May 2019
Get out, support the arts, make art, and explore the rich creative life in our community.

ARTS brief is designed to intrigue you while sharing useful information, events, happenings, and current news related to arts growth in our region. If you love what you see here, please forward this to your friends and encourage them to join our email list and subscribe.
Greeting cards created by inmates at Larch Corrections Center
Art on the inside
Artstra takes "Creative Relief" to Larch Corrections Center

Last year when board member Karin Chase took on Artstra's "Creative Relief Clark County" program, she could not have anticipated where her passion to help others through art would take her.
Creative Relief began in 2012 as a way to provide donated arts supplies during the cold winter months to the Winter Hospitality Overflow (WHO) shelters in Vancouver. Bins filled with the tools of creative activity, including bright colored markers, crayons, colored paper, glue sticks, rubber stamps, and stickers were delivered to several shelters offering a creative outlet primarily for the children who were staying at the shelters with their families. Laurel Whitehurst and other Arts of Clark County (now Artstra) board members also provided weekly workshops to help engage the children and often their parents in art making. 
As Karin looked into locations where communities may not have access to tools for creative expression, she soon realized that the need extends in unexpected directions - beyond children in shelters - to adults who want and need the exploratory and rewarding aspects of personal creativity. Continue reading...
Apply today!

WHO: Visual artists and artisans in Clark County working in all mediums

WHAT: Clark County Open Studios is a juried art event offering a unique opportunity for you to gain further recognition as an artist, open your studio doors to the public, and to show and sell your work.

WHEN: Open Studios Tour: Sat-Sun, November 2-3, 2019, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Artist Trust workshop series comes to Vancouver

Learn how to apply for grants, residencies and other opportunities
In a six-session workshop series (May 30 - July 11), Artstra volunteer and Arts Business Consultant Dorothy Bocian covers what you need to apply for grants, residencies, and calls. If you haven't had any luck applying for opportunities or don't even know where to begin, this workshop is for you.

First Friday picks
Artist Anna Norris
Heidi Jo Curley
and Anna Norris
at Camas Gallery

Camas Gallery will host a First Friday Event where mixed media artist Heidi Jo Curley and painter Anna Norris will both be creating art. They will each work on a piece, then trade pieces and continue painting the other person's work. This event is free to the public.

Dueling Paintbrushes:
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
First Friday, May 3.

Camas Gallery
408 NE 4th Ave., Camas
Painting by Rainbow Giraffe
Rainbow Giraffe at the CAVE
Art at the Cave welcomes the Rainbow Giraffe, formally known as Cynthia Heise, to the gallery for the month of May. In the artist's words, "Rainbow Giraffe was born in the land of 10,000 lakes. It was also the land of 10,000 water sprites and 10,000 nightmares. Minnesota, of course, inspired escape. Thus began The Quest."

Opening reception: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., First Friday, May 3.  

108 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver
For other Vancouver First Friday listings, see VDA's Hot Sheet
Out and about
Gorge Artists Open Studios

Explore the gorge this weekend and check out the Gorge Artists Open Studios Tour scheduled for May 3, 4, and 5. The tour's mission is to advance art and encourage artists in the Columbia River Gorge by building community among artists and the public, promoting art and business education, and providing opportunities for the public to experience and enjoy art.

Washougal Studio Artists Tour

The 2019 Washougal Studio Artists Tour occurs Mother's Day weekend, May 11-12. Enjoy the weekend visiting the beauty of Washougal and the unique art it has to offer.

Richard York, Finite and Boundless #3
Richard York
Esther Building Art Space

The Esther Building Art Space (open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will be sharing the work of Richard York in an exhibit titled, "Dirt Dreams Define Me: Finite and Boundless." Many of York's paintings reference maps, land forms, and earthbound things, while some of his images are completely otherworldly. He invites the viewer to explore and discover through paintings that are both playful and powerful.

Reception: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., May 16

Esther Building Art Space
610 Esther St., Vancouver
Improv performers from left to right: Brooke Chamberlain, Katie Skinner, Martin Slagle (on floor), and Tony Provenzola
Magenta's Improv Team

Magenta Theater's Improve Team (MIT) will be performing at 7:30 p. m., May 4 (May the fourth be with you!). Be prepared for some rollicking good Star Wars-related games and giggles. This is a family friendly event where you can be assured it's safe to bring kids and grandparents.

Magenta Theater
1108 Main St., Vancouver
LUNAFEST film festival
TONIGHT: Kiggins Theatre

Trust Tree Productions hosts the LUNAFEST film festival at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Kiggins (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.). The program includes eight short films made by, for, and about women. As a special feature, the evening will include a screening of the pilot episode of The Musicianer from Vancouver's award-winning filmmaker, Beth Harrington. After the showing, Ms. Harrington will share brief comments about her career in film. General admission tickets are $20 and student tickets are $10. VIP tickets are $75, which includes admission, a private reception before the screening with drink ticket, hors d'oeuvres, and event swag. A portion of the proceeds from the screening will go to Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest.


Kiggins Theatre
1011 Main St., Vancouver
Cellist Ko Iwasaki
Ko Iwasaki
VSO Chamber Music Series season finale

Cellist Ko Iwasaki returns to Vancouver Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m. for the Chamber Music Series season finale. Iwasaki will perform Haydn's Cello Concerto in C and Tchaikovsky's own arrangement of Andante Cantabile for Cello and strings from the String Quartet No.1. 

Royal Durst Theater
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics
3101 Main St., Vancouver
Photo courtesy Southwest Washington Wind Symphony
Songs of Life
Southwest Washington Wind Symphony

The Southwest Washington Wind Symphony presents "Songs of Life" on Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. The performance features guest conductors Gerard Morris and Sam Ormson and musical selections include "Overture" and "Make Our Garden Grow" from the operetta Candide by Leonard Bernstein, and "Rivers of Air" by Jake Runestad. Free and open to the public.

Union High School Performing Arts Center
6201 NW Friberg-Strunk St., Camas
Guitarist Terry Robb
Terry Robb
with Jeff Peterson
Old Liberty Theater

Guitarist Terry Robb will join the stage at the Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:45 p.m.). His blues roots with elements of free jazz and Mississippi delta music create a unique sound that has landed Robb into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame as well as the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame. Also appearing will be special guest Jeff Peterson.

115 N. Main Ave., Ridgefield
Poetry happenings
Ghost Town Poetry Open Mic is Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m., and will feature John Burgess, author of five books of poetry from Ravenna Press: Punk Poems (2005), A History of Guns in the Family (2008), Graffito (2011), "by Land..." (2015), and 1977 (2018). Hosted by Christopher Luna and Toni Lumbrazo Luna of Printed Matter Vancouver, Open Mic sign up begins at 6:30 p.m. and closes at 7 p.m.

Angst Gallery
1015 Main St., Vancouver
Calls for artists
Pearson Annex Mural
The Clark County Mural Society will partner with the owner of the Irongate Storage building near the Pearson Airfield to facilitate a new mural on the south side of the building. The theme should reflect the aeronautical history associated with the airfield. Artists wishing to participate must submit a sketch, a written explanation of the mural concept, paint requirements, etc. The entry deadline is May 15, 2019.

International District Murals
The Clark County Mural Society will partner with the City of Vancouver and Fourth Plain Forward to celebrate the diverse cultures of the Fourth Plain Corridor "International District." The corridor includes restaurants that serve international cuisine, ethnic food markets, and culturally specific service providers. Competitive submissions for four different mural locations will reflect the diverse culture of the area and connect with and celebrate the heritage of Fourth Plain residents. Artists wishing to participate must submit sketches, a written explanation of mural concepts, paint requirements, etc. The entry deadline is May 15, 2019.

Our all-volunteer organization works toward building greater arts awareness, rewarding creative excellence, and expanding arts accessibility. We are working to facilitate long-term arts development for Southwest Washington. We envision a stronger arts infrastructure that includes an art center and a community-focused performing arts facility. 

Your support will help to make this vision a reality. Artstra's current programs include our annual Clark County Open Studios tour and Poetry Moves, a collaborative effort that features the words of local poets on C-Tran buses. Both of these programs have already demonstrated the power of art in our lives to connect us, transform us, and fuel the economy.
4 ways to support the cause
If you love what Artstra is doing for our community, please consider these ways to contribute: 

  1. Donate
    Use PayPal to make a tax-deductible donation to Artstra. 
  2. Shop
    Link your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Artstra using our code #84120. Just by using your rewards card number, and at no cost to you, every time you shop you'll help Artstra earn a quarterly donation from Fred Meyer.
  3. Shop online
    Use this link to login to Amazon, and they will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase back to Artstra.
  4. Volunteer
    Artstra is an all-volunteer organization. If you have specialized skills, especially in fundraising, outreach and marketing,
    we'd love to talk with you.
ARTS brief team

Cam Suttles, editor,  designer 
Jackie Genis, contributing writer
Editorial Policy and submission guidelines
ARTS brief is intended to be useful to readers by offering a curated selection of stories and announcements related to the growth of arts in our region. Submitted items should be newsworthy. This means that arts-related items for content consideration must perform well in at least two of the following five areas: timing, significance, proximity, prominence, and human interest. Please submit materials to, no later than the 25th of each month. Note that submission does not guarantee publication. We evaluate each submission to determine how it fits our goals for ARTS brief and whether the item under consideration aligns with the mission and vision of Artstra. We do not accept materials that primarily have a commercial objective.
About Artstra
Artstra, formerly "Arts of Clark County," is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization advocating for the arts in Clark County and southwest Washington. We envision a vibrant arts economy in our region, north of the Columbia River, with public/private investments and facilities that sustain artists and enrich community. Our mission is to elevate the arts, build greater arts awareness, reward creative excellence, and expand arts accessibility.