Scholarship Winner Elisabeth Walden showing at Bite Studio First Friday June 4th

The Bite Studio is showing New Works by Portland Open Studios member artist and Kimberly Gales Scholarship winner Elisabeth Walden and others on First Friday June 4th only.

Opening from 6pm to 10pm on Friday June 4th
at 2000 SE 7th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

For more information, visit or or Elisabeth Walden on Facebook
Featuring the Prints of
Jenn Feeney
Tara Murino-Brault
Elisabeth Walden

Artist to Artist.

By Susan Gallacher-Turner

Today’s  the deadline to apply for Portland Open Studios.  You don’t want to miss out on the chance to show your work and tell visitors about your process in your own studio. You’ll get the opportunity sell your work, build a mailing list, set up workshops and meet people interested in your art from all over the city and country.

As an artist, here’s what other artists say about their Portland Open Studios experience.

Opportunities from Portland Open Studios:

“I received numerous requests to teach a printmaking workshop. I also sold a number of framed and unframed prints.”  Shawn Demarest

“I was picked up by a downtown gallery after he visited my studio during the POS tour and faithfully and religiously showcased my artwork in his gallery for years until finally shutting the door.  And I have received several commission assignments following visitors to my studio during Portland Open Studios tour.” Allen Schmertzler

“I have become very comfortable with demonstrating thanks to having POS as a reason to do it and have been asked to show techniques and teach as a result.” Deb Marble

“Participation in Portland Open Studios over three years has resulted in new connections and sales, multiple invitations to participate in shows, articles in Boom, Oregonian, Oregon Home, and several stories on the Portland Open Studios blog. But the best part has been in new friendships with other artists and the confidence I’ve gained in talking about my work.” Shelley Hershberger

Demonstrating for Portland Open Studios:

“I printed a number of copper-plate etchings. This involved inking the plates, and running them through the press. A number of them involved multiple plates. Shawn Demarest

“I tried painting one year and it was impossible to keep acrylic wet and applicable as well as interact so I shifted one year to a live model to demonstrate the sketching and drawing applications of my process. This was very popular. Many people sat and watched, my model was costumed ( mostly in private studio modeling time in the nude ) and this on the site drama resulted in a handful of sales of the work popping off of the drawing board. But, I found it very hard to interact with the public as I was working, and, after paying my model for the 2 days, it turned into a debit experience.  Now, I do quick caricature demos from photo files of famous people and this has worked an efficient, educational, and happy balance for the event. The public loves that magic in caricatures. This year it was Jay Leno looking over David Letterman on a motorcycle while a hot babe was wrapped around Letterman ( following of course his “sex” scandal ).” Allen Schmertzler

“I enjoy figure drawing and have some unusual tools that I combine with standard watercolor equipment. I work rapidly by choice and often do a “finished” piece in 10 minutes or so.” Deb Marble

“I have demonstrated various techniques involved in printmaking. For me, having others in the studio (whom I was teaching) has been the easiest way to do spontaneous demonstrations of immediate interest to visitors. Participating in Portland Open Studios is a multi-tasking marathon: I have learned how to host, talk, listen, demonstrate, gather names, and make sales all at the same time.” Shelley Hershberger

Studio location:

My printmaking studio, Bite Studio, is located in inner SE Portland. The location worked very well as it is easy to find, and parking isn’t a problem.” Shawn Demarest

“Traffic to my studio has been strong despite the more obscure location in the southwest-terwilliger hills-curves neighborhood. Given the proximity to Multnomah Village, which has a good density of artists in the area, I benefit from that relationship. The 2009 tour was definitely down in attendance. Why? Perhaps after being on the tour for 7 years a sort of fatigue and over-exposure has occurred and or the horrible economy played an unfortunate hand, or some other spurious correlation was at work?” Allen Schmertzler

“My studio is over my garage, accessed by a staircase. Obviously not appropriate for disabled people, otherwise fine. Not being inside my house helps, less of a problem for family or for security concerns. We do have “stuff” in the garage–fishing and sport equipment, tools–the very first time I hung a sheet to cover all that but have never bothered again. Such nice people come on an art tour!” Deb Marble

“My studio is in Portsmouth (North Portland). Proximity to other participating artists created a cluster that definitely helped draw a crowd. If your studio is isolated, encourage other artists nearby to participate for everyone’s benefit.” Shelley Hershberger

Remember today is the deadline…March 15th!

Artist’s Questions Answered.

By Susan Gallacher-Turner

If you’ve been thinking about applying for Portland Open Studios, now’s the time. As a Portland Open Studios artist, you’ll be able to show your work and tell visitors about your process in your own studio. You’ll get the opportunity sell your work, build a mailing list, set up workshops and meet people interested in your art from all over the city and country.

As an artist, you probably have a few questions and anxieties about this yearly studio art tour and how it works, so here’s a quick Q&A to help you. If you have questions not answered here, let us know at

I live in the suburbs, can I apply?
Yes. If you live in Tigard, Beaverton, Aloha, Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and Tualatin.

How do I apply?
It’s easy. Go to the website at and click on Apply. The application is all online with easy instructions.

What’s the deadline?
March 15, 2010, but you get a discount on jury fee if you apply before March 8, 11pm.

Are there scholarships available?
Yes. The Kimberly Gales Emerging Artist Scholarship is awarded to one to two artists each year between the ages of 20 and 30 years. The details and how to apply are on the apply page.

How many images do I need and how do I upload them?
You’ll need 3 images. There’s step by step help for uploading images on the Apply page.

What if my studio is in my dining room?
That’s fine and it may even be more inspiring for your visitors. The idea is for visitors to watch artists at work. It doesn’t matter whether your studio is in your basement, garage, kitchen, dining room, den or attic. As long as it’s where you work, it works for us.

What do I have to do for visitors?
You show and tell them about your art. You could paint, draw, sculpt or throw clay. You could explain how you stretch canvas, glue your collage, do encaustic. It’s your studio and your chance to share what you do.

If I get in, when will I know?
You’ll get an email letter from us in late March or early April.

How much does it cost?
There’s a $25 non-refundable jury fee, if you apply before March 8th, after that the jury fee is $35. The participation fee is $140 plus 8 hours of volunteer service. If you opt out of volunteer service, there’s an additional $155 fee.

Are there volunteer requirements?
Yes. To get an event this size up and running, we all need to help and that’s where you come in. If you are juried into the Tour, you’ll be asked to help out in an area you choose for 8 hours over the course of 6 to 12 months. If you absolutely can’t spare 8 hours of your time, you can ‘opt out’ and pay an extra $155.

Can I talk to other artists to find out more?
You bet. Just email any of the artists or board members here,
we’d be happy to answer your questions. Or you could check out the 2009 artist list and see if there’s someone you know who’s already been part of Portland Open Studios.

Portland Open Studios artist Carole Zoom’s art selected as gift by the City of Portland to Sapporo, Japan

Celebrate Valentines Day with Local Artists

By Susan Gallacher-Turner

Three shows featuring current and past Portland Open Studios artists are open this weekend. Just in time for Valentines Day, you can visit and select a work of art for your sweetheart.

Sculpture by Joni Mitchell

Showing at the new Amato’s Gallery in Beaverton are many past and present Portland Open Studios artists including Diane Ahrendt, Brenda Boylan, Chris Helton, Gretha Lindwood, Joni Mitchell, Michael Orwick, Joe Pogan and Donna Sanson.

Painting by Gretha Lindwood

Amato’s Gallery is opening in the heart of Beaverton just in time for Valentine’s Day. Featuring fine art from the Northwest in a wide variety of media including pastels, water color and oil paintings, glass, ceramics and sculpture in stone and metal, this new gallery is located inside Amato’s Floral, Wine and Gifts at 12320 SW 1st in Beaverton. The opening reception is Friday, February 12th from 5:30pm to 9pm.

Sculpture by Joe Pogan

Amato Gallery Opening – February 12th from 5:30-9:00pm
Featuring Diane Ahrendt, Brenda Boylan, Chris Helton, Gretha Lindwood, Joni Mitchell, Michael Orwick, Joe Pogan and Donna Sanson.
Amato Gallery
12320 SW 1st Street, Beaverton
Gallery hours: Monday-Friday 10-5pm, Saturday 10-4pm

Also around town this weekend and throughout February are two other gallery shows featuring Portland Open Studios artists Sara Swink and Jill Torberson.

Sculpture by Sara Swink

The Heart of the Matter 2 through February 21st
Featuring Sara Swink and Jill Torberson
Guardino Gallery
2939 NE Alberta Street, Portland
Gallery hours: Tuesday 11-5pm, Wednesday-Saturday 11-6pm, Sunday 11-4pm

Erotica-Be My Naughty Valentine through February 27th
Featuring Sara Swink
Beet Gallery
1720 NW Lovejoy, Portland
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11-5:30pm

Shawn Demarest in a Toast to PAN

Celebrate art, artists and the New Year tonight from 6pm to midnight in a Toast to PAN, Print Arts Northwest at Tribute Gallery, 328 NW Broadway #117, Portland, Oregon.

On view are etchings and monotypes by Portland Open Studios artist Shawn Demarest, as well as work by R. Anthony Askew and Wendy Kahle.

Students and artists speak out about Portland Open Studios new mentorship education program.

By Susan Gallacher-Turner

Megan Delius and Shelley Hershberger

This year, Portland Open Studios paired up 21 artists with about 40 students in a new mentorship education program. Students from four area high schools, Wilson, Century, Grant and Arts & Communications Academy were offered a unique learning opportunity to work with artists in their studios during and after the Portland Open Studios Tour.

Education program chair, Allen Schmertzler, describes the program, “The focus was to educate the public about the process of art making. Students were able to make art with the artists, have their own portfolio/artwork critiqued, learn about organizing and maintaining an art studio, gain sales experience, and spend time in a hands-on manner in the artist’s studio. Students also were able to get credit towards Career Pathways, Career Education, Senior Project, Job Shadow, and/or an Internship for their school’s art graduation requirements.”

Shelley Hershberger, an artist in North Portland was paired up with Megan Delius from Arts & Communications Academy in Beaverton. Here’s what they have to say about their experience with the new mentorship program.

Shelley Hershberger said, “My high school student, Megan Delius, was helpful, polite, showed up on time and respectful of my space and tools. She was in heaven having an opportunity to make monotypes all weekend with ample space and an etching press pretty much to herself. We had great chats during lull times and she pitched in graciously when things were busy. She would be welcome in my studio anytime.”

Megan Delius

Megan Delius said, “I definitely loved working with you. It was a fantastic learning experience and overall a really good time. I feel so honored to be able to work with a professional artist, and learning how to do monoprints.”

Susan Gallacher-Turner, a sculpture artist in Tigard was paired with Dani Goodman from Wilson High School in Portland. This is what they have to say about the program.

Dani said,“I learned that you don’t have to limit yourself to one type of art. I learned the different effects you can create with metal using chemicals and heat and how to make different imprints on copper. I learned that by working on a number of projects at once, you can be more patient with your work by moving onto something else. I find myself experimenting with tools to create new effects.”

Susan said, “It was a delight to have Dani in my studio before and during open studios. She greeted guests and gathered contact information. Dani listened so well as I talked and demonstrated, she was able to talk about my art to some visitors while I was talking to others. When we had a lull, I was able to get her started on her own copper repousse’ project. I enjoyed teaching her something new and her energetic help during the tour was wonderful.”

Allen Schmertzler, artist and teacher was paired up with Chrissy Hoover from Century High School in Hillsboro. Here’s what Chrissy said about her experience at Allen’s studio, “I really enjoyed my experience. It was both culturally and artistically enriching. It is fascinating to watch artists get in their personal creative zone and just manipulate ordinary concepts of life into alluring works. The beauty of the movement captured from a split second and transferred to paper has an almost hypnotic appeal to the mind’s eye. Hence, I love the look in the admirer’s eye when they’ve found a piece that really strikes them. This was a great learning experience and also a joy to help with. I give my 100% thanks for this incredible opportunity.”

Students from Wilson High School wrote about their experiences with their artist mentors. Here are some of their experiences in their own words.

Marina Palmrose about artist mentor, Mark Randall, “I experienced a part of the business side to being an artist. Gratification does not come right away, but if you are doing something you love, then following your passion is the most important idea.”

Alex Sanchez shares working in the studio of Shawn Demarest, “Watching her spread the ink on the copper plate, she told me about types of ink and how to handle the cloth as you rub it onto the plate. I ended up taking the copper plate along with the etching needle to work on, once I return, I’ll be looking forward to the outcome of my piece.”

Magali Lopez was inspired by mentor, Kitty Wallis, “I really loved this opportunity. She has been doing art professionally for 50 years, creating her own paper, pastels and techniques. Kitty Wallis is an amazing artist, and very inspiring.”

Dani Goodman about artist mentor, Susan Gallacher-Turner, “I got to see behind the scenes of how a talented artist works. She showed me her sketchbook and her research. How she uses her hands as her main tools. I felt like I stepped into a real artists shoes for a moment, it was a rewarding experience.”

Emily Hall recommends all art students try this experience after being in the studio of Careen Stoll, “This is a great opportunity for students to learn from people at a high level in the artistic field. Anyone who is considering art as a profession needs to experience this. I found it very interesting to see how professionals live and interact with their customers. It definitely opened my eyes to the fact that creating art for a living isn’t a walk in the park like I imagined. I learned so much in just a few hours from an amazing artist.”

Art Teacher, Susan Parker of Wilson High Schools sums up the programs success, “It was an amazing opportunity for these students. I hope Portland Open Studios artists will consider doing something like this again.”

Katie Simpson Spain: 'Our Own Jungle' at Tyson Gallery

Work from 'Our Own Jungle' by Katie Simpson Spain
Work from 'Our Own Jungle' by Katie Simpson Spain
Brightly colored, intricate sculptures constructed out of recycled plastic bags make up a large, new installation entitled, “Our Own Jungle”. Artist, Katie Simpson Spain created these pieces by crocheting yarn fashioned from strips of plastic bags.

The opening is First Thursday, October 1st from 6 to 9 pm at Tyson Gallery located at 625 N.W. Everett Street, #116.

If you’d like to learn how to turn plastic bags into art, Katie is teaching a class in Salem. Check the description below.

Plastic Bag Yarn and Crochet Class
Mission Mill Museum in Salem
Saturday October 24 from 1 pm to 4 pm
Mission Mill – 1313 Mill St SE Salem, Oregon 97301 (503) 585-7012
See details and sign up here:

You can visit Katie’s studio and watch her work both weekends during the Portland Open Studios Tour, October 10, 11 and 17, 18. Pick up your Tour Guide at New Seasons, Art Media, Powell’s and our website.

CRAFT PDX: A Block Party

Sunday in the Park With Portland Open Studios Artists
At CRAFT PDX: A Block Party

By Susan Gallacher-Turner

Above, Robin Bown (left) and Joni Mitchell, at Craft PDX.

The sun was shining. The music was playing. And artists were sculpting stone, metal and clay. Painting. Making prints. Weaving. Carving wood. Basket making. Drawing on eggs and crocheting with wire. It was all part of the second annual Craft PDX block party put on by the Museum of Contemporary Crafts.

In the Portland Open Studios Tour tent, there were many talented artists at work. Bonnie Meltzer worked on her wire crochet. Kelly Neidig and Lisa Parsons were painting. Gwen Jones stenciled and Jan Von Bergen did monoprinting. Tracy Taylor was weaving with beautiful blue fibers. Joni Mitchell was sculpting a stone frog, and Robin Bown painted tiny, delicate eggs. Marjin Wall turned wood into bowls while I pushed on my copper repousse’.

There was so much to see and do. In addition to the Portland Open Studios tent, there were many wonderful demonstrations from the city’s local art guilds. You could even make your own art. Whether you were a grown-up or still growing, you could make your own raku pot or play with clay.

It was a wonderful day. If you weren’t there, here are some pictures I took for you to enjoy. If you see some art that you want to know more about, mark your calendars for October 11, 12, 18 & 19 for the Portland Open Studios Tour. And come watch artists at work. You can buy the Tour Guide from participating artist, Art Media, New Seasons or on the Portland Open Studios website.

Below, Tracy Taylor at work on her loom.

Above, Bonnie Meltzer working on a wire crochet piece.

Artists coming together for Dawn McConnell

Former Portland Open Studios artist Dawn McConnell was diagnosed with stage 4 lung and liver cancer earlier this year. This last Friday, Sept 7, 2007, the community gathered together for a benefit to help with Dawn’s mounting expenses. Among the attendees were Dawns students, friends, family, and artists. Many donated art that were auction off during 2 silent auctions, and of course, many bought art.

Dawn’s own painted pots proved popular, and all ooh’ed and ah’ed over Dawn’s painted vanity, desk, and bike, which are also for sale. If you would like to purchase any of the pieces (3 of which are shown here), please email Myrna or Kristin.

You can see more of Dawn’s work on her web site at:, and read more about what’s happening in her life at:

Below, the bike, vanity, and desk painted by Dawn:




And here’s Dawn with the bike:

Dawn & bike