Mission: To nurture artistic expression and to serve the creative life of our community.
Linn-Benton Arts Council

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Corvallis Arts Center

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Reader's Theatre
     In the early days of the Corvallis Arts Center, Reader's Theatre was a key, ongoing program. In January of 2002, we brought Reader's Theatre back to our stage. For those new to this art form, it features rehearsed readings, often organized around a specific theme. The creative and organizing committee for our Reader's Theatre is comprised of well known actors/directors Joe Malango, Jean Heath, and Jean Bonifas--or as we affectionately call them, "The 3 J's." Opportunities are ongoing for readers, directors, people to read and select material for the performances, and other volunteers. If you are interested in helping with our Reader's Theatre productions, please call Joe Malango at (541) 753-2904 or email him at malango@cmug.com or call Jean Bonifas at (541) 752-1399 or jeanbonifas@proaxis.com
Pacific Northwest Writers Series
    The Corvallis Arts Center co-sponsors, with Grass Roots Bookstore, a series presenting outstanding Pacific Northwest writers. Grass Roots Bookstore selects the participating writers who will read from their work in the Main Gallery of the Corvallis Arts Center. Audiences will have an opportunity to ask questions and chat with the writers; book signings will follow the readings. For more information about this series, check the Grass Roots website (http://www.grassrootsbookstore.com) and our Corvallis Arts Center calendar.
Public Art

   Public art, defined as sculpture, murals and reliefs accessible to the general public, is well supported in Corvallis. The Corvallis Arts Center has a dynamic partnership with both the Corvallis Parks & Recreation Department of the City of Corvallis and the Madison Avenue Task Force (MATF) to secure and place public art.
     An example of this partnership is the mural on 3rd Street designed in the summer of 1996 for the Environmental Center by Dale Draeger and involved participation by the Youth Corp with funding by the Corvallis Arts Center. The mural shows a typical Northwest landscape with children at play. The mural was specifically designed to accommodate the technical skills of the high school students.
    The late nineties were very productive for public art funded by the Corvallis Arts Center, specifically 1996. An example of our MATF partnership is the Alley Art Surprises. The Madison Avenue Task Force started the program Alley Art Surprises, which the Corvallis Arts Center adopted and continues until this day:

  •    In the spring of 1996 the Blackberry Picker by Steve Gardner was realized. The piece is located on the east side of the Leading Floral Building, in the alley near 5th Street and Madison. Steve Gardner is a Corvallis native, and was a student under ceramics teacher Dennis Staats. He is now in Seattle and successfully pursues a career as a ceramist in sculptural work, both for indoor and outdoor purposes.
  •    In the fall of 1996 Heitho Bokides Reuter installed the ceramics relief on the Madison Plaza Building. It is the abstract image of The Shopper. Reuter incorporated found materials and specifically coins from different countries. The main material is a colored concrete; the ceramic shards are part of her work in majolica tiles. Heitho Bokides Reuter lives in Lebanon and works as a ceramist.
  •    Sean McGinty, a sculptor and jeweler from Corvallis, was chosen from a competition to create a windvane on the gazebo in Central Park. The wind vane is designed as a circle with a cut out of the historic lanterns used in downtown Corvallis. McGinty is known for sculpture in which he combines different woods and metals. His imagery deals with folktales from the Northwest, but occasionally include silver astronauts.
  •    In December of 1999 Tim Foley from Corvallis unveiled "Ascending", a bronze tree frog, in a ceremony that included a young princess kissing the frog (which remained a frog). It was Foley's first large scale sculpture. The frog is located on the Lucidine Building, in the alley between First and Second Street, close to Madison.
  •    When the City Hall entrance steps were renewed and redesigned in 1998, an area for art was incorporated as an integral part of the steps, including a fountain. Devin Lawrence Field from Portland designed the overview of a stream with some salmon swimming in it. Field is a sculpture who works in metal, stone and cast concrete. His work will be represented in the Riverfront Commemorative Park.

    Hester Coucke, Curator for the Corvallis Arts Center, serves the City as staff for the Public Art Selection Commission. All art that is proposed for public spaces, and/or becomes City property, either by donation to the City or by City funding, needs to be evaluated by this Commission. Private pieces for private buildings that will be privately maintained fall outside the jurisdiction of this Commission.

Visual Arts Committee - da Vinci Days

    The partnership between da Vinci Days and the Corvallis Arts Center goes back to the founding days of this unique 3-day festival. The Corvallis Arts Center helped the festival get its start and since then, has served as the Visual Arts Committee for the festival, coordinating the annual Community Art Project, housing the main visual arts exhibition at the Corvallis Arts Center, creating unique art installations in different sites of the festival, and in general, giving ideas for the overall visual look of the festival.

For information regarding visual arts programming for the festival contact ArtCentric at (541) 754-1551.

For specific festival information, contact the da Vinci day office (541) 757-6363 or http://www.davinci-days.org/.

ARTrageous Adventures
     ARTrageous Adventures is a dynamic and enriching arts travel program offered as part of the arts education outreach of the Oregon State University Craft Center and The Corvallis Arts Center. Each ARTrageous Adventure is designed to provide unique and spirited opportunities for artists and audiences to connect through a diverse palette of artistic experiences, cultural exchange and behind-the-scenes access with the creators.
     Since 1994, from Mexico to Spain, hundreds of enthusiastic travelers have hopped on the ARTrageous bus, train, boat and plane for colorful, inspirational and always artistic adventures.
     Created and led by art educator and ARTrageous Director Barbara Sobo Gast and other arts professionals, ARTrageous is deeply committed to arts education and advocacy and well reputed for its ARTrageous edge, innovative programming and insider's access.
     For more information or to receive ARTrageous trip mailings and arts flashes, please contact Barbara Sobo Gast, ARTrageous director at (541) 456-4331 or by e-mail: bgast@cyberline.com. ARTrageous Adventures welcomes you!
The Docent Program
      The Docent Program began in January of 1990 and is an important part of ArtCentric's educational outreach programs. Docent comes from the Latin word "docere," meaning to teach. And that's what the Corvallis Arts Center Docents do. Their goal is to gain knowledge of the arts and to be informed about current exhibitions at the Corvallis Arts Center - they then share that knowledge with others. A dedicated group of volunteers, the tours they offer are primarily aimed at students from elementary through high school age, but any other group is welcome to request a tour. The tours are offered free of charge.
     Recently the Docents started a new service for schools. They will bring the current exhibit to the classroom, by bringing two or three pieces of the present exhibit and giving a fifteen to twenty minute presentation. Docents can also give suggestions of hands-on activities as a follow-up classroom activity.
     To schedule a tour, please call Judy Rudolph two weeks in advance at (541) 757-8510. To select an exhibit you want to tour, please check our annual roster or call our Curator, Hester Coucke at (541) 754-1551.

If you are interested in become a docent, you must meet these requirements:

  • You need an appreciation of art, a desire to increase your knowledge of the arts - and a desire to pass that knowledge on to others. Each exhibit at the Corvallis Arts Center opens with a reception and an informative talk. Docents are required to attend these talks as much as possible. The Gallery Talks are done often by the artists, Hester Coucke, our curator gives a reprise of the talk in the Docent business meeting. In addition, Docents are encouraged to add to their knowledge by attending other exhibitions, visiting artist's studios, taking classes when appropriate, and by their own readings.
  • Docents need to be willing to give tours at the Arts Center and/or go out to the schools to give presentations on current exhibitions. New docents are encouraged to be an "observer" on CAC-tours before giving one themselves.
  • Docents are required to be Corvallis Arts Center members; in addition, they pay a $10 docent membership fee annually.
  • Docents meet the third Wednesday of the month at 10:15 a.m. at the Corvallis Arts Center. They do not meet in July/August or November/December months

This fall, Corvallis celebrates "Lit City," a book festival showcasing the literary riches of the community and OSU. "We have gifted writers who live and work here, acclaimed literary presses, superb libraries and bookstores, a new MFA Writing Program at OSU, and many outstanding literary readings, events, and reviews," said Victoria Fridley, Executive Director of ArtCentric, one of the partners in the Lit City collaboration that includes Oregon State University libraries, bookstore, and English Department, the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, Calyx, and Grass Roots Bookstore.

Lit City kicks off Friday, October 17 with "An Evening with Jane Hamilton." The internationally-best-selling author of A Map of the World and The Book of Ruth, Hamilton will read from her work at the Majestic Theatre, 7:30 p.m., and answer questions from the
audience. Hamilton, who lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin, was awarded the PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel in 1989, for The Book of Ruth, which, along with her second book, A Map of the World,which was later selected for inclusion in "Oprah's Book Club,"sending her book sales into the millions world- wide. Her third novel, The Short History of a Prince, won the Heartland Prize for Fiction in 1998, and was short-listed for Britain's prestigious Orange Prize. The Boston Globe has called it "arguably her best, for it matches its range of emotion with a technical precision both masterful and haunting...Hamilton has eased time and memory throughout her novel with the expert abandon of a dancer in full pirouette." Her latest novel, Disobedience, tells the story of a teenaged boy who discovers, by reading his mother's email, that she is having an affair. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Hamilton has again charted a new and risky course for fiction...She is a novelist of surpassing gifts, wit, and wisdom about the human condition as it persists through challenging times." Information about other
Corvallis literary groups and events will be available during the festival and on the public library's literary website.

On Saturday morning, October 18, at various locations in Corvallis, Hamilton, along with award-winning creative writing faculty from OSU and local children's authors, will conduct writing workshops in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction.

Other Lit City events include a Saturday afternoon film screening of Hamilton's A Map of the World starring Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore, and a 7:30 p.m. Calyx Books Reading and Reception at the Corvallis Art Center, honoring the nationally-acclaimed publisher of women's writing based in Corvallis, now in its 26th year.

For more information on the Lit City events, or to register for one of the Workshops for Writers, please call ArtCentric at (541) 754-1551.

Lit City is sponsored by the OSU Libraries, the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, ArtCentric, the OSU College of Liberal Arts, the University Honors College, the OSU Department of English, Grass Roots Books and Music, and the OSU Bookstore.

Lit City's FREE Writing Workshops for teens and children:

This year, as part of Lit City, Corvallis' first book festival, two published authors will be offering writing workshops for children (2nd - 5th grade) and teens (6th through 12th grade). Please encourage your student writers to pre-register at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library for these workshops on October 18. Space is limited to 12 students in each workshop. Registrations will also be accepted the day of the event. Both of our presenters are published authors and enthusiastic, experienced teachers of writing-in-the-schools. A great opportunity!

Saturday, October 18, 10-11:30 a.m.
Main Meeting Room, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. Writing Workshop for kids from 2nd to 5th grade with Jessica Lamb, poet and teacher.

Saturday, October 18, 10-12 a.m.
Board Room, lower level, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library
Writing Workshop for middle and high school students with author Tom Birdseye

About the authors/instructors:
Jessica Lamb teaches with Portland's Community of Writers, Oregon Arts-in-Education programs, and the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis and Clark College. Her work has appeared in many journals, including The Southern Review, Willow Springs, and Open Spaces.

Tom Birdseye, author of several books for children and young adults, grew up in North Carolina and Kentucky, an ardent fan of anything that smacked of sports, crawdads, mud balls, forts built in the woods, secret codes,bicycles without fenders, butter pecan ice cream, and snow. He was, however, decidedly uninterested in writing-or any academic aspect of school, for that matter-never imagining that someday he would become a published author. And yet thatis what happened. Life, it seems, is full of who'd-a-thought-its.

Lit City's writing workshops for children and teens are made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.


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