OYSTERVILLE — Art will vie for attention with fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend in Oysterville and Ocean Park. The diverse artistic community of the Long Beach Peninsula is preparing to celebrate America and art in several north end locations during the three-day period before and up to July 4. Oysterville Community Club, Peninsula Arts Association, and Ocean Park galleries, studios and shops are combining efforts to dazzle and impress. 

Since 1957, the historic Oysterville Schoolhouse has been the gathering point for the Oysterville Community Club. Dedicated to the preservation of the schoolhouse and grounds surrounding it, the non-profit organization has added a new event to its fundraising calendar. On Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the group is sponsoring the first Oysterville Arts and Artisan Fair. More than 20 artists have signed up to offer the fruits of their labor during the fair. Located indoors in the beautifully refurbished schoolhouse and in tents outside on the tree-lined school grounds, all the work is hand crafted, original and artist inspired.

“People like the venue, they like being here at the schoolhouse,” said club president and event co-chair Karen Engstrom. “There is something here that resonates with visitors.”

The list of participants include several area favorites: Clay artists Jan Richardson and Karen Brownlee; painters Judy Leonard, Aileen Roberts, Joan Taplin, Carol Couch, Ruth Carpenter, Jean Nitzel and Chris Goodwin; glass and jewelry artists Barbara Lester, Gary and Eugenia Olsen and Linda and Ron Penn, metal artist Don Perry, cement yard art by Carol Olson, handmade art cards and sculpture by Judy & Michael Cox; Nancy Meyrick photography; textile weaving and basketry by Rose Power, Gloria Schmidt and Janet Herring; and the deliciously scented Harmony Soap Works by Diana Thompson will all be on hand to tempt visitors to the event. And as if there was need for anything more, mouth watering baked goods, all homemade by schoolhouse supporters, will be on sale too. All participating artists have donated a piece of work to be raffled off during the fair. Tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5. All proceeds benefit the schoolhouse restoration and maintenance fund. 

 Starving Artists Sale

Art bargains abound at Peninsula Arts Association’s Starving Artists Sale. Held Saturday, July 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Ocean Park Library, this longtime tradition is jam-packed with original art, books, supplies, jewelry and downright good deals. It is a time for association artists to clear out their studios and make room for new endeavors. A portion of all sales directly benefits PAA’s High School Graduate Scholarship Fund.


Art in the Park

July 4 is the date for the second Art in the Park. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Roy Sheldon field on Vernon Street in Ocean Park, this gathering of creative minds features the talent of local artists. It is a great way to spend time before and after the old-fashioned Fourth of July Parade that brings thousands to the streets of Ocean Park. This year there is a pre-parade concert in the parking lot of Bank of Pacific on Bay Avenue. During the parade, look for PAA artists pulling red wagons filled with chalk. As they hand out over 1,000 pieces to kids on the parade route, they encourage them to “make art” right on the sidewalks and roads. Their efforts make great browsing on an afternoon stroll, at least until the first rain.


Art demonstrations

Bay Avenue is the Ocean Park road that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Willapa Bay. It is also home to several studios and galleries that will offer special events over the holiday weekend. 

Eric Wiegardt’s Studio Gallery features a Saturday afternoon demonstration by the favorite local painter with a worldwide following. Located at 2607 Bay Avenue, in what was originally Wiegardt’s grandfather’s home, the working studio and gallery is a warm place filled with the wonderful colors and patterns of his work. The gallery is closed on Sundays.

Michele B. Naquaiya is well known for her intricate and fascinating scratch board drawings, but that media is not the only interest of this diverse and very creative artist. Her small working gallery at 1715 Bay Avenue is filled from top to bottom with beautiful works of art in many styles. One of a kind shawls with embellishments, for those cool summer evenings, are available along with framed original work. Naquaiya is a treasure trove of art information as well. She will feature a special sale during the weekend.

Bay Avenue Gallery, located at 1306 Bay Avenue, just celebrated its one-year anniversary. The gallery was the brainchild of painter Bette Lu Krause. Clay artist Sue Raymond partnered as co-owner with Krause shortly thereafter. Now, the gallery seems as if it were always there in the little blue house on Bay. Dozens of local artists are represented. There are classes for children and adults and it is seldom that the gallery has less than one or two artists just “stopping by.” In the afternoons of the Fourth of July weekend, Raymond will be demonstrating how she makes her whimsical and popular clay birds ... all with a story and unique name.

Anchoring the street of art at the Ocean Park beach approach is Colleen Smith’s Full Circle Café and Tapestry Rose Yarn. The establishment offers treats for the eyes and taste buds. The award winning café is a favorite for breakfast, lunch and delicious desserts. It serves the best coffee around as well as ice cream. The shop is a kaleidoscope of colors and textures. Anything one could want in the knitting and textile arena is either here or Smith knows where to get it, including classes. The café and shop are open Wednesday through Sunday. 

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