(Above: A piece called “Watchers” by ALTKUNST, aka Rick Simpson, is part of a show titled “Fantasy Realism and Beyond,” which he describes as “dreamlike digital media images of fantasy, beauty, darkness, and humor” at The New Zone Gallery)

Posted by Anne-Allegra Bennett

Summer activities are in full swing, and downtown Eugene’s First Friday ArtWalk on July 6 will keep things hopping with a full schedule of entertainment and art on display. The official guided tour is guest-hosted by Voice talent and podcaster M. Clare Feighan, who currently produces videos and podcasts featuring conversations with women in the “Simple Clarity” series. Feighan has been a member of the Oregon Country Fair’s Bill Wooten Endowment Committee for more than 20 years, funding grants in the Fern Ridge School District.

The first stop on July’s First Friday ArtWalk in downtown Eugene is at the 5th Street Public Market, where husband-and-wife artists Paul Yost and Jennah Litecky Yost create their art under the name FireSmith Copper

The always free guided tour begins at 5:30 p.m. at the 5th Street Public Market and ends at 8:00 p.m. at Oregon Contemporary Theatre, with the latest performance of Instaballet, in which members of the Eugene Ballet Company collaborate with the audience to create an all-new dance work.

And don’t miss the free “Power of Tower” concert in nearby Kesey Square from 5:30-7:30 p.m., funded by City of Eugene Cultural Services. Power of Tower consists of a five-piece horn section, three lead vocalists, and a rhythm section. Visit lanearts.org for more information.

Official guided tour

Husband-and-wife team, Paul Yost and Jennah Litecky Yost, present “Art, Born of Fire” at 5th Street Public Market (296 East 5th Ave) at 5:30 p.m. to kick off the tour. Working under the company name FireSmith Copper, they use the purest copper manipulated to enhance its elemental characteristics and created with freehand craftsmanship. Their pieces result in works of

Melanie Pearson’s portrait of Austrian painter Egon Shiele —  a protégé of Gustav Klimt — can be seen at the Out on a Limb Gallery in downtown Eugene

art with a solely aesthetic function. Jennah graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Studio Arts, and a minor in Art History. Paul is a carpenter who puts his skill to use in historic restoration of Oregon’s cherished timber frame covered bridges. Together, with the help of family, they began FireSmith Copper.

The tour makes its way next to Out On a Limb Gallery (191 East Broadway) at 6:00 p.m., where portraits by Melanie Pearson are showcased. “My creative spirit is fueled by color. . . The possibilities and combinations are beautiful and infinite. Colors speaks to me and I enjoy working colors through different mediums, often within the same piece. My palette allows me to express what I cannot say. . . I look to capture a spirit, the soul, a thought, an instance, a moment in time. . . We are given the ability to experience each other’s souls in life and art. I find that fascinating.”

Stopping at InEugene Real Estate (100 East Broadway) at 6:30 p.m., tourgoers will see “Melancholia,” featuring the

perspectives of female artists Kum-ja Lee, M.V. Moran, Rhonda Vanover, and Amanda Martin

Wilcox. Each artist approaches the subject of melancholy in different ways, turning the emotion into a visual narrative that not only addresses sadness and grief, but can proceed onward to reconciliation. All four women earned their MFAs from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon.

Four artists explore “melancholy” in a show at InEugene Real Estate; M.V. Moran’s “And, Peace Dwelt There” is above, and to the right is Amanda Martin Wilcox’s “Afternoon Sail”







At 7:00 p.m. the tour makes its way to Product of Eugene and Mozilla Gigabit Showcase (942 Olive St). Middle- and high-school students from Lane County have been working with professional product designers, developing new and innovative products ranging from compact travel bags to items made entirely from recycled plastics. See their work, meet the student designers, and learn about their creative process. A separate display includes the digital stories created by students in Eugene and Junction City. Teaching artist Olive DelSol will be present to share her experience ,working with students to bring their stories to the digital screen.

The last stop of the tour at 7:30 p.m. features #instaballet at Oregon Contemporary Theatre (194 West Broadway). #instaballet is the creative idea of former Eugene Ballet dancers, Suzanne Haag and Antonio Anacan. They started #instaballet as a social experiment in 2013 to create a more intimate way of viewing ballet. Instead of a polished performance, they created a model using music, professional dancers, a theme, and audience participation to create a ballet in real-time with crowd-sourced ideas from those attending the ArtWalk. Each #instaballet show is completely unique based on the audience in attendance. This is the 26th ArtWalk #instaballet, featuring current company members Vivien Farrell, Reed Souther, and Erin Johnson. The audience may offer suggestions to help finish the piece, and no dance experience is necessary. Co-founder Antonio Anacan will help facilitate. The final choreographed ballet will be performed at 8:00 p.m. Visit instaballet.org for more information.

More arts and culture

As usual, many other galleries, shops, and eateries with their own arts exhibits also will be open during the ArtWalk from 5:30-8:00 p.m, including:

  • Alexi Era Gallery & Projects (1712 Willamette St, Suite 100) Exhibit focusing on the importance of plants and animals in an artist’s vision, while exploring the fragile yet powerful aspects of nature; through July 28.
  • Broadway Commerce Center (44 W Broadway) Drawings by Oahlani Cox.

    Art by Oahlani Cox is shown at the Broadway Commerce Center

  • Cowfish (62 W Broadway) Collage and paintings by artists Justin Turner and Tess Bergin.
  • ECO Sleep Solutions and Gallery (25 E 8th Ave) — Felted wool home décor and apparel by Tylar Merrill; clay tile collages by Annie Heron; hand-painted wood pieces and hand-painted silk apparel by Lybi Thomas; wood sculptures and stone carvings by Cedar Caredio; and Luminessence light sculptures by Stephen White.
  • Epic Seconds (30 E 11th Ave) “Film’s First Funk,” classic Blaxploitation film posters from the collection of Andre Sirois.
  • Eugene Public Library (100 W 10th Ave) Paintings by students of artist Shelley Roenspie. Cascade Chorus sings four-part harmonies in classic barbershop style at 6:00 p.m.
  • Euphoria Chocolate Company (946 Willamette St) Work by local abstract expressionist B. Rothweiler featuring bold, colorful paintings and unapologetic, emotional subjects.
  • Goldworks Jewelry Art Studio (169 E Broadway) Original jewelry by Goldworks staff.
  • Karin Clarke Gallery (760 Willamette St) “Karin Clarke: Small Oils from Italy,” featuring 20 new, small plein air oil paintings by the gallery’s owner, from trips to Europe in May 2017 and May 2018; on view through July 21st.
  • The Lincoln Gallery (309 W 4th Ave) “Summer Showcase Exhibition,” artwork from participants in the Open Art Studio, clay, comics and zines, fiber arts circle, and watercolor classes, including several recent mentorships featuring ceramics, video, and sculpture.
  • LovaKava Kava And Kombucha Bar Bohemian Vegan Restaurant (120 W Broadway) — Colorful and “creepy” works to help viewers laugh at their fears, by Eugene-based artist Kelly McDermott.
  • MAVEN (271 W 8th Ave) — Art by Randy Jones, known as JonezyArtwork, a mix of cartoon and urban. Also French Cookie tastings and DJ Music by Rontron.
  • MODERN (207 E 5th Ave) “Bright Places,” semi-abstract paintings by Karin Taube de Baun.
  • Mosaic Fair Trade Collection (28 E Broadway) Handmade chimes and planters from around the world, and fair trade wine tasting.
  • The Northwest Hat Co (870 Pearl St) — Watercolors by Emerald Art Center member Don Tucker.
  • The New Zone Gallery (220 W 8th Ave) “Fantasy Realism and Beyond,” dreamlike digital media images of fantasy, beauty, darkness, and humor by ALTKUNST (Rick Simpson), as well as a show by Hans d’Hollosy in the Klausmeier Room. Music by Chico Schwall on guitar.
  • Oregon Art Supply (1020 Pearl St) “Head in the Clouds: Feet on the Earth,” recent plein air paintings by Sally Schwader. Open until 7:00 p.m.
  • Passionflower Design (128 E Broadway) — Sale on house favorite clothing line Johnny Was, showcasing true bohemian spirit with artisan inspired stitching, vibrant colors and

    Robert Canaga’s brightly colored oil and wax paintings are part of a show at Vistra Framing and Gallery

    pattern. Open until 7:00 p.m.

  • Raven Frame Works (325 W 4th Ave) —  Show of paintings, pastels, bronzes, and engraved acrylics — often of plants and animals — by local award-winning artist Dan Chen.
  • Starlight Lounge (830 Olive St) — “Time Shift,” pen, acrylic and acrylic pen artwork byNikolaj Byrdman.
  • Townshend’s Teahouse (41 W Broadway) Uyen-Thi Nguyen’s figure drawing and portraits, mostly in oils.
  • Vistra Framing & Gallery (411 W 4th Ave) — “Dreamscapes,” ethereal landscape images using acrylic and paper on canvas, board, and blocks by Patricia Carroll; and “Run of Color,” oil and wax abstract paintings by Robert Canaga.
  • White Lotus Gallery (767 Willamette St) — “Transcribing the Human Form: New Works by Yuji Hiratsuka,” through August 11th.

Additional special (and free) events

  • Artist Alley (Kesey Square) – Check out the marketplace atmosphere where local artists showcase their original artwork in a variety of mediums.
  • The Human Library (Townshend’s Teahouse, 41 West Broadway) Stop by from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and check out a “book” for a 10-15 minute conversation as part of The Human Library. The “books” are undergraduate students from all over Europe who are in Eugene to study environmental issues. The Human Library™ is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. SUSI on Environmental Issues is a US Department of State program administered by FHI360 and the American English Institute. Information online at humanlibrary.org
  • Power of Tower Concert (Kesey Square) Power of Tower is Eugene’s new Tower of Power tribute band celebrating East Bay funk from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This collaboration draws from some of the Pacific Northwest’s heaviest funk musicians with a five-piece horn section, three lead vocalists, and super groovin’ and funkifizin’ rhythm section. The show opens with a tribute to The Meters. 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • No Shame Eugene (99 West 10th Ave) The doors open at 7:30 p.m. with live music. The show begins at 8:00 p.m., and consists of the first 15 original, five-minute acts that sign up with the host, including monologues, sketch comedy, and the experimental. Come as a performer, but there’s no shame in just watching!

July’s ArtWalk Sponsor: Oregon Country Fair, oregoncountryfair.org

Downtown Eugene’s First Friday ArtWalk is a program of the Lane Arts Council, lanearts.org/

Yuji Hiratsuka’s Breakfast-in-Bed, a creation of intaglio and chine colle, is part of a show of the artist’s work on display now at the White Lotus Gallery