Americans for the Arts distilled the many reasons the arts have real value into Ten Reasons to Support the Arts.  I’ll be sharing them to give you artful food for thought and conversation. Reason #10: “Arts mean business. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. A 2014 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 750,453 U.S. businesses which create or distribute the arts and employ 3.1 million people—representing 4.2 percent of all businesses and 2.2 percent of all employees.” (Download a free Creative Industry report for your local community.)

Graffiti Vortex II, Image by Alice LaMoree

Art Presence believes in providing opportunities for children to experience the benefits of the arts.  During April’s “Environmentality” exhibit we had the pleasure of taking Bear Scout Den of Jacksonville’s Pack 17, sponsored by the Jacksonville Kiwanis, and Bear Den Leader Tawny Westphalen on a guided tour of the gallery.  Most of the boys—who have been together since first grade Tiger Scouts—knew how to conduct themselves in an art gallery, but all became truly interested in the art when we discussed the reasons why the artists had created these paintings and how the artwork communicated their message.  Afterward, one mother told me she had never seen them so well-behaved.  The boys and their parents enjoyed their visit and want to return for classes and new exhibits.  Some were even interested in being an artist featured at the gallery!  This was an exceptionally rewarding afternoon, and we invite parents, teachers and group leaders to bring their kids to the gallery, too.

Art Presence had a fantastic Taste of Summer!  We’re proud of the Jacksonville Rotary Club’s excellent renovation of our classroom, and’s wine/herb pairing presentation drew a full house, with participants’ enthusiastic reception to the information and the pairings filling the room with excitement. A steady stream of visitors came in for wine tastings, signing up for wine clubs and enjoying art all afternoon. We thank the Britt Festival and all our partners, who made it a successful day for everyone.

Pooped Patriots, Image by Thomas Glassman

Art Presence Art Center’s July exhibit is a “Red, White and Blue” affair, with summer scenes and everything we love about our country on display. You’re invited to meet the artists over wine and hors d’oeuvres at a reception on Friday, July 11 from 5–7pm. The show will be on display from July 4 – 27, 2014.

Chasing Waves, pen and ink Zentangle® by Betty Barss

Our curated shows continue through the month, with the Zen DeZigns show at Medford Library showcasing Zentangles® in pen and ink by Charlotte Petersen, Betty Barss and Linda Boutacoff, Tom Glassman’s photography show in the Naverson Room at Jacksonville Library, and Alice LaMoree’s show at Pioneer Village—view her spectacular photography in the dining room. Take a moment to enjoy the display of hand carved waterfowl decoys from the collection of member Katharine Gracey, created by American artists over the last 40 years, in the front entrance display case at the Jacksonville Public Library.

Hand carved decoys from the collection of Katharine Gracey

Art Presence would be delighted to host your class, workshop or meeting! Now that our classroom’s renovation is complete, we would like to share the space with local artists, individuals and groups who need a place to present classes or workshops, or hold meetings. Rental fees are modest and affordable even for struggling subsistence artists. Art Presence members receive a 50% discount. For more information, contact Anne Brooke at 541-941-7057 or email her via our Contact page.


Here’s a sampling of the work you will see at the gallery during our July 2014 exhibits at the gallery, Medford and Jacksonville Libraries! As this is a syndicated post, only thumbnails have come through the feed, so please visit to see larger versions and to learn more about the gallery.