Artistic opportunities

Local galleries offer everything from cars to hypothetical landscapes

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A visitor peruses artwork at the Second Story Gallery, which is now accepting applications for 2018 artists. The gallery is located above the Camas Public Library. (Contributed photo/Courtesy of Second Story Gallery)

The long, lazy days and warm nights of July are an ideal time to get out and visit art galleries. From the Second Story Gallery at the Camas Public Library, to the Attic Gallery, opportunities abound to view local artwork.

Here’s a look at some of the offerings:

Attic Gallery
421 N.E. Cedar St. Camas

The Attic Gallery hosted its first-ever Locals Only Artists Invitational on Friday, July 7.

It featured the works of Kathy Beckman, Hilarie Couture, Heidi Jo Curley, Chris Fackler-Lowery, Ann Fleming, Tommer Gonser, Laura Bray and Liz Pike, amongst others. The artists hosted a live demonstration during First Friday at the gallery.

“This was our first (Local Only), and we plan to keep it going with a second show next year,” said Maria Jonser, gallery co-owner. “We have submissions from local artists throughout the year, but just don’t have the capacity to take on so many new artists…most of our artists are regional, so this was a nice way to have really local artists from Camas, Washougal and Vancouver.”

Anna Norris was outside, doing oil paintings and her husband, Tom Norris was throwing pottery.

Second Story Gallery seeks artists for 2018 shows

Second Story Gallery in Camas is seeking artists interested in exhibiting throughout 2018. The deadline for applications is 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 8.

For more than a decade, the gallery has presented monthly exhibits of not only paintings but pottery, weaving, woodworking, collage, cut-paper silhouettes, photography and handmade books. It is known for promoting regional, often undiscovered artists. The high-traffic exhibit space, inside the Camas Public Library, boasts a professional hanging system and the same directional lighting found in some of the world's most famous art museums.

Second Story Gallery participates in the First Friday activities sponsored by the Downtown Camas Association. Gallery volunteers work with the featured artist or artists to unveil monthly shows with a reception that is free and open to the public. Live music has become a component of each First Friday event.

The gallery is then open to the public during regular library hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The gallery's board of governors will review applications from artists this fall with the goal of filling openings from February 2018 through January 2019. The selection process should be completed and applicants notified by the end of this year.

Only artists who have not exhibited at Second Story Gallery for at least two years will be considered for the upcoming schedule. Gallery Guidelines also state that work must be original and not based directly on any preprinted art from other sources.

To review the guidelines and obtain the application form, artists should visit the administrative office at the library at 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., or download the documents from the gallery's website,

Local politician Liz Pike of Camas did a live demo, too.

Maria noted that it was the gallery’s best First Friday since its ribbon-cutting in early 2016.

“We had crowds around (the live demo artists),” she said. “It was a good, steady stream of people all night long. I think it helped that they blocked off Cedar Street.”

Art will be on display through the end of the month.

Boomerang Fine Arts
808 Main Street, Vancouver

Boomerang Fine Arts is hosting “Cars, Cars, Cars,” in recognition of the popular “Cruisin’ the Gut”, which according to news sources, appears to be in jeopardy.

“In honor of the always popular event, Boomerang fine arts has chosen to proceed with the exhibition,” noted spokesperson and artist Tom Relth.

The gallery will display works from local artists who focus on vehicles as their subject matter. Featured works of Barbara Van Nostren and Russell Cupp will be on display, among other local artists.

“It is unfortunate that the matter of ‘Cruisin’ the Gut’ remains unsettled as of the time of this release,” Relth said. “We have been looking forward to doing this exhibition since last year and have decided to display the car-related artworks and hope for the best.”

The art exhibit continues through Friday, July 28.

Camas Gallery
408 N.E. Fourth Ave. Camas

Rob Blackaby is Camas Gallery’s featured artist for the month of July. He is a multi-disciplinary fine artist. His work of “semi-impressionistic paintings,” are inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, particularly Central Washington. The Lake Chelan area provides much of the inspiration into his subject matter, according to

Landscapes and “found still life” themes dominate his work.

His paintings will be on display through July.

Second Story Gallery
625 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas

Tom Relth is the Second Story Gallery’s featured artist through July 29.

Relth is a Vancouver painter who combines abstract brush strokes with actual representations from nature. His “hypothetical landscapes,” have been described as often oversized and boldy colored.

“I attempt to capture an illusion of space within the accompanying foreground,” he said. This includes painting natural elements that he refers to as “clues.”

“Here, there are no actual tress, leaves or rocks…there is no trail,” Relth explains. “Yet within these colors there is a place to go.”