Sunday, August 5, 2012

Inspired in Ashland, Oregon

The Hanson Howard Gallery
Our favorite stop on our jaunt through this art haven
We sped down to the lovely hippie haven of Ashland, Oregon this weekend.  We had to pick up the last of Richards' work from his Excavation Show (in Grants Pass), so we decided to head a little further stop and smell the patchouli.

And we're so glad we did.  There's so much more to this town than berks and granola ...  art hugs this hamlet and seems to penetrate the way of living.

There's the Shakespeare Festival that pumps the town with an air of something more substantial.  A mime dressed as a bronze statue (of a Shakespearean player) offered up reading cards to the crowd of bystanders... both Richard and I quoted sonnets on cobblestones under a full breasted moon...we left him speechless!  

Galleries, bookstores, and boutiques beckoned pedestrians to betray blisters with enticing window displays and friendly store owners.  Even the homeless seemed driven to help the greater good with signs asking for contributions for shelters.

Romantic towns like this stir something elemental in me ...  something about chances and artists and the love of places...real places.   Ashland seems to be what it wants to be. And I ache for places like that.

We had fun going to the First Friday happenings where we met great artisans that seemed eager to chat about their work and make new friends.

On Saturday we sipped coffee and looked at books; Rich quoted excerpts from art books over the stacks. We fed our hunger for the kind of inspiration that begs discovery in every great used bookstore.

But it was just before we hit the road that we stumbled on some great things.  It was at the Hanson Howard gallery.  The level of work in this gallery had us bouncing from piece to piece spotting work we love.  We liked all the artists currently exhibiting, but we particularly liked the work of  Aggie Zed, Sara Swink, and R & J Gumaelius...check it out for yourself:
Or better yet, visit Ashland, Oregon and experience the authentic art ...
of living as only they do it...

Growing up in NY groomed me to look for the genuine and I love to find it...
 I found it in this quick jaunt to Ashland.

Roadside Attraction
Sara Swink
ceramic sculpture
21" tall

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