we had “corndogs” at our wedding. One of the moments I asked the photographer to capture was us biting into a compromise—aka corndog—together. It’s more important to me than the traditional feed-each-other-cake thing. This, we made possible together. A symbol of many things to come. May they be sweet—or at least savory.

Solstice Eve


Solstice Eve
On the longest
day of the year,
I want to choose
the shortest path
to joy—the one
with no distance,
no time. The one 
we can know
as close as our skin
& in any season. 
I want to go to sleep
& come awake
to this lengthy day, 
to sun—to all 
that’s possible
in hours of light. 
But may I remind
myself of all I can also 
do when darkness 
begins again—when 
joy will dress in shadow
but still glow, 
nevertheless. 

Hope of Stones


Paris, New York, San Francisco…and Southern Oregon! A dream lineup for a poetry book tour, and Im so grateful for the friends in each place who helped make this happen.

Hope of Stones is ready to greet the world, and you can pre-order it via my wonderful publisher, Press 53

Im going to let the dear poets who wrote praise for the book speak for me on this blog. Continued gratitude to them for the beautiful words!

+++

Anna Elkins’ Hope of Stones is a magnificent (I do not use the word lightly) collection—a beautiful, moving, and thought-provoking book of poems. The writing is striking in its control of tone and its precision, unfolding layer after layer of resonance and implication. Three characters: the nun, the architect, the poet who triangulates the relationship. Three different times in history, three different significant endeavors: the architect’s Paris below ground that reflects and supports the Paris above; the visionary nun’s passionate immersion in the inner mansions of God’s Castle; the poet’s engagement in the sensuous spirituality of her research. Give this book to everyone you love. No book of poems I’ve read in a long time more deserves serious, joyful attention and a wide readership. 
—Jim Peterson, author of Speech Minus Applause

This gorgeous book of contemplative poems refuses to accept an easy division between work and prayer. Here, hope is not a thing with feathers. Hope is a paradox, a thing with both heft and light. It is weightless with history, ruin, and body. It is heavy with abyss, nothingness, and caves. Bone and stone point beyond themselves towards the absence of building things up and the presence of emptying things out. Language is both meaningful and errant or even wayward: “earth / is an anagram for heart.” A nun prays “none” against “none.” A whole is reminiscent of a hole. This is a poet’s clearing, housed in eventual collapse. The one who works and the one who prays cross paths, eventually, head to head, skull to skull, in the undertaking of the poet, who excavates a kind of fast, and a kind of pilgrimage, as a way of seeking the first lost garden fruit–the castle cathedral, the ever-never-catacombs–unpicked, undisturbed, and undreamed. 
Gina Franco, author of The Accidental

In Hope of Stones, Anna Elkins creates a multi-various and many-voiced world—set both in the present and in two different pasts, and narrated by three different characters—the Nun, the Architect, and the Poet. This fantastic book reminds me of A. Van Jordan’s M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, another hybrid collection that brings strong individual poems together into a cohesive narrative. Whereas Jordan’s mode is often cinematic, Elkins works as a portrait painter. Through osmosis, the scholar-poet becomesthe architect and the nun, allowing this intertwined history to work also as an extended metaphor on creativity and desire: “One stair at a time / one corridor after another & a final glimpse / up a shaft to see the pinhole light of sky shining / though a manhole cover….”
Sebastian Matthews, author of Beginner’s Guide to a Head-on Collision

Hope of Stones is an elegant collection. Its formally accomplished poems, distinct voices, and visual design invite us to see the page as a temporal-geographical region. The architect, Charles-Axel Guillaumot, speaks from the lower left margin where he focuses on materiality, catacombs and the undergirding of Paris as he tries to save the city from collapse; the nun, Teresa of Avila, speaks from the upper right margin, where she shares her architectural vision of the spirit. And the poet, who is either in Oregon or traveling, occupies the center of the page where she brings her own dailiness—fires in summer, plums ripening—into conversations with these historic figures. The poet descends literally beneath Paris in her quest for the architect and ascends into the ethereal and sometimes levitational world of the nun. Like Dante, Elkins takes us on a journey. Hope of Stones traverses countries, continents, and historical periods until finally time and space collapse into a kaleidoscope of spirit.
Tami Haaland, author of What Does Not Return

April in Paris, Anyone?

Come with us!
Deep Travel is heading to Paris in April! We have two spots left on the trip, which runs from April 4-10. For six splendid days, our small group will be exploring the City of Light’s boulevards, bridges, bistros, galleries, patisseries, and parks. 

We’ve named this trip “The Artist’s Life,” and that’s exactly what you’ll get to explore. To enrich our travels, we’ll hold daily “happy hour” art sessions blending art, writing, and conversation. 

We’ll be staying in the marvelous Marais neighborhood—my favorite—in walking distance of the Seine, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Luxembourg Gardens, and countless eateries. 

A few extra perks: a luncheon cruise along the Seine, a dinner and literary salon in a private home on the city’s oldest park, and a walking around our Marais neighborhood with author and Paris podcaster, Oliver Gee

I’ve been delighted to help organize Deep Travel trips since 2014. We’ve gone to Morocco, Mexico, Spain, and Nepal, and this will be our first Deep Travel workshop in Paris. 

For more info, visit the Deep Travel website.  And for even more photos and fun, check out the Facebook page

Come play with us!

Eva Thieman Announces Owl Exhibit

Eva Thieman Announces Owl ExhibitEva Thiemann Announces Owl Exhibit - My oil paintings of owls are on exhibit at the Eagle Point Public Library from now until mid-March

Eva Thiemann announces today that an exhibit of her oil paintings of owls is hanging at the Eagle Point Public Library from now until the middle of March.

Eva is originally from Latvia. She came to the USA in 1997, lived in Alaska for 6 years and in 2003 moved to Applegate,Oregon.

Ms. Thiemann earned an Art degree from the Academie of Art and a Biology degree from the University of Riga, Latvia. She has created sculptures in bronze. Some of them are in private collections in Latvia, Germany and England.

When Eva came to Alaska, she was overwhelmed by its beauty and wildness. For the first time in her life, she was able to observe Alaska’s magnificient inhabitants — brown bears. On numerous camping trips to Denali National Park she saw bears on the tundra with spectacular mountain scenery, and in Katmai National Park she came within close proximity of bears fishing at rivers and salmon streams.

Since then, painting brown bears integrated with Alaska scenery became Eva’s passion. One episode of her video of a bear fight at Brooks Falls has been included in the National Geographic movie “King Bear.”

After many years of painting bears exclusively, Eva began painting owls to great reviews. Thiemann’s unique mix of realism and abstraction results in colorful and effective renditions of her subjects in exquisite oil paintings.

The Eagle Point library is located at:

239 West Main Street
Eagle Point, OR 97524

The branch’s hours are:

Feb 09
Sunday
Feb 10
Monday
Feb 11
Tuesday
Feb 12
Wednesday
Feb 13
Thursday
Feb 14
Friday
Feb 15
Saturday
Eagle Point Closed Closed 10am – 4pm 10am – 4pm 12pm – 6pm 10am – 4pm 12pm – 4pm

The Feels

A year ago today, I drew this compass to illustrate the five feelings I wanted to cultivate in 2019.

The four points: joy, peace, prosperity, and grace. The heart-center: harmony.

I started to write the words onto the compass, but then I realized I wanted the image to be “evergreen.” I wanted to use it every year if I felt like it. To use five words…or just one.

For 2020, I have just one word. This time next year, I’ll let you know how it turns out! I have a feeling it will be good, if only because this year, I let my five desired feelings guide most everything I chose to do.

This was the first time I approached a year with feelings instead of goals…so much more fun and freeing! I’ve spent too long confusing what I want with what I want to feel.

What do you want to feel during the coming twelve months?

Here’s to all the feels!

And blessings as we navigate toward them,

Anna

First Friday of 2020! Ashland Gallery Association Exhibit Openings & Artist Receptions

Join us for the January First Friday Art Walk festivities! 

January 3rd from 5 to 8 pm

ashland gallery association logo

Ashland Gallery Association Exhibit Openings & Artist Receptions

Stroll the galleries and take in the visual delights in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District.  Venture further to explore out-skirting galleries!  Enjoy this free year-round community event, filled with a diverse array of artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and lively conversation! 

January Spotlight Exhibits

Art & Soul Gallery

What a Difference a Frame Makes!

The gallery’s First Friday show also features wine and light refreshments; live music by pianist Anthony Bock, and will be on display from December 31 – February 2.

Peter Stone has been a professional picture framer for more than twenty-three years. He owned the popular Arrowhead Framing shop in Half Moon Bay, CA before moving to Ashland and Art & Soul Gallery.  He has long enjoyed the interpretive creative process and the constant creative problem solving which are custom picture framing. Peter loves the unique design opportunity that comes with each new artistic challenge.

“Every custom picture framing project comes with a story,” Peter has discovered. People only choose custom framing when the artwork has special meaning, he said. “And what is more special than our family memories!”

Pianist, Anthony Bock, a senior at SOU and a student of Dr. Tutunov, returns to Art & Soul for the third time. He effortlessly combines classical and non-classical piano music in a free and bright style, which captivates everyone listening.

Peter Stone, "sivo'ham, sivo'ham" (I am Shiva, I am Shiva)

Peter Stone, “sivo’ham, sivo’ham” (I am Shiva, I am Shiva)

Schneider Museum of Art

TWO GENERATIONS: JOE FEDDERSEN & WENDY RED STAR

On View: January 16 – March 14, 2020
Opening Reception: January 16th, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

EXHIBITION STATEMENT

This exhibition presents the work of two Northwest Indigenous artists who work across media and whose work responds, on their own terms, to historic and contemporary misrepresentations of Native Americans. Joe Feddersen, born in 1953, is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and has exhibited internationally since the early 1980’s. As a printmaker, basket maker, ceramicist and glass artist, Feddersen combines contemporary materials with Native iconography to create powerful and evocative works that explore the interrelationships between urban symbols and Indigenous landscapes.

Wendy Red Star, born in 1981, was raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star incorporates and recasts her research through photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance, offering new and unexpected perspectives on past, present, and future life. Her work is humorous, surreal, and often abrasive, yet deeply rooted in a celebration for Crow life.

JOE FEDDERSEN BIO:

Joe Feddersen, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, lives and works in Omak, WA and was a faculty member at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA from 1989 until his retirement in 2009. His work was included in Weaving Past into Present: Experiments in Contemporary Native American Printmaking at the International Print Center, New York, Autumn 2015. He has been featured in numerous national exhibitions, including Continuum 12 Artists: Joe Feddersen, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution at the George Gustav Heye Center, New York, NY, curated by Truman Lowe; Land Mark, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane, WA; and was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition and monograph, Vital Signs, organized in conjunction with Froelick Gallery and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in Salem, OR

WENDY RED STAR BIO:

Artist Wendy Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society. Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, Red Star’s work is informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star seeks to incorporate and recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives in work that is at once inquisitive, witty and unsettling. Intergenerational collaborative work is integral to her practice, along with creating a forum for the expression of Native women’s voices in contemporary art.

Red Star has exhibited in the United States and abroad at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fondation Cartier pour l’ Art Contemporain, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Portland Art Museum, Hood Art Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, among others. She served a visiting lecturer at institutions including Yale University, the Figge Art Museum, the Banff Centre, National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Dartmouth College, CalArts, Flagler College, and I.D.E.A. Space in Colorado Springs. In 2017, Red Star was awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and in 2018 she received a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. In 2019 Red Star will have her first career survey exhibition at the Newark Museum in Newark New Jersey.

Red Star holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, and an MFA in sculpture from University of California, Los Angeles. She lives and works in Portland, OR.

CURATOR MACK MCFARLAND BIO:

Mack McFarland is a cultural producer and has worked as Curator for Pacific Northwest College of Art since 2006. Currently McFarland is the Director of the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at PNCA. His exhibitions at PNCA have included commissioned projects of new works from tactical media practitioners Critical Art Ensemble, Eva and Franco Mattes, and Disorientalism.  He has also curated a review of Luc Tuymans’s printed works, a group exhibit marking the centennial of John Cage’s birth, and a comprehensive look at the process of the comic journalist Joe Sacco.  McFarland’s current question is how exhibitions and artworks can meaningfully link to our shared experience of existing together within the ongoing process of history.

Wendy Red Star, "Winter", from "The Four Seasons", Archival pigment print on Museo silver rag, 35.5 X 40 inches, Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR

Wendy Red Star, “Winter”, from “The Four Seasons”, Archival pigment print on Museo silver rag, 35.5 X 40 inches, Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR

Photographers’ Gallery (Ashland Art Center)

Kate Geary – “In the Woods”

Kate Geary’s new show, “In the Woods”, opens on Friday, January 3, 2020, at The Photographer’s Gallery at the Ashland Art Center and runs through the end of February.  

Kate’s focus in this show is on the amazing beauty and even humor in the small details of the natural world in the forest.  So often the small is obscured by the magnificence of the scene, the towering redwood or roaring waterfall.  To pause, to look downward and notice the patterns in decaying bark, the sensuous texture of exposed wood; the beauty of seed pods lying in verdant ground cover, reflections of fall color in a meandering stream, brings a new appreciation to the beauty of detail.

Kate Geary, “Reflections of Season Past,” photograph

Kate Geary, “Reflections of Season Past,” photograph

Creekside Pizza

Featuring Justin Gordon

Justin Gordon is an artist and musician living in Ashland Oregon who enjoys traditional processes that harken back to the twentieth century before the digital world inundated us with images and sounds and facsimiles of real objects. He can be found driving around in a yellow seventies pick up snapping photos or playing his original songs with his band The Holy Mackerels around town when he is not at work as a carpenter and painter.

Show runs December through January.

Justin Gordon, photograph

Justin Gordon, photograph

For more information about all of our exhibits and to download the January Gallery Tour map, please visit: www.ashlandgalleries.com  

 

Please see “Spotlight Exhibits” and the January Gallery Tour Map.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Thank you for your support of the Visual Arts in our communities!

Happy Holidays! Plus a 2020 Preview of Rogue Gallery

December 21  artblast Ginny Schaw
Detail of I Spy, a magazine collage by Ginny Schaw
Happy Holidays!
Rogue Gallery will be open December 24, 10-2pm.
We will be closed December 25 through January 1.  
In the Main Gallery in 2020

Driven to Abstraction: Paintings by

Virginia Andrade & Alx Fox

January 10–February 2

andrade fox
left: Anticipation by Virginia Andrade, right: A Splash of Pinot by Alx Fox

Reception: January 17, 5-30-8 pm
Explore the skillful composition of rich color and exciting texture in this exhibit featuring the work of two accomplished abstract painters, Virginia Andrade and Alx Fox.
 ROGUE STUDIO

2020 Winter and Spring classes are on the website.

Check out classes for youth HERE>>

Adult classes & workshops HERE>>

2019 Year End Donation

2019 Year End Raindeer 2Would you like to make a year end
donation to Rogue Gallery?
Click HERE>>

Gifts made to the Rogue Gallery & Art Center qualify for the Oregon Cultural Trust tax credit program. For more information on Oregon Cultural Trust credit program, please visit www.culturaltrust.org.

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Call the Gallery for more info: (541) 772-8118

Check out more fun activities at: www.roguegallery.org

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center is the Rogue Valley’s premier non-profit community art center founded in 1960 to promote and nurture the visual arts in the Rogue Valley. The Art Center showcases emerging and established artists, presents fine crafts by area artisans, and offers a broad range of visual art classes and workshops for all ages.

Rogue Gallery & Art Center is located in downtown Medford at 40 South Bartlett Street. We are open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are open for art receptions third Fridays 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.