Tuesday, April 15, 2014



Major construction of the new multi-million-dollar waterfront Coos Historical & Maritime Center is in progress in downtown Coos Bay, Oregon, on Coast Highway 101.

This museum will be a cultural gathering place, presenting local history as a key to modern times through exhibitry, programs, and partnerships with other community groups. In its main Exhibit Hall, visitors will see exhibits continually created by museum staff and the community, working together to illuminate the fascinating, sometimes-hidden history of Oregon's South Coast. It will also be a hub for public and private events, and an engine for waterfront economic development.

Our goal is to represent South Coast history and community in an engaging, provocative, and honest way and, in so doing, create a contemporary and nationally recognized museum.

Visual artists of all disciplines are encouraged to join in our mission to create an experience for our community and visitors through creative works within and part of our planned exhibits (i.e., backdrops, photography and portraiture, videography, work depicting natural elements or people, sculptural objects, models and miniatures, glassworks, woodworks and carving, banners, pathways, weavings, artifact replications, etc.)

Works we will use may be realistic or representational, two-dimensional or sculptural, large or small. Your creative ideas and work could potentially fuel some of our design and exhibit ideas.

Selected artists will be working cooperatively with D. Jensen & Associates, an award-winning design team from Vancouver BC, and the Coos County Historical Society exhibits team, to help tell our stories in a visually stunning, creative, and moving way.

All work chosen will be commissioned. We consider this a major project and are prepared to devote substantial resources to it. Current budget for all commissioned artwork and production of artistic visual effects is $50,000 out of a $560,000 total current exhibit budget.

Final artwork in the exhibit will somehow reveal Oregon's South Coast. Artists will be short-listed based on the quality and thoughtfulness of their work and its potential for use in exhibitry.

Send, by April 25, 2014, a portfolio of five images of your work via mail (Coos County Historical Society, 1220 Sherman Ave., North Bend, OR 97459), or email (franksmoot@gmail.com) (25mb limit). If you have a website, we would love for you to provide the link; however, please also directly provide (by mail or email) five images that represent your work.

We will contact artists as we develop our content and find need.

All portfolios will be kept by the museum, as exhibits will change regularly to reflect our ever-changing community, and its relationship to our past, in a state-of-the-art manner.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What You Don't Take

You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take.

I know, a sports metaphor. Now what is a sports metaphor doing in a blog about art? It is doing quiet well, reminding you that even in art there are opportunities every day and the ones you let slip by are gone for good.

There is such a bounty of wonder here on the South Coast that we forget it isn't permanent. It is in fact very fleeting and if you hesitate for just one second it is gone forever.

Now being a photographer, catching slices of time is what I do but that's no reason for painters and sketchers and plein air guys to let chances lips by. Do you carry a sketch book with you every time you walk out of the house? Do you stop to take a long look at the plants or animals living in or around your house/ What about the people? They have a story to tell and it might just be the one that moves your art from ordinary to excellent. But it won;t do a thing for you if you aren't ready when the moment comes.

I drag a big, long heavy DSLR with me most of the time. I could make it easier and switch lenses, except I’ve never had much use for short lenses. I just don't see things in that way. So having the reach of a big, long, heavy lens is the price I pay for being ready.

A sketchbook would be much easier and if I could do oil sketches like Monty Rogers I'd do that very thing, but I can't. At one time, a thousand years ago I was a fair hand with pencil sketching and I am working at recovering some of my skills, but the truth is time, and arthritis have taken their toll and I might never get back to a point where I can do a reasonable sketch. But I have my camera and that allows me to both store images against a time when I might be able to sketch again and to use right now.

So are you ready?

Just think of all of the things you might be missing. Whale watching. Now I come from central Texas and when we say Whale Watching we are talking about a rich guy boarding a plane for Lost Wages. But here you can go out and get up close and personal with the variety that made Ahab so crazy. Now that is an opportunity.

The little hummers on my back deck seemed to have settled into nest building or have gone away o0n spring break but I have dozens of pictures of them form when they were buzzing around. How can you beat that? Step out on the back deck with a camera and a cuppa and sit wrapped up, cause it is chilly in these here parts and wait for the little clowns to come buzzing around the feeder.

My own clowns, the cats who own my house and graciously allow me to live there cause I have can-opener magic. Provide a never-ending opportunity to catch the little house-lions doing all of the things which got them taken in off the street in the first place.

Even the sky is full of opportunity, the sunsets are fantastic and the night is o clear that you can see all of the wonders of the heavens and never have to reach for a pair of binoculars or a telescope. In Garland on a clear night I could see mosquitoes and not much else, but here there are no nasty biting little devils and I can grab that camera and walk out and have a clear shot at the moon.

They tell me that there is going to be a total lunar eclipse tonight or tomorrow morning depending on how grammatically correct, (or is that meteorologically correct) and that it is likely to be a “Blood Moon” a red one get it and all you have to do is wait up until 2AM for a chance to spot it. When will you get another chance to see that?

The sky, when it isn't full of planets and moons doing their wonders is a bounty of birds. I have a new flight of pigeons in my front yard. The Long Sufferin puts out deluxe food for them and they swoop down and eat it like they hadn't just had some yesterday, (The last time the Long Sufferin put out bird food), so in addition to the mystery critter and the hummingbirds and the mole we are supporting a kit of pigeons. (If only Uncle would let me claim the lot at dependents I could make back some of the cost of feeding them.)

But the IRS not withstanding, they come and eat and now will let me walk out and get close so that I can take pictures and get my pigeons in a row or is that supposed to be ducks which I am sure are just waiting for the pigeons to be finished so that they can come and get on the gravy train.

Have I mentioned the sea lions or the sea men down in the boat basin at Charleston? Both have wonderful bristly mustaches which just beg to be recorded and then there are the boats. I know we had boats on Ray Hubbard but they were mostly Chris Craft made for pulling a ski rope and not much else and they guys on them were weekend wonders with deep sunburns and beer-guts wearing those tight spandex trunks and trying hard to impress the boat bunnies in their almost there bikinis.

Here you have real sea men and they work the boats and actually know what they are doing and can go out on the real ocean and fish for something more dangerous than crappie and they risk never coming back like the memorial in Charleston says and we have a Coast Guard station where the guys and ladies go out in boats and haul the less dedicated boaters out of the sea and don't expect any thanks even though they have to go out in weather I wouldn't send the dog out in and they get paid the same for staying on land and watching The Black List as they do for going out to sea in boats and saving lives but maybe that's only interesting for a guy from the land-locked west.

So you have a never ending supply of amazing things to use as subjects for you work and yet are you taking the steps necessary to be ready when one of those moments comes?

Do you even think about it and want to be ready or are you happy where you are and don;t really want to bother with anything that might require you to get up off the couch and go out and find something new and wonderful?

You are the only one who can answer that question and you are the only one who can do anything about it.

Back to the sports metaphor, this is the playoff season for the NHL and if you don;t know what that is you've spent far too much time on March Madness, the National Hockey League stars their playoffs and this is when all of the hurts and bumps and injures have to be shelved and the game face plastered on cause there is no tomorrow. And you can bet that these guys who do not make the millions of dollars the big-time pros do won't give a rat's behind about what's in their pay envelop. They will get their gear and tough through the hurts and go out and do it one more time because there is no tomorrow and no one wants to be sitting at home when the finals come around.

What about you? Will you be sitting or will you be part of the playoffs?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

But Wait...

Apparently there is NO Celtic session April 21. Sessions will resume May 7, the first Wednesday in May.

Gail Elber

South Coast Folk Society

One of our recurring events is changing its time and place, and one is just changing its day.
- The Second Sunday Sing-Along is moving to the North Bend Public Library's big meeting room, effective this Sunday, April 13. The time will change to 4-6 p.m. The library is at 1800 Sherman Ave., North Bend. There's a piano there.
- Starting in May, the Celtic Session will move to the first and third Wednesday nights of the month, still 7-9 p.m., still at Liberty Pub, 2047 Sherman Ave, North Bend. But in April, it'll still be on Mondays: the next one is the 21st.

Dance photographer Doug Plummer of Seattle (www.dougplummer.com) is coming to our contra dance this Saturday, April 12, to take pictures. The pictures will be used in Folk Society publicity. If you would rather not be photographed, let Doug know beforehand. If you like, come to the Grange at 5:30 p.m. and enjoy a potluck before the dance. The dance begins at 7 p.m. at Greenacres Grange with caller Rich Goss from Portland. Music will be provided by Celtic Crossing, consisting of Jennifer Sordyl, Don Berg, and Stacy Rose, with assistance from Sarah Goss. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Admission: General $7, students w/ID and seniors over 60 $6, members $5, and supervised children under 6 free.  First-timers who arrive in time for the 7 p.m. lesson will receive a ticket for free admission to their second dance. The dances are alcohol- and fragrance-free. For more information call 541-572-5370 or visit http://southcoastfolksociety.wordpress.com or find the South Coast Folk Society on Facebook.

Friday, April 25: International folk dance, 7 p.m., Greenacres Grange. Teaching, followed by requests. Admission is $4, or $3 for members of SCFS. Is there a specific dance you’d like to learn? It’s great fun having a variety of people share in the teaching – is there a specific dance you’d like to teach? To sign up to teach your favorite dance, call Scott Knowles at 541-217-9027
May 3. SWOCC. Like "South Coast Celtic Fest" on Facebook for updates. See the most current schedule at http://southcoastfolksociety.wordpress.com.

The Egyptian Theatre needs musicians to perform for its grand opening 11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 21. Performers may reserve slots of up to one hour and will perform for people who wander in and out of the auditorium during tours, so everybody won't be sitting there looking at you. The only remuneration is glory. If you're interested, contact Lee Littlefield, 541-888-4434, jllittlefield@charter.net by April 25. It's first come, first served.

- All acoustic musicians and listeners are welcome to the monthly First Friday Jam at 7 p.m. at the Farwest Hall on Hwy 42S in Bandon. It typically features a mix of old-time, bluegrass, and Celtic tunes.
- Irish session at Lloyd's at 219 2nd St. SE in Bandon, 5 p.m. first and third Fridays. Find "The Local Session" on Facebook.
- Rhythm Village African Drum and Dance Ensemble welcomes all comers at 5:30 p.m. Mondays in the basement of the First United Methodist Church in Coos Bay, 123 Ocean Blvd SE. Find them on Facebook.
- Oregon Old-Time Fiddlers, District 5 — Third Saturday of month: 1-3 p.m. with jam afterward, Winchester Bay Community Center. 541-759-3419. Featured April 19: Larry Costa, singing and banjo.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Daily Rounds

Policemen walk the Beat, doctors make daily rounds, watchmen make their rounds and clock in to prove it, but what about artists?

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, Writer's Digest had a column by Lawrence Block. It was for a beginning writer the closest thing to Divine Inspiration. Lawrence Block is and was a successful writer of fiction and exceptionally prolific. He had no less than three series novels working at the time and has since gone on to add several more to that collection.

Mr. Block's advice to the beginning writer? “Write what you like. The odds are you won;t get published no matter what you write so doing the work should be the goal not getting published.”

That is sound advice for anyone working in the creative arts. No matter what you do the likelihood of making a big sale from it is slim and none. Do the work because you cannot do anything else and do what you like so that each day when you start working it is a delight and a pleasure and when you do make a sale it will be a bonus not the goal of all of your efforts.

What in the world does that have to do with daily rounds?

That's where you get better.

A thousand lifetimes ago I wrote a story called the “First Flight to Teekarap. It was a terrible story and that was to be expected cause I was only eleven and so my experience as a writer and as a human being was limited. (There are those who would question the human being part but they were mostly my teachers and mentors so what the hell did they know?)

A few years later I wrote another story inspired by a columnist in the Dallas Morning News, Paul Crume, He suggested that the perfect detective story would be peopled by a sleuth named Hercule
Peterholmes-Wimsey and accompanied by his faithful man-servant Bunter Watson Vain the III and set in the cozy English village of St. Ethelbert on the Thames.

I didn't know at the time that this was done tongue-in-cheek as a wry critique of all of the cozy-style mystery novels. I immediately stepped into the breech and wrote the story and sent it off to Mr. Crume, who responded with the least sympathetic, supportive, sensitive and encouraging note any budding writer has ever gotten.

Fortunately, I was gifted with natural hard-of-understanding genes and went right back to working on my next novel.

I still think there's a place for ole Hercule Peterholmes-Wimsey, possibly on Masterpiece Theater after Mr. Selfridge finishes his run.

But even with that as a starting point I kept writing and writing the stuff I like which if you have been reading this blog and if you haven;'t what are you doing here and since you are here you can make a fresh start and read it daily form this point on and become well-rounded, informed and educated and in the process l;earn something about art and what it takes to get it off the ground and keep it moving while all around you people are telling you you just can;'t make a lead balloon fly. (If you should get that lead balloon to fly give me a head's up so that I can get out of the crash path.)
So there I was staring off with scant encouragement and it was the Fifties and everyone was quick to tell me that you cannot make a Living as a writer and then there were those who suggested that I would never become a responsible citizen and that I was headed into the bohemian life where I would pick up unsavory habits and devote my life to drunkenness and dissipation. And I did try that for a while, but the truth is that drunkenness and dissipation paid less that writing and I have a few years practice as a writer so I decided that as much as I liked drunkenness and dissipation writing was a better idea and so I gave up a promising career as a town disgrace and kept writing.

And along the way I did have to make a Living so I did a bunch of other things and they provided background color for new stories and gave my inspiration for the novels which I write but don;t get published and still I do it cause I love to write which if you have been reading this long you know all ready. And while I was doing all of those other things and picking up all of that background information I learned something else...Lawrence Block was right, you only get better if you keep doing a thing and the best way to make sure that you are getting better instead of rusting away like an abandoned truck sitting in the middle of a filed along the side of a road where the Burma Shave sign once lived, is to do it every day.

Which is why I started writing this post in the first place. Are you doing something with your art every day?

See Life has a nasty way of soaking up all of your time. When I was picking up all of that background information I had to work at something and surprisingly there were few openings for failed writer or bohemian wastrel, why is that, and so I did a lot of stuff which most sane people would not do, but then the best stories come from those places where most sane people do not go so it is a good thing that I went there and got those stories.

Are you going where the stories are? Sure there are wonderful things which happen in your living room, the cat discovers dust bunnies, you find a five dollar bill between the cushions on the sofa and Becket and Castle have another verbal duel, but can you put that on canvas? Knock it out of a hunk of wood and maybe put it in the kiln for a quick fire and then off to the latest show where you can share your art with those who haven't discovered the Wilds of your living room.

But if you aren't doing it every day the chance that you will be able to share your exact vision with the rest of the folks is going to be somewhat limited.

Now I've admitted being a typical sixteen year old boy and part of the reason super hero comics are so popular is that costumed crime fighters wear skin tight Spandex uniforms and most of the popular super heroes have skin tight bodies to put in those skin tight uniforms and if they happen to be a female, lady, girl type costumes crime fighter they have lots of stuff that should be in skin-tight Spandex uniforms and that is why so many teenaged boys love comic books. (Don't kid yourself, little girls are not made of sugar and Spice and everything nice, they like skin-tight Spandex uniforms too and they don;t look just at the abs of those costumed crime fighters. You wouldn't catch Spiderman web-slinging without hos cup cause all of that building crawling and crime fighting can be hazardous to your personality.)

And to make all of those skin-tight Spandex uniforms bulge in all of the oh so right places is the dream of every over-wrought teenaged boy and they want to draw just like the guys in the comics and they try and they get something which looks like it was intended to be the Stay-puffed Marsh-mellow Man instead of Sofia Vergara, This is not what that testosterone crazed kid wanted and so he gives up cause he didn't get Sofia and rather than stay with it until he gets something sort of like maybe Danger-prone Daphney, he heads for the mall or the court or the couch where he sits until age or decay gets the better of him.

Now you do not want to be that slowly decaying lump on the divan, so why aren't you doing a little something, something, (Thank you Sofia), every day so that what you are doing becomes so ingrained that you can do it in your sleep.

There is a story about the world famous racing driver sterling Moss. Moss was driving in the 24 hrs of Le Mans and he lost the car in a curve and took an unscheduled three hundred and eighty-one year flight. The emergency crews raced to the scene to rescue him and when they arrived they found Moss completely unconscious but trying desperately to fight his way out of the flaming car. His body was so conditioned that even without Moss at the controls the works keep going.

Probably a state of readiness you don;t need, but that is how whatever art you work in should feel. You should be able to do it when there is no one at home in the control room and the only way to get there is by doing the daily, boring, drab and suffocatingly dreary rounds.

Come-on doctors get up at five to start their rounds and you can sleep in until at least seven so what are you whining about. That's why you became a shiftless, directionless bohemian in the first place!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Love is in the Air


"LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT"  Art works to celebrate the joys of life
         Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center --Sunday April 13th - June 30. 2014
    Opening reception Sunday April 13th from 1-3 pm
     meet the artists and enjoy the  classical music of a fabulous new trio: 
     Crystal Landucci on keyboards; Kimberly Wurster on Cello; Jean Mautner on Violin
        Refreshments provided by the Hospital Auxiliary

Saturday, April 5, 2014

South Coast Folk Society

The April 12 Barn Dance in Greenacres features three talented local musicians on stage for three hours of fine dancing music from 7PM to 10PM.  Long time favorite caller, Rich Goss from Portland, will give lessons and teach every dance throughout the evening.  All are welcome at his public event.
Attached are two versions of our PSA for your convenience and it is reprinted below.
Thank you for your help.
Paul Poresky for the South Coast Folk Society

From: South Coast Folk Society
Subject: South Coast Community Barn Dance
When: Saturday Evening, April 12, from 7:00PM to 10:00PM
Where: Greenacres Grange Hall, 93393 Greenacres Lane, Coos Bay, OR
Live Music by:   CELTIC CROSSING from Coos Bay
Guest Caller:  Rich Goss from Portland
Celtic Crossing Band at Greenacres Barn Dance Apr.12
Three very talented local musicians will play music for the Greenacres Barn Dance on Saturday evening, April 12 from 7-10PM.  The group is called Celtic Crossing.  They play a lively variety of Celtic, Scottish, and old-timey dance tunes.  The band features Jennifer Sordyl on fiddle, Stacy Rose on flute, whistle and hammer dulcimer and Don Berg playing backup guitar.  There will also be professional instruction a 7PM for new dancers taught by our guest caller, Rich Goss of Portland, Oregon.  Barn dancing is easy to learn and fun for singles, couples and whole families.  All ages are welcome at this public event.  
Rich Goss has called dances from Vancouver, BC to San Diego, CA to North Carolina, for events, large and small, novice and experienced, in a driveway, and in large dance halls. He calls fun, accessible dances always with a good-natured, easy-going style.

The Second-Saturday Barn Dance is sponsored by the non-profit South Coast Folk Society.  The program includes contras, circle mixers, and a waltz or two.  Refreshments are available.  Doors open at 6:45PM.  Admission:  General $7, Students w/ID and Seniors over 60 $6, Members $5, and Supervised Children under 6 are free.  First timers who arrive in time for the 7PM lesson will receive a ticket for free admission to their second dance.  The dances are alcohol and fragrance free.  For more information call 541-572-5370 or visit http://southcoastfolksociety.wordpress.com  or Facebook.
The South Coast Folk Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, study, teaching, enjoyment, and continuing evolution of traditional and historical dance, music, and song