State of the Arts

In 2013, EW debuted ArtsHound, our first-ever special issue devoted solely to the visual arts. In my letter last year, I outlined an ongoing problem I’d seen in Eugene and Springfield — artphobia. Oh how far we’ve come: Art walks are bustling and sprouting up all over the city, local arts orgs and schools have received hundreds of thousands in grant funds and new murals seem to pop up every week. EW even got into the game with our ArtsHound box series now on display downtown through the end of September (see “Outside the Box”).

The creative fervor has not gone unnoticed — the inaugural ArtsHound issue won first place in the Society of Professional Journalists Northwest Region awards for best Special Issue (beating out Willamette Week, the Portland rag came in second and third). What does that mean? In our hyper-connected world, artists no longer need to be in New York City or Paris (or Portland) to make art that matters and moves people. In fact, we came across such an abundance of homegrown talent that it couldn’t fit into one issue; look for ArtsHound stories to fill EW pages for weeks to come.

Lest we forget, however, that the arts are the first to be cut from budgets and galleries are fighting to stay open, especially in our fair city. So my call to arms is the same: Put down your phone, turn off your screen(s) and go engage with the art and artists that make this a beautiful place worth living.

In this issue:

Dark Angel

Tracy Sydor focuses on helping abuse survivors through photography

The Clay Conundrum

The intersection of pottery and sustainability

The Art of Nostalgia

Allison Hyde tries to capture the ephemeral before it’s too late

Outside the Box

Meet the winners of EW’s inaugural ArtsHound box art contest

Take Five

Arts leaders pick their top pieces of local public art

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