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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

Photo Gallery

 

Washougal, WA — The 2018 Arts Ambassador Scholarship recipients were honored at the recent Enspire Arts Celebration Gala, which was held Saturday at the Black Pearl. The Arts Ambassador Scholarship Program is a newly established program offering $500 scholarships towards instruction in any art form and available for students in grades 6-12 throughout Clark County.

Each recipient of a scholarship will provide an arts based community gift to serve the residents of Clark County. Enspire Arts sought students dedicated to their craft, having a strong desire to keep learning and a motivation to enrich the lives of others. Some students have already had several years of study and some are just beginning their formal instruction. Yet, in all of them there is potential to make a positive and meaningful contribution to the community of Clark County.

Aaron Greene is a senior at Union High School and his community gift will be creating a Peer to Peer String Instruction Program to support the school’s orchestra, as well as provide free lessons to those that may otherwise not have access.  In its first year, the program will have 4 tutors, serving 10 students.

Zoe Hill is an 8th grade student at Jemtegaard Middle School and her community gift will be Reaching Others Through Art.  Zoe will be creating a series of comic drawings highlighting the mental dialogue associated with certain mental conditions. This artwork has the potential to open the doors for discussion with local youth and the challenges they are facing.

Zayah Shore is a 7th grade student at Liberty Middle School and her community gift will be Sharing the Love of Music.  Zayah is zealous to encourage young students to give music a try. She plans to visit elementary classrooms to share what it’s like to learn a new instrument and to encourage kids not to be a afraid of a challenge.  

Zachary Lipinski is a junior at Heritage High School and his community gift will be Connecting with Others Through Music.  Zachary’s love of music has drawn him to want to become an orchestra teacher. Zachary will be providing free public music performances around Clark County.

Cassidy Watson is a junior at Camas High School and her community gift will be The Joy of Dance.  Cassidy is a talented young dancer and is excited at the opportunity to share her joy of dance with others.  Cassidy will be offering three contemporary dance workshops to youth around Clark County.

For more information regarding Enspire Arts, their programs, ways to get involved and making a donation, please see www.enspirearts.org

The 2019 Arts Ambassador Scholarship application period will open March 2019.

Ambassado

From left: Aaron Greene, Zayah Shore, Cassidy Watson, Zoe Hill, and Zachary Lipinski.

Meet Joshua W. Turner. Singer. Songwriter. Musician. Producer. Entrepreneur.

The Tacoma, WA artist is a busy man who’s actively promoting his new debut EP album, “BE OK,” which has catchy hooks, heartfelt lyrics, and colorful, diverse songwriting imagery.

“It’s an enticing story of love, hope, and the longing desire to get up and change,” says Turner. “It was written, recorded and produced by myself over a year span and features guest vocals from both my sister-in-law, Savannah Turner, and my beautiful wife, Erin Turner.”

This specific album is a collection of songs Turner wrote more than a decade ago, and a few written within the last year.

“It’s a compilation of doing music for 13 years, and picking songs that represent me as a solo artist,” said Turner. “This is my first solo album I’ve put out.”

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A fiercely independent man, Turner has chosen Bandcamp.com to his release “Be OK” because it gives him more autonomy.

“Bandcamp is a platform to release an album on your own terms, you can determine pricing and do it more your way,” Turner said. “It’s not as popular but it’s a good starting point to have an album presented in its entirety.”

“Be OK” can be streamed and/or downloaded through this link:
http://joshuawturner.bandcamp.com/album/be-ok

Getting the word out to Music Supervisors is key as he’s chosen the sync licensing route to generate income. It’s not easy, but it works for Turner, and other artists like him. Sync licensing enlists Music Supervisors to set moods for various media productions, and it requires extensive research to know how to do it right.

Turner said his genre is singer-songwriter, which has the feel of one man with a guitar speaking his heart. The music really sets a tone, a mood.

“It has country aspects woven into it, and part of it is my style, and part of it is to make the songs more diverse for sync licensing opportunities,” he said. “I put all my history into one album. “This was a test for me because I needed to figure out how to produce music. The album was released August 30, and it’s gotten some interest. It’s been sent to music supervisors and it’s gaining traction.”

Background

“I got started in my bedroom,” he said. “I grew up on Whidbey Island and I just decided I wanted to sing, and was taught I could develop my voice and going to voice lessons. So, for two years I learned on my own, and then went to Berkeley College of Music in Boston, and I got in and I just started learning how to sing, and while I was there, I was awarded the Berkeley Achievement Scholarship.”

“Then, after Berkeley I went to Musicians Institute in Hollywood to study guitar. I was doing rock music then, and I was in the genre of Smashing Pumpkins meets Gun’s and Roses. I caught up with people who were developing a rock band. We went to red carpets featuring Richie Sambora.”

As time passed, Turner became disheartened and walked away from Los Angeles — and walked away from music. In time, he met his wife and got a normal preschool job teaching music.

“Then I started realizing I wanted to keep making music,” Turner said. “What I had to do was take on the responsibility of being the sole provider, which led me back to music. I opened a music coaching school, where I train singers to be confident about themselves. Confidence issues hold people back in music. I recognize that I have to do several streams of income to support my family. You have to be creative.”

Camas, WA — For this month’s First Friday reception, the Attic Gallery, which is located in Downtown Camas, is featuring new abstract paintings by Earl Hamilton.

The opening reception begins at 5 pm Friday, October 5.

Hamilton was born in Japan, and spent most of his childhood 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. The family lived an independent lifestyle on their secluded homestead, painting together in their cabin’s living room, which set the stage for a life in the art world.

Hill

http://tvc.org/meet-jen

Living a frugal lifestyle, hauling water, milking goats, collecting eggs from their chickens, and without television and radio, Earl was encouraged to read and discuss all forms of art. He learned self-sufficiency and a desire to follow his own artistic instincts.

He now lives with his wife, Michelle, in Lebanon, which is another small Oregon town.

Hamilton does not have a website, but you can learn more about his work at www.AtticGallery.com

Visitors to the Attic Gallery reception this Friday will be treated to wine, refreshments, and music by Paul Chasman. The Attic Gallery has been operating for 45 years, and got its start in Portland.

Hamilton

Earl Hamilton abstract paintings.

Washougal WA — Washougal eighth grade student, Zoe Hill, was one of five Clark County youth to be awarded a $500 Arts Ambassador Scholarship by Enspire Arts, a new, local non-profit which supports young artists in the fields of music, visual art, dance, drama and literary arts.  Other 2018 winners are: Aaron Greene of Union High School (music), Zachary Lipinski of Heritage High School (music), Cassidy Watson of Camas High School (dance), and Zayah Shore of Liberty Middle School (music).

Hill

http://tvc.org/meet-jen

Hill was excited and honored to be selected as a winner for her work in visual arts.  She learned about the opportunity through an email from Jemtegaard Middle School Principal, David Cooke.

“I thought, why not!” she said.

The scholarships are designed for students entering grades 6-12 in the upcoming school year and may be used for private instruction, workshops, and/or summer study.  As a scholarship recipient, each student winner agrees to be an Arts Ambassador and “gift” some of their art or talent to the community.

“Enspire Arts believes in building community through the sharing of artistic expression and encourages youth to reach out and positively impact those in their community,” said Enspire Arts President, Sarah Lightfoot.  Examples are providing music at a senior center, leading peer-to-peer instruction or donating art for display at a homeless shelter.

The application process began last spring and included listing applicants’ previous art instruction, artistic goals and how they might give back to the community through art.  Letters of recommendation were also required and for those Hill counted on her JMS band instructor, Dr. Jennifer Snapp and JMS art teacher, Dani Allen.  “They were so wonderful to read,” she said. “I have them up on my wall at home.”

The final steps were a personal interview and sharing of her sketch book.  Hill is looking forward to using her $500 scholarship for her first formal art instruction and to work with an Enspire Arts Board Member as a mentor to implement a way to give art back to the community.

Hill said she currently uses her art as a stress reliever and as something to do when she is bored.  “I doodle a lot,” she admits.  Her artistic style has changed through the years, starting with anime and then to more detailed and realistic sketching.  “I’m back to more animated and cartoon-like imagery now,” she explained.

Hill sparked an interest from the Enspire Arts scholarship selection committee through a painted piece she created for Snapp when the school choir teacher, Jen Mahorney, passed away suddenly last spring. “This piece demonstrated that Zoe is already using her art to connect with people,” said Lightfoot.

“Enspire Arts was founded with the idea that kids, no matter what skill level can have a positive impact on their community with their artwork.” Lightfoot explained. “The scholarship applicants’ art submission is an accomplishment that exhibits a meaningful and positive contribution to the community of Clark County.”

Hill’s submission, along with the other four winners, will be unveiled and highlighted at Enspire Arts “Tango & Tapas” event on Saturday, October 13 at 7 p.m. The themed fundraiser will be filled with music and dance and held at the new Black Pearl event facility in Washougal on the Columbia River.  Money raised will support Enspire Arts projects. More information can be found at enspirearts.org.

“Our event will feature music of the evening by Latin Jazz vocalist, Jessie Marquez and Clay Giberson, keyboard,” said Lightfoot.  “Guests will enjoy professional Tango performances, a short Intro to Tango community dance lesson and a light selection of Tapas small plates and soft drinks included in the ticket price.” A cash bar will be available.

“We believe in the power of creativity to empower youth and build stronger communities,” said Lightfoot. “We are dedicated to creating vibrant and interactive arts experiences that positively impact communities and engage future generations of artists.”

Hill

Zoe Hill is an eighth grader in Washougal.

San Juan, Puerto Rico — Days after beautifying Camas with his historical mural at Young’s Deli, artist Allan Jeffs flew to Puerto Rico to work on several commissioned murals at local restaurants.

“I love the public response to my mural at Young’s Deli,” said Jeffs. “We love Camas, and while I was looking for work there in Washington, I was hired to come here to Old San Juan to paint murals in two restaurants. I’m finishing those murals next week, after that I’m going to the “mountains” to a small town called Aibonito to paint another mural in a house and maybe one in a restaurant there.”

One of those murals is a street scene of a “vegigante,” which is a traditional Puerto Rican dancer. The mural is based around the dancer, which is vivid with color and local culture. That will be finished soon.

Hoff

www.MyHeavensBest.com

The other is a beach scene from ‘El Yunque,” which has a mountain top with 360 degree views.

Jeffs said “it’s magnificent!”

He does see progress in Puerto Rico as they recover from last year’s massive hurricane, but there is still much work to do. Jeffs plans to be there for several more weeks, and will then return to Camas to see what his next project will be.

To see our video on Jeffs, click here: Jeffs Mural in Camas

To learn more, visit www.AllanJeffs.com

 

Camas, WA — Come enjoy artists in Downtown Camas painting our town! During the day on September 7th from 9 am-4 pm, local artists will be doing painting around town. So fun to watch! Then vote for your favorite during the First Friday event from 5-8pm.

The finished plein air art pieces will be on display at the Camas Gallery, 408 NE 4th, from 5-8 pm that evening. The community will vote for its favorites and “People Choice Awards” will be given. These works of art will then be auctioned off at the Dinner in White on the Columbia, a benefit for the Washougal Library Building Fund, on Saturday, September 8th at Marina Park at the Port of Camas Washougal. For artists who would like to participate, visit here for all the info: www.camasgallery.com/plein-air

 

Plein

Artwork at Journey Community Church.

Other art features, music, and activities that night are:

  • Shops around town will be hosting an artist from downtown’s Elida Field Art Studio’s Art-Women-Wine art group. These ladies do amazing work! They will also have a big party and celebration at Elida Art Studio starting at 8pm, 735 NE 6th. Join in the fun and talk with the artists!
  • Hidden Bronze Bird Tour –find the bronze birds throughout town and see what kinds of funny things they are wearing this year! Be entered to win a great prize basket!
  • Friends of Camas Arts Art Show and Sale at Journey. Help support the arts in the Camas School District!
  • Art guessing game in select locations–guess the artist of a famous piece of artwork and be entered to win!
  • Art shows and receptions at Camas Gallery, 408 NE 4th, will feature Cheryl Matheison and  Attic Gallery, 421 NE Cedar, will feature Jean Schwalbe
    (Note: Second Story Gallery will not be hosting a reception for this First Friday–they’ll see you in October!)
  • Kids’ art crafts and 5th annual coloring contest
  • Rock painting with The Paint Roller!
  • Shop, dine, & have artful fun in Downtown Camas! Receive a free prize ticket for every $10 you spend in downtown.

This information is provided by the Downtown Camas Association.

Hollywood, CA — Artist Mario AC Della Casa has been hard at work designing a special “I Dream of Jeannie” bottle for the Roger Neal Oscar Suite tonight, which will be sold for $50,000 — with the proceeds to benefit the Life and Hope Relief charity.

As the Official Artist for the Roger Neal Oscar Suite, Della Casa, who is the only artist that was ever licensed to create the official “I Dream of Jeannie” bottle, will unveil his special bottle tonight.

The bottle is signed by past Oscar winners and present nominees. He isn’t allowed to tell us what is special about this year’s design. It’s under wraps.

”I’m so thrilled to be part of such a fun event,” said Della Casa. “And, we’re giving back to an organization that shows great care and kindness to those in troubled parts of the world. On Oscar night, they will raise $50,000.”

The Roger Neal Oscar Suite is an annual event at the Academy Awards and features quite the list of Hollywood celebrities.

Life and Hope Relief is an organization dedicated to showing kindness and assisting those who can’t help themselves in the aftermath of massive disasters.

The mission of the charity is two-fold:

1. To organize as many people and supplies as possible, and to deliver them directly to those in dire need.

2. To assist existing charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, etc. and fill any gaps that may exist in their services.

Della Casa takes pride in his work on the Jeannie bottles, which are replicas from the TV show. Each bottle is custom painted and designed by Della Casa himself. He also is the Official Artist for Southfork Ranch, home of the hit TV show, “Dallas.”

”My business is about making dreams come true,” said Della Casa. “We’re about nostalgia, and bringing people to a happy place.”

Jeannie

From left: Actor Bill Daley, Mario AC Della Casa, Barbara Eden, and Larry Hagman.

To learn more, visit www.JeannieBottles.com

Roger Neal, Dinner Chairman, who for the past 22 years has produced the RNSH Oscar Gift Suite said, “We are beyond thrilled to produce our 3rd Annual Oscar Party at the Hollywood Museum which houses the largest collection of entertainment memorabilia on display in the world; I cannot think of a more perfect place to host 80 stars many who are past Oscar nominees, winners and presenters. Young and classic stars from TV and Film will have the opportunity to tour this incredible museum prior to a sit down gourmet dinner with wine & champagne (Lorimar Winery) to see a special Academy Awards exhibit and the brand new just opened Batman 66 Exhibit.”

Jeannie Images

Washougal, WA — It took 20 years of grueling travel in his sales job until penny artist, Matt Gibson, found his passion and artistic talents. Every other week he traveled to Canada as a sales executive for Metapower — and that got old.

“It was a drag being gone so much,” said Gibson. “And I always knew I wanted to do something for myself. I’ve always enjoyed art.”

He started playing around with pennies several years ago, and a gift for a friend slowly turned into a fun side business, which turned into a full-time business venture 18 months ago.

He had a few pieces of art, and spoke with Marquita Call, of Camas Gallery. He brought in a few pieces, and within three days she sold the first one. That opened up more opportunity, and Gibson started making more.

“He has a lot of talent,” said Call. “We’re happy to have him here in our gallery.”

He said it’s been a big learning curve, but that he makes enough money to live off his art — and is seeking to expand the enterprise. In addition to Camas Gallery, Gibon’s penny fish can be found at Pacific House and Vito Veritas, which is a wine bar in Portland.

His produces large, six-foot penny fish art, as well as a 12-inch fish version, which are designed as wall art.

“I like working with pennies,” he said. “They’re colorful and easy to work with.”

Gibson easily spends a week putting together a new design, which he calls the prototype. After the prototype phase, the large fish take about 20 hours to produce, and require about 1,900 pennies. The smaller ones take two to three hours and require 150 pennies, which are applied using high strength hot glue. To date, he’s create 150 pieces of art — 135 of which have been created in the last 18 months.

Pennyfish art is available at Camas Gallery, where Gibson was recently the featured artist of the month. Camas Gallery is located in downtown Camas, on 4th Avenue.

To learn more, visit www.pennyfishdesigns.com or you can visit his brand-new Facebook Page: Pennyfish Design

Penny Artist Matt Gibson at the Camas Gallery.

 

To start out with a somewhat-painful cliché – it is indeed that time of year again. The time where holiday fanatics mourn the conclusion of the beloved holiday season. The time where we ashamedly remember all the goals we had set for ourselves at the beginning of January that were eventually abandoned. The time where we pull a 180 and write up a whole new list of resolutions for ourselves as we boldly claim, “this upcoming year will be different!”

This sentiment is not to make you feel guilty or discouraged. I myself am the queen of setting a new year goal that is – more often than not – somehow magically forgotten after a mere week or two. Upon reflecting on our tendencies to hold the new year to such a high standard, I am humored by our human nature. The concept of time and the calendar are manmade instruments that are used to organize and make sense of our lives. Why do so many of us make excuses and put off the changing of a habit until the beginning of the following year? Essentially, New Year’s Day is simply another day, another hour, another minute. Though, it is true that many of us get accustomed to our habits, stuck in our ways, and as time passes, more unlikely to change. If ringing in a new year can signify the beginning of a new chapter and new motivations, then that in itself is worth celebrating!

Check Out the Playlist on Spotify!

Beginning a new chapter of life in general is most often bittersweet, and this playlist aims to capture some of that. This might mean leaving a piece of yourself behind – a home, a job, a relationship (The Kinks’ “So Long,” Ryan Adam’s “Outbound Train,” Tom Petty’s “Time to Move On”). This might simultaneously be the opening of a new door that brings new adventures, new people to meet, and a strong, wanderlust-fueled desire to dive deep into the unknown – even when you are not sure where it may lead you (Mac Demarco’s “The Stars Keep on Calling My Name,” The B-52s’ “Roam”).

There are songs of reinvention and longing on a personal level, particularly Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris” – a track that mirrors my heart’s wildest desires to a T.

“I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no one’s future to decide…”
The playlist is closed by two power ballads, the first being pop sensation Lorde’s hit single “Green Light” from her sophomore album, Melodrama. Released this year to high critical acclaim, the twenty-one-year-old New Zealander described “Green Light” as a post-heartbreak rebuilding anthem.

“But I hear sounds in my mind
Brand new sounds in my mind
But honey I’ll be seein’ you, ever, I go
But honey I’ll be seein’ you down every road
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it…”
The last tune is my personal favorite Bruce Springsteen song – “Thunder Road.” The opening track on his 1975 album Born to Run, the lyrics are fueled by the desire to find a sense of meaning and purpose by stepping outside a life one has always known.

“Hey, what else can we do now?
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well, the night’s busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven’s waiting on down the tracks
Oh oh, come take my hand
We’re riding out tonight to case the promised land…”

In his VH1 Storytellers interview in 2005, Springsteen himself described the music as sounding like “an invitation. Something is opening up to you…a sense of a larger life, greater experience…a sense of personal exploration, your possibilities…the idea that it is all lying somewhere inside of you…just on the edge of town.”

“There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines rolling on
But when you get to the porch, they’re gone on the wind
So Mary, climb in
It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win.”

There is no time like the present, and there is no time to waste. Make the most of this new year – go create! Go pursue! Go explore! Go live!