Washougal, WA — Washougal area artists are once again opening their studio doors to offer a fascinating and art-filled family outing for Mother’s Day weekend.  The 2021 Washougal Studio Artists Tour, to be held May 8-9 from 10 am to 4 pm, will include 8 stops and features 15 local artists representing a vast array of creative works and mediums.

“We are excited to safely invite visitors back into our studios and outdoor display areas for this year’s event,” said Shirley Bishop, WSTA co-coordinator and local glass artist.  “Last year we held a virtual tour and promoted our artists online. It just wasn’t the same. The art experience is so much richer when a patron can visit an artist’s studio. They are able to see where the magic of creating art happens and learn about both the art and the artists.” 

Now in its fourth year, WSTA has drawn much interest and support from the local community and visitors from the Portland area and beyond.  

“We are delighted that many people taking the tour are discovering Washougal for the very first time,” said Bishop. “And they really enjoy the tour route that winds along the scenic Washougal River and through the Washougal foothills.  It’s nearly as beautiful as the art!”   

Washougal
www.clarkcountyrelocations.com

The Washougal area boasts many high-quality professional artists. 

“It is no wonder,” said Bishop. “There is so much natural beauty to be found here that it serves as inspiration to these talented artists.”

New to this year’s tour are Trish Johnston, watercolor; Dana Bergdahl, acrylic & watercolor; Stu Ager, mixed media: organic metalwork design; India de Landa, contemporary art jewelry; Samuel Shrout, casted metal and wood, and Nancy Carkin, acrylic, oil and watercolor. 

Returning artists are: Char McHugh, ceramics; Anna Wiancko-Chasman, clay & mixed media; Cyndee Starr, mixed media; Kathy Marty, handwoven eco-friendly rugs; Shirley Bishop, fused glass; Tamara Dinius, mixed media; Toni McCarthy, original beaded jewelry; Sharon Ballard, acrylic painting; and Jean Hauge, multi-media.

New this year is the Runaway Kitchen food truck at tour stop #4, offering delicious meals and snacks for hungry shoppers. 

Preview participating artists’ work and see the tour map on the Washougal Studio Artists website 

www.WashougalStudioArtists.org   

You may also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Participating artists will also have copies of the map available, as well as many local businesses.

Washougal, WA — A recent Camas-Washougal Community Chest grant will support Washougal School District efforts to address historical, systemic inequalities for students with disabilities. The CWCC funds will provide the community with on-demand viewing access of the award-winning documentary Hearts of Glass on June 2-12, 2021.  This will be the first showing of the movie promoted in Washington State. 

This 2018 film follows the initial months of operation of Vertical Harvest, a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse that grows crops while providing meaningful, competitively paid jobs for people with disabilities working alongside people without disabilities.  

“Our goal is to bring awareness of the needs for competitive employment opportunities within our community for young adults with disabilities,” said Jessica Nickels Washougal Adult Transition Program Teacher.

A follow up webinar discussion panel will also be presented on June 9, featuring a Washougal community member, former WSD student, and the films’ cast and crew.  

“The discussion aims to create awareness of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities from the perspective of the individual and the employers,” said Nickels.  “This conversation and collaboration between the school district and community will also help improve employment outcomes for these young workers.”

“Our goal is for the film and webinar to provide a platform to advocate for greater inclusion of individuals of differing abilities into all aspects of our community,” explained Heather Kassel, WSD ELA/EdTech Instructional Coach. “The discussion around the film is meant to serve as a catalyst for change and the creation of new partnerships between local businesses and the school district.”

“This film shows that innovation and inclusion can go hand-in-hand, benefiting citizens with disabilities and the community at large,” said filmmaker Jennifer Tennican in a press release.

“Our vision with this project is to align with the Washougal School District’s mission to Know, Nurture, and Challenge ALL students to rise,” said Kassel.  “The district strives to promote equitable educational opportunities for all students, and this film provides a model of what is possible.”

“It is our task as a school district to prepare students for successful post-secondary outcomes,” said Nickels. “It is our task as a community to recognize individual’s abilities and to work toward equitable inclusion into social and economic aspects of our community.”

Find the movie during the June 2-12 view period on the WSD website. The trailer can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuBSMUZa8wQ. For additional information about this film, please visit https://www.heartsofglassfilm.com/

Washougal, WA – Volunteers at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum are excited to open their doors for visitors on Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting April 3 after their sudden shut down last March due to the pandemic.

“We can’t wait to welcome guests and our membership back to the museum,” said Jim Cobb, Camas Washougal Historical Society President.  “All volunteer docents will have full vaccine protection and we will of course be following all COVID 19 safety protocols including masks, social distancing and cleaning.”

The museum’s reception area and is now home to the “Gorge” display, created in 2019 by Discovery High School students.  This 9×4 foot scale model presenting 90 miles of the Columbia River Gorge with landmarks that light up, is now more accessible with better viewing opportunities.  The room also received a new coat of paint and the museum gift store has been reorganized and has a fresh new look.

“Spring of 2020 we were all ready to open with fresh paint and new displays created during our regular winter closure,” said Karen Johnson, display committee member.  “We made significant changes in both the Museum main building and the Carriage House.”

Museum interior work was made possible by volunteer Walt Eby, who worked out a plan for rearranging the spaces and made sure all the pieces would come together in a cohesive design. “There was a lot of measuring, right down to tape strips on the floor where cabinets would be placed,” said Johnson. Big Al’s Movers was hired to help move the large display pieces into place.

The four-year-old “School Days” exhibit in the rotating display room was taken apart with some artifacts sent back to storage while others were moved to displays in other parts of the museum. 

“That room has now been turned into an impressive Native American exhibit with woven baskets and stone bowls and tools,” Johnson said.

The Carriage House, built in 2009, was also transformed with new displays to make the area more interesting for visitors.  A vintage buggy was moved from the floor to a high ledge which provides much better viewing and made room for more items.

A new display in the Carriage House, “All Boxed Up,” is located on the corner ledge over the doorway.  It features vintage folding wooden grocery boxes branded with names of local stores.  The addition of large banner pictures of local markets from the past adds a special touch and informative signage helps to tell the story.  

A collection of surveying and mineral artifacts can be found in another new Carriage House display, “From Here to There.”  

“It describes how the survey tools and the Donation Land Act of 1851 are related to the history of our community,” Johnson said.  

Another new display focuses on mining in the area and is called “Relics from the Last Chance Mine.”  

Display Committee volunteer members are Karen Johnson, Richard Johnson, Walt Eby, Gayle Godtlibsen, and Ivar Godtlibsen.

Visitors will also be impressed by the progress of the Native American-inspired Gathering Place at Washuxwal longhouse pavilion that sits on the museum’s southern side.  The four-year construction project is now in its final stages of completion.   

The pavilion’s design is based on the traditional cedar plank houses used by Native American tribes who lived in what is now East Clark County in the early 19th century.

“We are looking forward to telling stories of the area’s earliest inhabitants and to use the space for cultural and community events and field trips,” said Cobb.

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum is located at 1 Durgan Street in Washougal and is currently only open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Admission costs are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for students and free for children under 5 and all CWHS members.  Group tours are available any day of the week (by appointment only).  Call 360-835-5449 for scheduling.

“Our community has so much to be proud of in this museum,” said Cobb.  “We hope local folks who have not had a chance to see the museum will stop in and look around at all we have to offer.”

CWHS is always looking for volunteers and new members to join and help support the preservation of local history. More information about the CWHS and the Two Rivers Heritage Museum can be found on their website at www.2rhm.com.

Museum
Getting a tour of Two Rivers Heritage Museum.

Folk duo Fox and Bones offers custom songwriting services for the perfect contact-free gift

Camas, WA — With lockdowns and quarantines affecting many long-standing holiday traditions this year, local band Fox and Bones has come up with the perfect contact-less gift that allows people to express their love from a distance. The duo, who previously made their living touring internationally but moved home to Camas when the first wave of lockdowns hit, put their minds together to create “Our Custom Song”, a boutique personalized songwriting service where they are commissioned to write what they call “the ultimate expression of love” —  a highly personalized, radio quality song.

Though Fox and Bones, aka Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore, launched this new service in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns, the idea for Our Custom Song initially came to the real life couple three Christmases ago, when Gilmore wrote Vitort a song and gave it to her as a Christmas present. 

“To this day it’s the best gift I’ve ever received, truly a gift that keeps on giving. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being someone’s muse,” said Vitort. 

Vitort realized that equipped with 20+ combined years of songwriting experience that feeling was one they could offer to others and became more valuable than ever when COVID changed everyone’s lives.

The custom songwriting process begins with an hour-long ZOOM consultation, where Vitort and Gilmore ask thought provoking questions in order to step into their customers’ shoes before writing the song. In addition to the initial consultation, customers get two rounds of edits between the first and final drafts to ensure the song is exactly what they want. Customers also get to choose the genre, feel and instrumentation of the song, and are offered add-ons like their own photo slideshow music video, an engraved lyric plaque, or a CD of the song.

“It didn’t feel somebody created this song just because it was purchased, it felt like you guys really could understand how we felt, and took all the stories and things that we talked about and made them come to life,” said Shelby Cinnamon, who, with her siblings, commissioned a song for her mom for Mother’s Day. 

Her sister Carley, a Camas resident, added, “I wish I had the words to convey to people how special and how meaningful the entire process was. It’s such a priceless song that we will treasure forever.”

In addition to custom songs, Our Custom Song also offers a more budget-friendly option in the form of “Song-Grams,” where clients can choose any song for the duo to cover with a special dedication to the recipient, a nostalgic cross between a singing telegram and a radio song dedication. 

Our Custom Song was created by Vitort and Gilmore as a way for people to commission personalized songs for the people they love most. Vitort and Gilmore use their 20 years of combined songwriting and music industry experience and their deep ability to empathize to create heartfelt, radio quality songs for their customers. The pair has been lauded for their songwriting in outlets such as Parade Magazine, No Depression, and Pop Matters since they formed in 2016.

Interested parties are encouraged to learn more and book their song at www.ourcustomsong.com

 

Band
Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore of Fox and Bones.

Washougal, WA — The eerie sound of chains rattling, footsteps across a wooden floor, actors voicing character dialog and a healthy dose of imagination.  These are just some of the elements that will bring “Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol – A Radio Play” to life by the Jemtegaard Middle School Soundstage students and staff.

“Last spring our Soundstage club was supposed to perform The Box by Lindsay Price and then of course COVID happened,” said Diana Larson, Soundstage creator and advisor.  “It was a big disappointment.  We had the scenery ready and everything.  We considered a mini version, but it just would not have been the same.” 

Not wanting to disappoint the students again, it was decided to perform a radio play this fall.  “We found that there were a lot of radio show scripts out this year,” said Larson.  “We were excited to find this classic holiday story and it even came with sound effects.  We decided to do it!”   

Soundstage club members were ready for the challenge, having met over the summer with upwards of 20 students attending the weekly sessions.  Larson used her connections with actors, singers, and dancers from New York through her years in vocal training to connect her students on Zoom to professionals in the entertainment industry.  “We had online dance instruction, sing-a-longs, monolog sessions and even had a very special guest, Juliana Conte, a singer/dancer who has appeared in New York in Spring Awakening and the Adams Family,” she said. John Armor, Shakespearean actor and stage combat choreographer for Portland Opera and other theater companies, also provided virtual lessons over the summer.

The radio show was cast via virtual auditions in October. “The great thing for students is that no one has to work to memorize the lines,” said Larson. “They will read them as their character.  There will be no visuals, just the listeners’ imagination.” 

Washougal
www.artfuljuxtaposition.com

Rounding out the cast will be several notable special guests. John Hugill, a local Portland actor, will anchor the show and perform the lead role of Ebenezer Scrooge.  JMS principal, David Cooke, will read the part of Bob Cratchit and WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton will voice Mrs. Cratchit.  Other JMS staff participating include History teachers Scott Rainey and Scott Hoisington. 

“The student actors were outstanding,” said Templeton.  “They came to the recording prepared.  They knew their lines, their characters and had vocal presence.  They created a presentation that is artistic and engaging.” 

Each actor will record their part via Zoom and then it will be professionally edited together, with sound effects, for the final product.  “Our sound engineer, Vic Sorisio, is doing the recording and editing,” said Larson.  “He also coached the students to understand how they need to sit and speak during their recording for the best sound quality.” 

Recordings took place November 2 and 5 and the show will be available online on the Washougal School District website on December 4.  Just in time for the holidays. 

“My goal is to provide these students an opportunity to be a part of a production and experience that joy and satisfaction,” said Larson.  “I also hope that the show brings our community together with a shared holiday experience.”

Camas, WA — Lara Blair Photography in downtown Camas is offering limited Holiday Sparkle & Wonder session to capture the spirit and joy of the season.

Blair answers some questions about this fun, new project.

What is a Sparkle & Wonder session?

For 45 minutes, we capture your family in a choice of holiday sets (super creative…think “Target ad”) and also on a plain white backdrop. We want you to have some original holiday images for your cards and social media, but we also feel everyone should have up-to-date, fun family images to display at home.

When are the sessions?

We are shooting only a handful in November. We are providing evening appointments (a rarity at our studio) so everyone can make it. We’re booking now—first come, first booked.

What’s the investment?

This session is $250, a savings of $100 from our usual sessions. Our portrait design specialist will walk you through our products (including fabulous holiday cards!). With a $600 order, you receive 25 complimentary cards.

Call 360.980.2413 or email [email protected] to schedule your session today!

Blair
www.artfuljuxtaposition.com

Camas Author Seth Sjostrom released his latest book, The Tree Farm, a holiday novel, on November 1st. 

When the Shepherd family loses everything right before the holidays, they find joy in what matters most, rekindling fading Christmas traditions for themselves and for their town. They find that like trees, Christmas miracles come in all shapes and sizes.

“I wanted to write a story the depicts the struggle that a lot of families have during the holiday season. While they strive create the ‘perfect’ Christmas for their family, there is a lot more to the season than presents and an elaborate meal,” Sjostrom shares.

In the Tree Farm, the Shepherd family struggles to keep up with bills and maintain a roof over their heads never mind fashion a magazine-worthy holiday. A local tree farm with struggles of its own, presents as a safe haven for the Shepherd family. Forced to live simply, they discover a great gift, the magic of the holiday is accessible to all, regardless of material offerings.

A serial entrepreneur, adventurer and author, The Tree Farm, is Sjostrom’s ninth novel. The romances Finding Christmas, The Nativity and Back to Carolina along with the thrillers Blood in the Snow, Blood in the Water, Blood in the Sand, Penance, and recently released paranormal thriller Dark Chase were his first books published. All of Seth’s books are available anywhere books are sold. 

For more information regarding Seth or his books, visit www.sethsjostrom.com.  

Sjostrom
Author Seth Sjostrom.

Camas, WA — Attic Gallery, located in historic downtown Camas, is featuring for the month of October a Solo Exhibit with 15 new paintings by Earl Hamilton.

“Earl’s been really busy during the pandemic and he brought over some stunning new work, and we’re so happy to feature him all month long,” said Maria Gonser, co-owner of Attic Gallery. “His new work is amazing! Please come see it.”

About Earl Hamilton

Earl, now in his sixties, spent most of his childhood living in a small cabin in the Rodgers Mountain area outside the town of Scio (Oregon) in the Willamette Valley, with his parents Satsuko and George Hamilton, both successful artists. The family lived self-sufficiently on their secluded homestead, painting together in their cabin’s living room. Thus, from an early age, Earl was influenced to enter the art world. Living a frugal lifestyle, hauling water, milking goats, collecting eggs from their chickens and minus TV and radio, he was encouraged to read and talk a lot about art. Earl learned self-sufficiency and a desire to follow his own artistic instincts. He now lives in Lebanon, another small Oregon town, where he works on his paintings every day and usually most of the night. 

Earl studied art in high school where he won a Scholastic Gold Key award for the State of Oregon and a National Gold Medal Scholastic Award for a competition in New York City. He won an art scholarship while studying art at Oregon State University. In 1980, Earl won The Grumbacker Award for the Northwest Watercolor Society, and 1981 the First Place Sweepstake Award for the Watercolor Society of Oregon. 

Earl’s paintings are filled with a kind of whimsical lightness reflected in many images such as castles, clowns, children, animals and lovers. He layers acrylics and uses collage materials in many of his abstract works. Earl’s paintings whether abstract or whimsical objects, could be called meditative, mystical, contemplative, energetic, bold and confident in brushstroke. “I knew that I would always be an artist. Art has become a way of life for me, of perceiving and being. You take art with you whether you paint or not. It’s in your eyes and in your hands.”

Learn more at www.atticgallery.com

421 NE Cedar St
Camas, WA 98607

360-833-9747

Email: [email protected]

Hamilton
Earl Hamilton is the Attic Gallery solo exhibit for the month of October.

Columbia River Gorge Elementary Music teacher, Amy Switzer, stands alone in her classroom in front of her computer screen filled with tiles of smiling first grade students.  She leads them in the Good Morning song complete with hand clapping and stomping.  When asked for suggestions on other movements they can do, student hands fly into the air.  Gideon is called on, unmuted and suggested adding hopping to the song.  Another verse is sung.

“It’s great to see the students once a week in live zoom lessons,” said Switzer. “I really miss them!” 

Since traditional elementary music class is such a participatory, whole-group experience, Switzer said it was a challenge to figure out how to accomplish music goals remotely. 

“Kindy, 1st and 2nd Grades traditionally spend time exploring music through singing, listening and moving,” she said.  “I have found it is possible for me to continue much of that in Zoom Music Class.”  

In addition to Zoom Classroom, the SeeSaw educational app is an effective tool allowing students to create videos and other multimedia items.

“Our first SeeSaw lesson was a musical scavenger hunt to find things they could shake, hit or scrape and collect in a box to use in music class,” Switzer said. “Then ‘Ta da!’  They now have their own instruments to practice playing steady beats and rhythm in Zoom Music Class.” 

Switzer’s music lessons have become more project based with upper grade level students.  For example, her 3rd, 4th and 5th grades have started a project called the “World Music Tour.”  Their Google Classroom assignment is to interview an adult in their family or adult of their choice to see what continents and countries their ancestors came from and do they know any songs that have been passed down in their family. “Once the information is collected, we will ‘visit’ those places through music,” Switzer explained.  “It has been so much fun getting to know my students through this project!”

In fact, knowing students better has been one of the surprising benefits that Switzer has seen. 

“It is nice to connect with each and every student who participates in Seesaw and Google classroom,” she said. “I get the chance to see and read their work in depth.  I really enjoy seeing and reading each and every one of their assignments and can respond to them with thoughtful feedback. Some students also find they are braver when communicating with teachers through Google Classroom.”  

Music
Columbia River Gorge Elementary Music teacher, Amy Switzer, stands alone in her classroom in front of her computer screen filled with tiles of smiling first grade students.

Switzer’s students are reacting positively to the idea of remote learning music classes.

“They are so grateful to have live special subject classes again,” she said. “For some students, special subjects can be the reason they get up and go to school.”

But still, it has been tough for her to not be able to see her students in person. 

“It’s also hard not being able to have kids up and moving around interacting together playing singing games, recorders, band instruments, choir, ukuleles, and Orff instruments and experiencing the language of music,” she said.  

Teaching music remotely presents many challenges, but Switzer said she is fortunate to have the support of the WSD elementary music team. 

“Becky, Anna, Frank and I are a strong team,” she said. “We each have our strengths and collectively we help each other figure this out.  We spend each week brainstorming and sharing ideas. We communicate through email daily and try out new approaches on each other before trying with students.  They have been my rock through this whole experience.”  

Music
www.champpizza.com

When asked if music class can play a role in helping students cope with the situation around remote learning, Switzer said she believes music gives students connections to the world they live in and to each other. 

“It takes them to creative places in their brain that other activities cannot,” she said. “Music is a powerful antidote that can relieve anxiety and get our minds back in an even rhythm to cope with whatever life throws at us.  Kids too.” 

A student gave Switzer a plaque that read: Music is life, that’s why our hearts have beats. “You don’t have to understand that to experience it,” she explained.  “Our work is called ‘play’ for a reason.  It’s important to visit that part of who we are, especially for growing and developing minds.”

Ellie Cook, a 2016 Camas High School graduate, is in the top 15 of the Broadway World Next On Stage dance competition and is seeking as many votes as possible this week to move onto the top 8.

Here is the voting link: https://www.broadwayworld.com/nextonstagedance/elizabeth-cook

“I have been dancing since I could walk and doing musical theatre seriously since I was a sophomore in high school when I was in CHS’s production of ‘Grease’,” said Cook. “I was then Sally Bowles in ‘Cabaret’ as well as being featured in other shows. I graduated in 2016 from CHS and went onto pursue my BFA in Musical Theatre from Central Washington University.”

Following the immense success of their musical theatre singing competition for student performers, they are moving from the recording studio to the dance floor to shine the spotlight on talented, young musical theatre dancers.

Those moving on to the next round each week will have Friday through Monday to record and submit a new song, fitting within a specified theme, for the next round of the competition.

As they move forward in the competition, they will feature weekly live shows on Facebook with Broadway judges who will provide feedback and have the opportunity to move one of the contestants on to the next round by unanimous decision.

“If I win I am donating to the Fund for College Auditions,” said Cook. “It is a charity that gathers funds to make sure students can pursue their passions in Theatrical Higher Education.”

Both the college and high school winner of The LaDuca Achievement Award for Excellence will receive a Broadway prize-pack with merch from the BroadwayWorld Theatre Shop, shoes from LaDuca, a scholarship to Steps on Broadway’s summer programs and a $1000 donation to a charity of their choosing.”

Both the college and high school winner of The LaDuca Achievement Award for Excellence will receive a Broadway prize-pack with merch from the BroadwayWorld Theatre Shop, shoes from LaDuca, a scholarship to Steps on Broadway’s summer programs and a $1000 donation to a charity of their choosing.

Winners will receive either:

-The classic LaDuca Y-strap adorns an additional support strap in the Alexis. The design provides added support across the top of the foot concentrated at the bunion-area. A 2.5″ heel is perfect for students, dancers new to heeled character shoes, and those looking for a stable shoe to guide them through their choreography. Alexis has a soft suede sole to ensure maximum foot articulation. All LaDuca shoes are handcrafted in Italy to ensure our dancers have all the comfort and flexibility they desire.

OR

-Made with master jazz dancer and choreographer, Luigi, in mind, this shoe provides maximum flexibility and articulation of the foot. The thin suede sole allows the movement of a jazz slipper. Hidden elastic gussets carry flexibility throughout the foot and a gummie heel provides a perfectly stable platform for dancers to land on. All LaDuca shoes are handmade in Italy to provide dancers with the comfort and quality they desire.