Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 12.29.11

Last Last Friday of 2011

“A Thin Line,” paintings and drawings by Ila Rose, is at sam bond’s during last friday artwalk

On Friday, Dec. 30, you can start welcoming the New Year as businesses in the Whiteaker neighborhood display a potpourri of local artwork during 2011’s last Last Friday ArtWalk. From Sam Bond’s Garage to the Wandering Goat, Ninkasi Brewery to Pizza Research Institute, participants in the art walk will hold receptions commemorating the visual art of Eugene with music, refreshments and often the artist(s) in attendance.

This final Last Friday of the year (and the 87th consecutive Last Friday event, according to Last Friday ArtWalk cofounder Sterling Wallach) promises an eclectic array of oil paintings, clothing art, ornaments, drawings, recycled sculptures, spray paint and etchings. The evening’s open houses begin around 5:30 pm and continue until 8:30 or 9 pm, providing a festive ambience to wander through and appreciate Eugene’s unique aesthetic.

By creating monthly public events, the Last Friday ArtWalk intends to promote an open, inspiring atmosphere for art appreciation and conversation. Unlike the Lane Arts Council’s First Friday ArtWalk, the Last Friday ArtWalk gives young, entry-level artists the chance to get their work out there, Wallach says. So stop by to sip a mocha or a microbrew, and kick off the New Year by appreciating “Mind Mirrors/srorriM dniM” and “Local Places and Faces.” You can peruse spirit poles, wildlife portraiture and found objects with cardboard the night before you swig champagne and count down to 2012.

For details about the specific shows offered by each venue, visit the Last Friday ArtWalk blog at — Caitlin McKimmy

The Plein Air of Oregon

Plein air painting makes sense in Oregon. With our countryside landscapes, rolling vineyards and pastoral scenery, one can’t resist wanting to recreate such natural beauty. And the Plein Air Painters of Lane County do just that (en plein air is French for “in the open air”).

This group of local artists meets three times a week, often enduring, while documenting, the inclement weather of the Northwest. “Four Seasons of Plein Air: Painting the Year Around,” which opens Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Springfield’s Emerald Art Center, showcases the diverse styles of the group as well as the distinct seasons of Lane County. 

Since anyone and everyone are invited to come and paint with the Plein Air Painters, artistic media tend to differ. Watercolor, acrylic, oils, pastels, you name it — somebody’s probably using it. Most styles tend toward the impressionistic, though every artist possesses her own je ne sais quoi. You might be tempted to think that, because the activity is open to everyone, this group would be void of any true talent — but you’d be horribly mistaken.

Take a look at the work of Margaret Plumb and be blown away by the play in hues that the artist masterfully unveils. Her piece “Hinman Vineyard” immortalizes the Oregon summer sun as it gleans off grape leaves and golden pasture, contrasting with the deep evergreen of the surrounding forest. Renee Manford’s more Emile Bernard/Vincent van Gogh post-impressionistic style is distinguished by bold strokes that color the landscape. Other styles can be seen in the talented work of watercolor painters Paul Bourgault and Kathy Heerema, as well as the multitude of artists represented at the exhibit. 

“Four Seasons of Plein Air: Painting the Year Around” runs Jan. 3-Jan. 27 at the Emerald Art Center, 500 Main St., Spfd; info at or 726-8595. —Andrew Hitz