A dual show in May brings two artists to Second Story Gallery to present “Big Skies and Small Wonders.”  Mary Chant paints landscapes with clouds dominating the horizon lines.  Marilyn Slaby has taught herself to shape blossoms from polymer clay, then paint them to equal anything found in nature.

The two artists, strangers until this show, share a love of the natural world and both say they draw from it for their inspiration.  Painter Chant calls her Big Sky series “a joyful exercise in searching for an earthbound way to interpret the ethereal.”

Sculptor Slaby says she began her flower creations using sugar but learned they were too fragile for permanent exhibition.  She has discovered polymers of several types to sculpt petal by petal, leaf by leaf.  She says it’s “fiddly” work and time consuming, but the results are amazingly lifelike arrangements of lilies, roses, peonies, even daffodils.

Gallery
Mary Chant paints landscapes with clouds dominating the horizon lines.

This breath of spring will arrive at Second Story Gallery May 3, part of the Downtown Camas First Friday activities from 5 to 8 p.m.  Both artists will be on hand to meet patrons and explain their techniques.  The public reception will also feature music by Rob Lewis.  “Big Skies and Small Wonders” will remain on display through May 25 during regular library hours.

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“Big Skies and Small Wonders” May 3 through May 25, Second Story Gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  This dual show features expansive landscapes that form a background for three-dimensional floral stems made of polymer clay.  Mary Chant is the painter of clouds piling up on her horizons; Marilyn Slaby is the sculptor of lifelike blooms.  Free and open to the public, the reception on First Friday will include live music by Rob Lewis.  The exhibit will be on display through May 25 during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  Inside the Camas Public Library,625 NE 4th Ave., Camas.  360-834-4532 www.secondstorygallery.net

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 2019 Washougal Studio Artists Tour, to be held May 11-12 from 10 am to 5 pm, will include 11 stops and features 19 local artists representing a vast array of creative works and mediums.

“We were delighted with the success of our first tour last year,” said Angela Ridgway, mixed media metal artist and event coordinator. “We received great interest and support from the local community and welcomed many visitors from the Portland area and beyond.  Some on the tour were discovering Washougal for the first time.”

The Washougal area has long been a hidden wealth of high-quality professional artists.

“I was thrilled last year that so many artists wanted to participate in the tour,” Ridgway said.  “Being invited into an artist’s studio is a wonderful way for the public to see where the magic of creating art happens and learn about both the art and the artists.”

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The tour route, which winds along the scenic Washougal River and through the Washougal foothills, is nearly as beautiful as the art found in the studios. 

“We heard many compliments from visitors last year on how scenic the tour drive was,” said Ridgway.  “Washougal is such a beautiful place that it is no wonder it attracts and inspires so many talented artists.” 

Adding to the tour experience, many artists will be conducting demonstrations of their artistic process.  A list of participants and a schedule is located on the event website at www.WashougalStudioArtists.org

Featured tour artists are: Angela Ridgway, mixed media metal; Anna Norris, oils and acrylics; Anna Wiancko-Chasman, clay/mixed media; Anni Furniss, acrylic painting; Char McHugh, ceramics; Charlene Hale, glass, ceramic, pen  and ink; Chris Brodigan, functional ceramic art; Cyndee Starr, mixed media; Deborah Roberts, watercolor, colored pencils, pastels; John Furniss, woodworking; Kathy Beckman, acrylic and multimedia on canvas; Kathy Marty, handwoven eco-friendly rugs; Katy Fenley, sterling silver, glass, and gemstone jewelry; Sharon L Ballard, acrylic paintings; Shirley Bishop, fused glass; Suzanne Grover, pastels, watercolor, mixed media; Tamara Dinius, mixed media; Toni McCarthy, original beaded jewelry; Tracy Simpson, encaustic, oil, jewelry.

Preview their work and see the tour map on the Washougal Studio Artists website.   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 Studio Artists Tour is sponsored in part by the City of Washougal hotel/motel tourism tax fund.

Artist
Artist Shirley Bishop.
Artist
Artist Ani Furniss.

Washougal, WA — Art can tell a story.  It can inspire, move or add beauty and interest to a place.  The new metal sculpture panels installed on the wall of the shared courtyard at Jemtegaard Middle School and Columbia River Gorge Elementary School provide all of that and more.  The piece features beautiful and whimsical details cut as silhouettes into three stainless steel panels to tell stories of the Washougal area and Columbia River Gorge.

“Roots and Wings” was created by New York artist and a native of France, Béatrice Coron, through grant funding from the Washington Arts Commission.  “Whenever Washington State funds new construction, by law, half-of-one-percent of funding is set aside for the commissioning of new artwork,” said Marissa Laubscher, Washington State Arts Commission Art in Public Places Project Manager. “Washougal School District applied to ArtsWA for the funded art project through a competitive pooling process. They were awarded a $60,000 project. This budget covered all of the costs associated with the artist selection, design, engineering, fabrication, transportation, and installation of the artwork.”

Coron was on-hand to oversee the installation on March 12 and then spoke to students from both schools in assemblies the next morning. Using a Powerpoint presentation, she described her creative process and the inspiration behind her work on this piece. 

First, she explained the name, “Roots and Wings.”  

“You are so lucky to have your roots in such a beautiful place to enjoy, experience and explore,” said Coron. “And your education at school is what will give you wings.  They will take you wherever you want to go.”

“When I was awarded this work, the first thing I did was research,” she explained. “I visited and spent two days looking around the area for ideas and inspiration.  They were beautiful, warm, blue-sky days.  I took many pictures of all the sites and was amazed by the natural beauty here.” 

ArtsWA
Artist Beatrice Coron.

She told of traveling to area vistas to experience the incredible views of mountains and the river. 

“I climbed Beacon Rock,” she said. “I looked at your trees and animal life and saw all the outdoor activities you enjoy such as camping, skiing, fishing, motocross, horseback riding and hiking. I visited the petroglyphs tunnel downtown and learned about local history including Native Americans, Lewis and Clark, steam boats and farming.  There are so many stories tell.” 

Coron created sketches from her photos and the stories began to emerge, and she challenged students to take the time to study each unique panel.

“Find stories so you can tell others what you see,” she said. “And be sure to ask them what stories they see.”  She was sure to include images of both huskies and otters, the schools’ mascots.  You must look closely to find the sasquatch and a Corgi.  

The piece also features several silhouetted images of young people curled up reading books.

“It is like you begin as a worm and then a cocoon,” she said.  “From this reading and education, you will get your wings.” 

Mounted just outside the main panels, as if escaping, are children with butterfly wings. 

“Your wings will take you far,” promised Coron. 

“Beatrice has captured the spirit of Washougal,” said David Cooke, JMS principal.  “When you look at her work you experience the story of how the local community, resources and natural beauty play a significant role in the positive development of our kids.”

“Washougal School District’s local art selection committee worked with ArtsWA to set the initial goals for this project, selected the artist, and worked with her to provide feedback and context as she designed this artwork,” said Laubscher. “They were looking for artwork that would represent the natural beauty of Washougal and the Columbia River Gorge and interconnectedness of nature, school, students, and the community.”  

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The committee members included Cooke; Tracey MacLachlan, CRGE principal; Dani Allen, JMS art teacher; Sarah Howe, CRGE Parent; Kori Kelly, Superintendent’s assistant; Stephanie McGarvie, art teacher; Joe Steinbrenner, WSD facilities director and Amy Switzer, CRGE music teacher.

“It was an absolute pleasure to work with Beatrice,” said MacLachlan.  “She had such a presence, as we met and got to work with her.  Her professionalism as an artist, and her knowledge for her craft was remarkable.  The attention to the details and the research she accomplished for the project were unprecedented.”

“Roots and Wings“ joins more than 4,600 artworks in the State Art Collection, which is located in more than 1,200 schools and state agencies across Washington State. Unlike art collections you might find in a museum, the State Art Collection is chosen by community representatives and is sited in places where people study, live, work, and play.

When Coron was asked by a student to name her favorite art creation, she admitted it was an impossible question to answer.  “So, I must say, my next one,” she said with a laugh.

A section of “Roots and Wings.”

About the Artist

After briefly studying art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Lyon, and Mandarin Chinese at the Université of Lyon III, Coron experienced life with a series of odd jobs. She has been, among others, a shepherdess, truck driver, factory worker, cleaning lady and a New York City tour guide. Coron has lived in France (her native country), Egypt and Mexico for one year, each and China for two years. She moved to New York in 1985 where she reinvented herself as an artist.

Coron’s works includes illustration, book arts, fine art and public art. She cuts her characteristic silhouette designs in paper and Tyvek. She also creates works in stone, glass, metal, rubber, stained glass and digital media.

Her work has been purchased by major museum collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum, The Walker Art center and The Getty. Her public art can be seen in subways, airport and sports facilities among others.

You can visit her website at: http://beatricecoron.com/

Cut Stories Statement from Béatrice Coron

For the last 20 years, I have been exploring visual storytelling in artist books, paper cutting and public art. Collecting memories from individuals and communities, I stage narrative allegories in silhouette to create a dialogue with the viewer in playful fantasies.

These visual chronicles record archetypal stories that transcend time and space. My goal is to invite the public to pause and bring their own ideas finding personal interpretation to reclaim their imaginative powers.

My personal history fueled my curiosity for stories and questioned my perception of realities. I have been fascinated by the relation of people to their space and the sense of belonging. Using papercutting where everything is cut from a single piece of Tyvek, the profusion of individual stories makes a coherent whole world.

Written by Rene Carroll

ARTSWA
The art is on display at at CRGE/Jemptegaard MS courtyard.
ArtsWA
Beatrice Coron’s art work was installed at the CRGE/Jemptegaard courtyard.

Washougal, WA – Washougal School District and Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance have collaborated to shine a spotlight on student art throughout March, which is recognized nationally as Youth Art Month.

“The arts are an important element of our students’ education in Washougal,” said Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent. “Student exposure and participation in both fine arts and performance arts are essential to educating the whole child.” Research indicates that high-quality art educational opportunities can improve critical-thinking skills and even help to foster important values such as empathy and acceptance.

Washougal Youth Arts Month is made possible through partnerships with area artists, Washougal Community Education, Washougal Public Library, Washougal Schools Foundation and more.  Students will have opportunities to make and display art throughout the events and activities planned all month long.   

WYAM will culminate with the Washougal Youth Arts Month Gallery, at Washougal Town Square in downtown Washougal, March 27-295pm to 7pm and Saturday, March 30 from 1pm to 5pm

“Washougal school district began offering fine art classes to all elementary students this school year and the students are excited to display their pieces for the community,” said Alice Yang, Cape Horn-Skye Art Teacher.  “The level of creativity shown by our youth is impressive!”  

The Washougal elementary classes join the robust fine and performance arts programs at the middle and high school levels.  The gallery will also include works by WHS Career and Technical Education students with photography, metal and wood pieces.  WHS Culinary Arts students will supply artistically created sugar cookies using cutter designs made with the school’s 3-D printer.  A variety of school band and choir concerts will be performed in March and a Drama Camp run by WHS drama students as a fundraiser is available to elementary students.

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Washougal Community Education is offering a variety of classes. 

“We are pleased to have some new art opportunities for our students, and parents, to explore their creative side,” said Kathy Douglas-Evans, Washougal Community Education.  The Paint Roller and Washougal glass artist, Shirley Bishop, stepped up to provide these new, creative classes for youth.  They include glass fusing, rock and face painting, and kids and family canvas painting.  Register on the Washougal Community Education webpage at www.washougal.k12.wa.us/wcer Pieces created in these classes will be on display at 54-40 Brewing and Washougal Coffee Company at the end of the March. 

As a part of WYAM, WACA is inviting all Washougal students to participate in a fun photography challenge.  “We’re asking them to grab their smartphone or digital camera and share through photography the beautiful public art in the City of Washougal,” said Susan Warford, WACA Board member.  “We want them to find unique angles, use interesting lighting, include family or friends, have fun and be creative!”  Images will be shared on the WACA website and FB pages.  For details and student release form go to http://washougalarts.org 

Other community partners are the Washougal Public library, offering a free live concert, chalk art, pottery and crafts and Washougal School of Music, who is hosting a community recital showcasing the talents of their students as well as those of local music teacher, Chuck Carpenter. 

Washougal Youth Arts Month will receive formal recognition from both the City of Washougal and Washougal School Board.  On February 25, Mayor Molly Coston will sign a proclamation declaring March Youth Arts Month in Washougal. The Washougal School Board of Directors will issue a resolution supporting Youth Arts Month on February 26 at their regularly scheduled meeting.  Youth Art Month started in 1961 when the Council for Art Education and National Art Education Association named March as Youth Art Month to recognize art education and the value of art to create a better quality of life for all people. 

For a full list of scheduled activities and events throughout the month of March, go to http://www.washougal.k12.wa.us/

Art
Working on projects.

Camas, WA — In their ongoing effort to support local artists, Tyson and Lori Morris, owners of Artful Attic in Downtown Camas, are sponsoring a fun youth art contest.

The art contest will run now until February 5 when all submissions need to be delivered to Artful Attic, which is located at 217 NE 3rd Avenue, Camas, WA 98607.

Rules:

  • The art contest is open to all Camas youth ages 11-18.
  • Artwork needs to fit on 10×10 wood canvases, which will be donated by Artful Attic.
  • Each canvas may be picked up at the shop.
  • Any medium is acceptable (wood burning, painting, metal, etc.) as long as it fits on the canvas.
  • Theme is “what Camas means to you.”
  • All works should include #MyCamas.
  • All submissions must be returned to Artful Attic by Feb 5th.
  • Each winner will receive a $25 gift card to Artful Attic.

There will be six winners in total, and their names will be announced during the Feb 7th reception at 6 pm, which will be held at the boutique. Winners will have their art featured in the Artful Attic gallery during the month of February.

Artists may choose to sell their piece at Artful Attic for 30 percent commission fee.

To learn more, call 360.210.4927 or email: info@artfulatticboutique.com

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Custom engravings are available at Artful Attic.

Camas, WA — Mixed Media Artist Heidi Jo Curley is celebrating the grand opening of her new studio this Friday at 5 pm in Downtown Camas. Her studio is located in the space above Arktana Shoes, at 417 NE 4th Avenue.

The new studio represents the success Curley has enjoyed as a relatively new professional artist.

Curley, who has been painting for eight years, didn’t have any formal training outside of taking local art classes, but after the sudden passing of her husband, Ed, in 2010, art became an outlet, a form of expression, and a source of healing.

“There’s no educational reasoning for my art,” said Curley. “It’s an expression of my feelings, and what I want to do. While renovating the Ferrell House after Ed died, I would go down to Caffe Piccolo every day, and I created a whole new set of friends. That’s when I considered doing art.”

Curley went to Italy in 2012 and that’s when she really started painting while being instructed by Camas artist Elida Field, and Father Bruno through the Art, Women and Wine Tour.

“When I went back, I realized I really needed to get into art,” said Curley. “Then, when my mom died, I remember asking ‘how do I go from here?’ So, I struggled for about a month, and then decided to get up. I did the Chair series because of my mom. I planted all my mom’s favorite flowers and they’re inspiring.”

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Fellow artists and critics encourage her to choose one style and stick with it, says the self-proclaimed Mixed Media Artist.

“I want to keep learning and growing,” she added. “In my art, I think of circles and people. I do a lot of studying of colors and textures. I use my fingers and hands anytime I can, and I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into doing a certain kind of art. I’ve dealt with so many emotions since those two passings.”

Her portfolio grows along with her fan base.

“Everyone loves Heidi, she’s kind to everybody, she’s as real as they get,” said Marquita Call, owner of Camas Gallery. “For such a relatively newcomer, she has a signature look. When when see her work, we know it’s Heidi’s. She’s become recognized through her art.”

As part of her signature look, Curley is known for her famous “Chair” series. So, why the chair?

“Gathering people around the table is really important for me,” said Curley. “I think the Chair series represents that there’s always a chair for you. At the holidays, if someone doesn’t have a place to go, we welcome them.”

To learn more, visit www.HeidiJoCurley.com

Curley

Heidi Jo Curley shows one of her pieces.

Washougal, WA — Art lovers and the entire community are invited to help welcome the newest piece of public art in Washougal.  “WATER,” created by Wendy Armstrong, will be celebrated at a dedication ceremony on Saturday, December 1 at 1 pm at the art’s location on the corner of Main and Pendleton Way in downtown Washougal. A reception will be held immediately following at Washougal Coffee Corner.  The event is hosted by Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance.

WATER is the final piece of the four-part ELEMENTS series of artwork (Earth, Wind, Water and Fire) created by artists of “Women Who Weld” for the Washougal Parks Board of Commissioners.  This piece was made possible through a generous donation from Kind Heart Free Spirit Foundation.

The ELEMENTS project began several years ago when Suzanne Grover and Janice Ferguson of the Parks Board approached Women Who Weld to create an art piece at Steamboat Landing Park.  Originally the plan was for each Element to sit atop the tall pilings of the Steamboat Landing Park dock, but after a flood occurred that would have placed the art located there in danger, it was decided that the Elements would be located around town; separated by distance but linked by a common theme.

EARTH was installed in September of 2013 at the entrance to the Pedestrian Tunnel under Hwy 14.  It was created by Sharon Warman and sponsored by Washougal resident and Park Board member, Shirley Scott. WIND, created by Kathy Willson, was funded by a collaboration of Washougal residents and the Dick Beaver family and was installed in Beaver Park in April 2015.  FIRE at Steamboat Landing was created by the husband and wife artist team, Jennifer Corio and Dave Frei in 2016.  Mayor Molly Coston sponsored the piece as a tribute to her late husband, Phil Harris, Executive Director of the Two Rivers Heritage Museum, in recognition of his love of the rich history of the local area.

After WATER, the next public art to be welcomed to Washougal is a mural to be placed on the outside wall of the public library once the area is prepared for display.  It celebrates Washougal’s Betsey Ough, also known as Princess White Wing, by Native American artist Toma Villa.

WACA is currently raising funds for a full-sized bronze bear sculpture from gorge artist Heather Soderberg.  For more information about WACA, how to become and member and their efforts to bring public art to Washougal visit their website at www.washougalarts.org

Water

“Water”

Camas, WA — Life is just beginning for the The Artful Attic, a new Downtown Camas artist cooperative full service boutique, but some of the treasures they’re selling have a long history.

Case in point: Co-owner Lori Lander proudly holds a hand-turned wood bowl by local artist Ron Wiltsey, who created it from a burl from a sweetgum tree that was planted at Esther Short Park in the 1890s. He works with wood only.

“I just love this piece,” said Lander who opened the boutique with her soon-to-be-husband, Tyson Morris, just a few weeks ago. “It tells a story. Our store has many sweet treasures like this.”

Located at 217 NE 3rd Avenue, Artful Attic sits across the street from Salud Wine, and is just a stone’s throw from the mill.

Lander says the store features 17 local artists, roughly 65 of the store’s inventory.

“We wanted a platform for all kinds of art,” said Lander. “Our goal is to feature 100 percent local art. We could easily handle 40.”

Valerie Eliason does all the grain designed for her decorative wall art, handcrafting the stencils and applying a resin with a nice think veneer.

Artful

Come see this bowl, made from an old tree at Vancouver’s Esther Short Park.

Laura Koppes does a lot mixed media paintings. Uta Zuendel creates bamboo art using thin shavings resulting in stunning wreaths, ornaments, and other decorative work.

Chris Brodigan handcrafts the pottery (matching cups, plates, oil containers, bowls, etc) for an elegant table setting. Kathy Marty weaves stunning rugs out of Pendleton scraps.

“It was a challenge to get artists on board without a storefront,” said Lander. “The concept from opening was six months. We opened October 20.”

Artful Attic also does laser engravings, which costs $1 per square inch, plus a $10 setup fee. They can do cork, wood, metal, plastic, and glass.

“I love to create, and didn’t want to sit at a cube anymore,” said Lander. “I’ve dreamed about being a small business owner since I was a kid. I’ve had many ideas I just wanted to do. Come visit us and support the local artists. Let’s celebrate them!”

To learn more, visit www.artfulatticboutique.com

Washougal, WA — Second grade art students of Columbia River Gorge Elementary are already getting into the holiday spirit by created ornaments for Washington Governor, Jay Inslee’s Christmas Tree.

CRGE art teacher, Joanna Sickels, saw the opportunity and applied to have CRGE participate in the project. “It is important for students to share their work and have it seen by a wide audience,” she said.  “Projects that bring works out into the public like this help kids to invest in their art. This is also such a great opportunity to highlight our new art elementary program and let the state know that Washougal School District offers art instruction to all K-5 students.”

Since 2013, the Governor’s Mansion has requested ornaments made by students from around the state to decorate the mansion’s Christmas Tree.  The mansion receives a high number of visitors during the holiday season and guests greatly enjoy seeing the work of K-12 students from Washington State that decorates the tree.

“I’m delighted that Columbia River Gorge Elementary applied to participate and was selected,” said Anne Banks, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Learning and Teaching Program Supervisor.  “This year the theme is “Sea Creatures” and we are all looking forward to seeing the ornaments they are creating!”

Once Sickels learned the school was selected and the ornament theme, she emailed the staff to find out who was teaching about the ocean.  “That is a second-grade subject so second graders were selected to create fish, integrating the two subjects,” she said.  “I tell students that science and art are best friends, and math and art are best friend.  Integrating arts in classroom subjects can show students how art is connected in so many ways to what they are learning.”

For their project, Sickels chose traditional Japanese paper-folding to create an origami fish.  After folding the fish, students used decorative papers to collage and create attractive designs. “Origami is a beautiful medium,” she said. “The project allows them to use their personal creativity to make it their own unique fish ornament.”

According to Banks, the response this year was huge from classrooms across the state who wanted to participate, however, just twenty-two classrooms could be a part of the project. They were selected based on their art descriptions, ESD region, and whether they were an elementary, middle, or high school so that all regions and grade bands were represented in the statewide opportunity.

San Juan, Puerto Rico — Camas mural artist, Allan Jeffs, has just completed a monthlong series of major projects in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. He was hired to create six murals at multiple locations, and is now back in Mill Town taking some off to rejuvenate.

He painted three murals at an Old San Juan restaurant, called El Punto Café, which represented various aspects and history of the island, and Valparaiso, this article’s featured image, is a landscape mural of Chile.

Following that project he traveled to Aibonito, and painted two murals — one at a mountain top Italian restaurant, called Fiore — and the other at a private home owned by Peter Matina. At Fiore, he painted a large 15-foot wide pheasant, which symbolizes elegance to Fiore’s owner.

He the left the mountains, and returned to Old San Juan to paint one mural, and a little painting at the residence of Dr. German Ramirez.

“I love it when the clients are pleased with my work,” said Jeffs. “That’s the most important thing.”

His days were long, often spending 10-14 hours creating the murals while on his feet.

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“I’m really tired,” said Jeffs. “My body hurts. I’ve been home for five days now, and my hands still hurt. I was on my feet all day long, and one day I walked 18,000 steps in the same wall. I’m satisfied with the work.

The clients knew what they wanted, but Jeffs had creative license to create each masterpiece using his talent and imagination. He spent time designing each mural, and each result is almost identical to the original specifications.

He said even though Puerto Rico was severely damaged by last year’s hurricane, he sees many signs of recovery.

“After the hurricane, they are starting to recover,” said Jeffs. “It was horrible there for many months, but nature is coming back, and people are rebuilding their community, and they are preparing for the next hurricane by improving the electrical grid, and using alternative sources of energy, such as solar. They’re getting prepared.

“I saw a lot of progress. There are a lot of people creating art and fashion. The restaurants are getting better and better. Electricity is there full-time in most of the country, but there are still some areas struggling with electrical problems. Puerto Rico has a lot of problems, but they are starting to become better than before. It’s something that you feel. Schools are in session. I think it’s better than what you hear in the news, but they do have a lot of problems with government. I was surprised because everything is getting better, and there are a lot of possibilities there.”

He said the rain forest was severely harmed, and many areas have been closed, and are now starting to open up.

“It’s a great place again for tourism,” said Jeffs. “The prices are very low for airfare to San Juan. It’s hot, it’s a Caribbean island, but it’s a great time to travel there.”

To learn more, go www.AllanJeffs.com

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