Ohhhhh nooo, you don’t have the foundry anymore?

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We are proud to have a knowledgeable and curious clientele associated with our gallery. We have countless numbers of visitors returning to see our old foundry and reminiscing about their very memorable tours. Unfortunately, they are mildly disappointed to find out Rip sold the foundry several years ago. But, since there is such a fascination with the process of bronze casting we thought it would be nice to turn you on to some foundries in Oregon that also offer tours. Be sure to contact the foundries first to confirm the hours and other details. Tours may be scheduled, self directed and there may a charge.

To learn a little more about the fascinating work of the foundries, read our post on the lost wax casting process.

Parks Foundry
331 Golf Course Road
Enterprise, OR 97828
Phone: 541-426-4595

Parks Bronze foundry nestled in Wallowa County of Oregon and well established in this artisans community since 1986 as a full service bronze casting and molding foundry in response to fine arts sculptors, art collectors, art enhancement projects, and art appreciation.

Valley Bronze Gallery
18 S Main Street
Joseph, OR 97846

Located in the scenic art community of Joseph, our showroom displays sculptures by many artists whose bronze works are cast nearby at our foundry. The gallery also serves as the initial meeting place for tours of our foundry, which is located approximately 1/2-mile northwest of the gallery on Alder Street, west of Main. Joseph is a community that our artists enjoy visiting during their business trips to the foundry.

The Maiden Foundry
16600 S.E. 362nd
Sandy, OR 97055

The magnificence of this legendary metal has endured the ages, reflecting an Old World value for timeless quality. We are a foundry run by artists and we strive for that same tradition of excellence. We take pride in capturing the essence of the original creative concept.

Hot Lake Springs
66172 Hwy 203
La Grande, OR 97850

Following a short film, you will see a complete hands-on demonstration. After a time for questions and answers you will visit the Hot Lake Springs Bronze Casting Facility. There, you will observe our artisans at work on all stages of the bronze casting process. Allow yourself plenty of time. We would like you to experience bronze from beginning to end. Bring your camera and don’t be afraid to ask questions.


Great Art Museums in the Pacific Northwest

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We have several popular fine art art museums in the region. The Portland Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum are the two best known, but we also can boast about many more, not so well known museums with their own exquisite collections and special exhibits. Below we have linked you up with several so you can learn a little more and perhaps pay a visit. Be sure to share anything great you come across—we would love to hear about your visits.

Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, OR
Oregon Historical Society, Portland, OR
The Burke Museum, Seattle, WA
Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Asian Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Museum of History & Industry, Seattle, WA
Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA
Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, WA
Museum of Northwest Art, La Connor, WA
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane, WA
Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, WA

Universities often have fantastic museums and impressive collections. Next time you’re near one of these campuses, reserve a little extra time and enjoy one of these museum stops. Even better, they’re often free!
Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, OR
Schneider Museum of Art, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Museum of Art, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Several museums have outdoor sculpture gardens that pair breathtaking scenery with awesome art. Take a stroll through one of these parks and enjoy a picnic lunch at the same time.

Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, WA
San Juan Islands Museum of Art & Sculpture Park, Friday Harbor, WA
Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA
Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Many of these museums have free evenings once a month and also are partners with other cultural venues. Be sure to ask about these discount opportunities. If you’re traveling, ask about a AAA discount, which many offer as well.

Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival

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The western US is loaded with rich art communities, many of which are pure vacation worthy. Right now, the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival is about to go into full swing. Well known as a breathtakingly beautiful part of the country, Jackson Hole is also known for its abundance of Western, Native American and wildlife art by some of the country’s most talented artists. Along with art, there will be music, culinary, open studio, and cowboy poetry events at this acclaimed arts festival.

Located a short distance from the entrance to Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole (or just plain ‘Jackson’, as it is often called) is the perfect stop on the way into or out of the park. A little further north is the south entrance of the iconic Yellowstone National Park. Be assured the scenery is magnificent along every mile of this mountain range. There are few places in this country where you can see almost every species of North American wildlife and habitat, and Wyoming is one of them.

Originally called Jackson’s Hole, it is believed the town was named after fur trapper David Jackson in the 1820s. Jackson Hole was part of the Oregon Trail route of Lewis and Clark. Fur trappers hunted beaver in this area starting around 1810. The industry declined after about thirty years and few accounts of life in Jackson Hole were evident until twenty more years. It was around this time that the first homesteaders arrived.

If you’re planning a visit to Jackson Hole, lots of information can be found here. The 2012 Fall Arts Festival will take place September 6-16, 2012. If you’re in the Jackson Hole area, be sure to stop by Grand Teton Gallery. Rip is represented by this fine gallery and will be showing several new pieces. In addition, many of his most poplular pieces available here. Rip will also be on site over the next week or two.

Image by Jackson Hole festival poster artist Amy Ringholz, Dreamers Don’t Sleep”.

Some things you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask…

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…about art, that is. There are tons of art terms out there, many not fully understood by average gallery-goers, like you and me. Have you ever wondered what exactly a giclee is; when you see gouache, do you wonder if they really mean gauche; would you afraid to actually text “AP” not knowing what it really means? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, fear not, we’re here to help!

Abstract: Abstract art rejects the use of identifiable shapes and subjects to tell story or deliver the message. The composition can be stark or busy with masses of color and seemingly non-related shapes or lines. Work can easily disarm the viewer because it typically lacks informative details that we rely on as explanation of the piece. Think Jackson Pollock or Pablo Picasso.

Artist Proof: “Artist Proof” or “AP” refers to the first piece reproduced in an edition that has been inspected and OK’d for reproduction by the artist. There may be more than one artist proof in an edition. This first piece is the standard by which the rest of the edition will be judged and insures the rest of the edition will be exactly alike in quality and details. The artist proof is generally coveted in the edition because the artist has been directly involved in its production and “laid hands” on the process.

Contemporary vs. Modern Art: Modern art generally refers to art that was created from about 1880-1950/60s. Contemporary art refers to art created after that time period and includes any work being created now.

Contour drawing: Drawing or painting where the strokes create an outlined effect of the shape.

Digital enhancement: Most often a question that comes up in reference to photography. Digitally enhanced photographs have been modified from the original with the use of computerized programs. There are definite schools of thought that frown upon the use of computers to alter an original image. Purists would argue the expertise of the photographer at the moment of image capture is in great part what separates the professional artist from the amateur. 

Expressionism: Artwork that uses its medium in a subjective way to evoke, and often provoke, emotion. The artist’s objective is to use the work as a vehicle to express a feeling or emotional experience. Often distortion or exaggeration may be used to exemplify the intent. The work of Vincent Van Gogh and Henri Matisse are good examples.

Encaustic: Encaustic work has gained popularity over the past few years. Encaustic painters use a combination of papers, objects and textures layered between special wax that is melted and painted on to the surface (most often a board of some kind). Excaustic wax is available in a wide palette of colors. The wax is then “hit” with the flame from a blow torch, which serves to smooth out the surface of the wax, or soften the wax to allow for manipulation of its surface to add textures. Encaustic works can be many alternate layers of objects and wax, or just wax. We have many notable encaustic painters in Portland.

Figurative: Generally refers to artwork whose subject is people, but could also be animals. 

Giclee (zhee-clay): Giclees are actually prints of two-dimensional work, in any media. The image is copied and printed using a high-resolution ink jet printer. The image can be printed on almost any surface, but most often we see giclees printed on canvas. A good giclee reproduction will be very close in appearance to the original and often an artist will enhance the effect by painting details directly on to the giclee itself. Artists and collectors like this method of printing because it produces a very high quality print and is a more affordable option for collectors. Giclees may be printed in limited editions, and also increase in value over time. As with all art, giclees require care in where and how they are hung. Be sure to ask when you purchase.   

Gestural: Drawing or painting where the strokes are not defined and suggest looseness and movement.

Gouache (guash-like squash): Gouache is a water based paint that is opaque, as opposed to watercolors which are considered transparent.

Impasto: A method of painting that uses very thick layers of paint, creating a dimensional quality to a surface. Paint is applied thickly using a brush, palette knife or any other tool that would achieve this effect.

Impressionism: Artwork in which the artist paints in such a manner as to suggest the subject. By applying color in isolated strokes, rather than blending and mixing, the shapes and subjects take form when the eye is able to filling the blanks and “see” the object as a whole. Closer examination of an impressionist painting would reveal the lack of any lines to delineate a shape. Famous Impressionists are Claude Monet and Georges Seurat.

Limited Edition: Limited edition art is art that is produced in a limited quantity. The number of pieces produced varies from piece to piece, but is always more than one. Limited edition art is found in all mediums including painting, sculpture, artists’ books, glass, etc. You will sometimes see the word “unique” used in relation to edition size. This tells you only one piece exists, hence the expression “unique”. More often than not, limited editions are signed and numbered. Edition information looks like this: 2/15. This means it is the second one produced out of 15 total in the edition. The gallery might say something like “There are 15 in the edition, and this is number 2.”

Pop(ular) Art: Artwork that depicts popular social references i.e. Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans or Roy Lichtenstein’s comic prints.

Realistic or representational: Artwork that depicts its subject as it is perceived in real life.

Surrealism: Subjects are depicted in environments that might be reminiscent of dreams or even nightmares due to their unbelievable and sometimes grotesque imagery. Salvador Dali is a great example. Check this link for a fascinating film about the preservation of Dali’s work.

Wash: A thin, very liquid layer of color applied to the surface of a canvas or paper. A wash can be applied with oils thinned with distillate; with watercolors or inks diluted with water, or acrylics diluted with water.

Historic Troutdale, a little bit of history

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We love pretty much everything about Troutdale. It has all you could want; beautiful scenery, great restaurants and shops, and just enough of that old-time feel to entice you to sit and take it in. Considered the “Gateway to the Gorge”, Troutdale has a rich history, so we thought it would be interesting to share a little.

The early settlers came in 1850. and although David Buxton is noted as Troutdale’s founder, a Maine sea-captain, John Harlow actually gets the credit for planning the town and putting it on the map. Harlow raised trout on his farm, which he called “Troutdale”, hence the name of the city.  He was also responsible for convincing the railroad to build a depot at the site of his farm so he could ship his produce. Harlow died in 1883, but his widow took on the task of plotting the streets and the city itself came to be. John Harlow’s original house was torn down in the 1920’s and the only remaining structure was the home of his son, built in 1900 on the original site. That building is now the Harlow House Museum.

Aaron Fox, who was Troutdale’s first Mayor, was instrumental in incorporating the City in 1907. Because Troutdale had become a saloon town it was felt incorporation was necessary to maintain some control.

It was also in 1907 that a fire burned most of the buildings, including  the original rail depot. The depot was later replaced by a second and is now the current Rail Museum. It was moved from its original location to its present site in 1979.

In 1914, two years after women got to vote in Oregon, Clara Latourell Larsson become Mayor of Troutdale, becoming one of Oregon’s earliest female mayors. The Columbia River Highway was built and ran through Troutdale in 1916. Enterprising residents opened businesses and restaurants for travelers, but in 1925, a second fire mostly destroyed the district. This fire is believed to have resulted from an explosion of a still in the garage of John Larsson, the former mayor’s husband. The Tiller Hotel and Helming’s Saloon, both built after the first 1907 fire, are two of the pre-1925 buildings left today.

Many industries punctuated Troutdale over the years, including the American Dressed Meat Company, a lumber mill, hotel and distillery. In the 1920’s, Troutdale became famous as the “Celery Capital of the World” due to the prize-winning celery grown here. Other produce was equally as prolific, along with a gladioli bulb industry. For a time in the 1940s there was an aluminum plant, but the emissions resulted in the demise of the gladioli industry and was very detrimental to agriculture as well.

After the completion of Interstate 84 in the ‘50s traffic was diverted away from Troutdale and the city remained fairly quiet until it was rediscovered in the 60s thanks to the efforts of Mayor Glenn Otto, who later became a state senator.

If you would like to learn more about the history of Troutdale, be sure to visit one of the museums. Among the exhibits visitors will find photographs, antique farming tools and other remnants of the city’s heritage. For more information visit the Troutdale Historical Society. To learn more about Troutdale’s history go to www.ci.troutdale.or.us/history.

Today we still enjoy the benefits of what Troutdale’s founders put into motion. On the way to Multnomah Falls, via the Old Columbia River Highway, Troutdale hosts many annual events throughout the year, monthly First Fridays, and is a great stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or to shop antiques and beautiful regional art. If you’d like to experience the saloon tradition, we can offer a martini bar, brewhouse and wine tasting. Need a spa day, we have that, too. We are a quick 15 minute drive from downtown Portland, so plan on spending some time with us—you’ll be glad you did!

Two unlikely art collectors

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Herbert Vogel was born in Manhattan in August, 1922.  A high school dropout, Vogel worked as a garment-worker and was an army veteran. He met his wife Dorothy in 1960 and they were married in 1962. Herbert was a postal worker who worked evenings and never earned more than $23,000 in any given year. Dorothy was a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. They lived very modestly, did not own a car, and cared for eight cats and twenty exotic turtles. For 50 years they lived in New York City in a one bedroom, rent controlled apartment. What makes Dorothy and Herbert Vogel’s story unique? I’m glad you asked!

In 1990, Herbert and Dorothy decided to do what many couples their age do—downsize and weed out. Since they had no children The National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C. was the lucky benefactor of some of the art they had collected over the years. What could two elderly civil servants possibly have that would be of interest to the National Gallery? You’ll be glad you asked!

The couple started slowly collecting art shortly after they were married, buying on credit and paying in installments. Their arrangement was simple—they would use Herbert’s salary, and eventual pension, to buy art, and use Dorothy’s for the day to day expenses. Again you must be asking why this story is unique. You see, with this elementary plan, Herb and Dorothy art collection eventually grew to almost 5000 pieces by some of the most renowned (now) modern artists of our time. Buying only pieces they liked, their first piece was a small crushed-metal sculpture by John Chamberlain. According to the Vogel’s, they had three rules for acquiring art: “It had to be inexpensive; it had to be small enough to be carried on the subway or in a taxi; and it had to fit inside their one-bedroom apartment.”

John Chamberlain sculpture circa 1959

The Vogel’s were able to make the most of their developing relationships with these emerging artists many of whom were anxious to have their work become part of this burgeoning collection. Often they bartered or were offered considerable discounts, which allowed Herb and Dorothy to be on the cutting edge of the minimal and conceptual art movement, for which they had a particular affinity. This process often caused more than a few ill feelings with art dealers who felt this practice cheated the established system of art acquisition.Among their purchases were early works by Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Christo, Lynda Benglis, Richard Tuttle, Donald Judd, and Dan Graham. In more recent years they collected works by Andy Goldsworthy, James Siena and Pat Steir, among others. They were not only considered important collectors, but also a refreshing presence in the affluent and exclusive art market of New York. They became part of this art scene thanks in part to Herbert’s attendance at as many as art lectures as he could, and his becoming a regular at the Cedar Bar in Greenwich Village which was famous hangout, frequented by such artists as Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and David Smith. Herbert once reminisced, “I was nothing—a postal clerk, but I respected the artists, and they sort of respected me. They would talk until 3, 4 in the morning, and I would be one of the people who just listened. I just remember it very vividly. I never even asked a question.”

Their apartment was so jammed with drawings, paintings and sculpture; they had to traverse the stacks, choosing art over excess furniture. Their closets were bulging. The Vogel’s never sold anybof their art in the secondary market, preferring their collection be available to all, for free, which is why they chose the National Gallery as their benefactor. In 1992, the Vogel’s worked with then Director, J. Carter Brown to start the process of bequeathing their collection The National Gallery. Logistically this was quite an undertaking both on paper as well as physically—five full-size moving vans were needed to move the art. Brown has referred to their collection “a work of art in itself.”

The Vogel collection is considered a 50 year timeline of the minimal (all unneccesary details are omitted) and conceptual (the idea or concept is what’s important) art movement and a snapshot of sorts of European and American artists since 1960. In 1992 Herbert commented that he and his wife could easily have become millionaires. “But we weren’t concerned about that aspect,” he said. Herbert and Dorothy are a testament to the idea that you don’t have to be wealthy to collect art. Dorothy once said “You can buy art; you don’t have to be rich. You can enrich your life.”

Due to declining health, Herbert had been unable to live in his apartment for several years. Sadly, Herbert Vogel died a few weeks ago of natural causes. Dorothy remains in their apartment among the newest works they began collecting after donating so many to the National Gallery.

Parts of the Vogel Collection travel throughout the US, including the Portland Art Museum in 1998. Thanks to a program the Vogel’s and The National Gallery instituted called The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, 2,500 works from the collection will be distributed to all 50 states, with fifty works going to a selected art institution in each.

To learn more about Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, watch this PBS Independent Lens episode or read this article.

Now go out there and buy some art!

First Friday at the Gallery

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We are looking forward to our new exhibit and First Friday events. Come to Troutdale and spend your Friday evening with us. You’ll be able to meet Gayle, enjoy the entertainment and sip a little wine. Troutdale has plenty of parking and most of the businesses always participate. Fun, fun, fun–for the whole family. Be sure to bring you camera and take a picture posing on the moose!

Gayle Weisfield, 
No Reservations
Award winning artist, Gayle Weisfield, is a favorite among gallery goers for her beautiful paintings of some of the most dramatic locations in the western US. She will be exhibiting her “barn series” in this exhibit. along with a few colorful figurative and landscape pieces depicting everyday scenes. Gayle works primarily with transparent watercolor in a style she describes as “conceptual realism.” Her subjects range from the natural scenery of the Columbia River Gorge, in which she lives, to the architectural beauty found in Thailand, Rome, and beyond.

Greg Ash
, Interior Design  
Have you wanted to start buying art but don’t know where you’d put it? Or, maybe you already have pieces, but can’t decide where they would look the best? Well, you’re in luck because Greg Ash will be available throughout the evening to answer any questions you might have about selecting the right art and how best to display it. Be sure to take advantage of having an established decorator, willing to offer suggestions and advice—for free!

Phelps Creek, Free Wine Tasting
Our complimentary wine tasting this month is courtesy of Phelps Creek Vineyards of Hood River. You may have sampled some of their wines at their former tasting room here in Troutdale. Enjoy what’s new from the vineyard and maybe purchase a bottle or two for those afternoon sunsets on the deck!

Crystal Lariza, Songwriter and Vocalist
We will keep you entertained with long time Gallery favorite, Crystal Lariza.

Also in the Gallery, Ali Peret Designs and Whimsy 
Look, touch, try on the custom fine jewelry by Ali Peret and the fine wire and gemstone work by Katie Hovis of the Whimsy line. Those of you who are familiar with these two and their artistry will enjoy learning and seeing what is new in the case.

Follow our blog!
As you can see we have launched the Caswell Gallery blog. We are blogging about all kinds of things, so take a look and sign on while you’re here. If you have any topic suggestions or subjects you would like to know about, let us know, it could be our next blog post.