March First Friday

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Our favorite time of the month is upon us. This month we are showing Oregon artist, Mike Rangner is his exhibit, “From the Wild”. This exhibit is showing through April 30, but First Friday will be your opportunity to meet Mike and learn more about his paintings.

SONY DSCOregon native, Mike Rangner enjoyed a successful career as a professional illustrator in the Portland area for more than 20 years. His professional portfolio includes a diverse client list including Avia, Standard Insurance, Nike, and the Oregon Zoo. He illustrated the children’s book “The Seed and The Giant Saguaro” which was recognized by then Arizona’s Governor, Janet Napolitano.

Mike currently lives in the Willamette Valley which has allowed him to pursue his love of plein air and studio painting by capturing the vast and diverse Oregon landscape. His diverse body of work includes landscapes across the Pacific Northwest including the Columbia River Gorge, Eastern Oregon, Coastal scenery and the rich farmlands of the Mid-Willamette Valley. Mike’s image shown here is titled A Coastal View.

We have new art by Gallery favorite, Brad Lorang. Brad creates metal wall sculptures of iconic sites in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Come in and see Multnomah Falls and Mt. Hood in a whole new way.

We will also be showing finished bronzes by students from our first sculpting class. The students will be at First Friday to share their experience and their work. The final sculptures are amazing and might inspire you to sign up, too. More information on our March class can be found here.

Rip’s sculpture of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz is in progress and on display. Rip will be finishing this part of the monument shortly andDSC02458 sending it off to Firebird Bronze for casting. Take advantage of this opportunity to see history in the making before the Admiral leaves the building! The monument is scheduled to be installed this summer at the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii.

Not to be missed in the Gallery is Ali Peret Custom Designs. Ali can help you select the perfect piece of jewelry or design something truly unique and special.

If you love artisan jewelry, Katie Hovis of Whimsy will be here with her beautiful line of unique wire wrapped jewelry.

unoaked_chard_with_medal-166x146Local baritone guitarist, Ron Hughes will entertain. Phelps Creek Vineyard will offer FREE wine tasting.

Make sure to start your weekend off with us! Festivities start at 5 PM and most Troutdale merchants participate. Troutdale has great shops, restaurants, and plenty of parking.


Making tax season more palatable

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Do you revel in the prospect of starting the New Year only to have your renewed optimism quickly dashed at the thought of tax time? Yes, it’s tax time and you may not realize it but investing in art and donating could be the perfect vehicle for your long term investing strategy. If you were unable to invest in 2012, make art investing in 2013 your goal.

Stock-MarketIf you think you’re not in the art investing “league” you might want to reconsider. Some statistics from Artprice: “some 70% of artwork sold at auction between January 2008 and June 2009 was priced at $5000 or less. During that same period affordable art in this price range gained 60% in value, while higher end pieces gained a staggering 150%.” Keep in mind, this was at the height of the financial downturn. Of course the art market, like any other commodity is driven by a variety of unpredictable factors, so do your homework. Read, research, follow auctions, consult with auction houses and experts, and be sure to authenticate any piece of art you intend to acquire as an investment.

If you would rather invest in art in a less risky way, art funds may be for you. According to Minyanville.com, in 2010 art funds out performed the S & P 500, translating into compound annual returns of 4.8 – 3.5 %.  Since 2008, 11 of the 20 highest prices ever paid at auction have occurred. Phillip Hoffman, Founder of the Fine Art Fund Group advises to allocate no more than 5% of your portfolio in art. The cons: art funds can have very high investment minimums. If you not still not sure you can or should invest in art, read our blog article, Two unlikely art collectors. You’ll learn how Herb Vogel, a US postal worker and his wife, Dorothy, amassed  thousands of pieces of art during their lifetime and donated their acquisitions prior to Herb’s death.

You can also enjoy financial gains from you art investments by donating to charitable organizations. Thanks to the 1995 Tax Act, fine art that you have owned for at least a year and donated to a charitable organization, may be claimed as a deduction at its appreciated value. Prior to 1995, charitable donations of fine art could only be deducted at the original purchase price. A word of caution: be sure to do your due diligence and confirm the receiving organization plans to hold on to the art for a minimum of two years. If the organization plans to profit from the sale of your donation prior to two years, you will only be allowed to claim the original purchase price. As with all tax situations, there are many individual factors that will dictate your tax liability, so be sure to consult a tax professional.

If you love art and would like to explore its investment potential, become familiar with the trends and study the market. With any luck you can enjoy the best of all worlds. Editorial advice—research, be smart, don’t invest your nest egg, but buy the best you can afford.  Most art investment advisors recommend purchasing art as a long term goal rather than a short term investment. As with all investments, remember there are no guarantees. With that in mind be sure to invest art pieces you love, since you may live with it longer than planned.

For some tips on buying art, see our blog article, I’d love to buy that piece, but…

Other resources courtesy of Minyanville.com:

Artnet: This website offers investors the chance to bid on and purchase various works of art from artists all over the world.
Artprice: A leading resource for art market information from all over the world, this site also offers investors the opportunity to hop in on various auctions and get their feet wet in the industry.
MeiMoses: This site focuses heavily on the financial side of things, as it even has its own art index which it pits against major financial benchmarks to compare historical performance.
Christie’s: Featuring live auctions all over the world, investors will be able to find art of all kinds on this massive site.
Sotheby’s: Another site in the same vein as “Christie’s” that will be good for various investment types from all over the world.

References: NY Times, May 3, 2012; CNBC.com, October 8, 2010; Minyanville.com

March sculpting class with Rip Caswell

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Introduction to Sculpture 101 at Caswell Gallery and Firebird Bronze
Rip Caswell is offering a unique opportunity for aspiring sculptors to learn about sculpting and lost wax casting with acclaimed sculptor Rip Caswell. You will begin working in Rip’s Studio at Caswell Gallery in Troutdale. Using your own design, Rip will guide you through the sculpting process and you’ll learn about the casting and patina process first hand when you finish your piece with Production Manager, Lonnie Paola at Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring. When you take home your own miniature bronze sculpture, perhaps a heirloom, you might even be inspired to start your own artistic journey.sculpting tools

Week one: Design and sculpt at Caswell Gallery in under the guidance of Rip Caswell.
Monday, 3/4 and Thursday, 3/7, 2013
6:30-8:30 PM

Monday: Bring your idea and start to sculpt. You will create your rough sculpture and refine your piece at home.
Thursday: Rip will critique and help you to refine your piece for the foundry. The class will move to the foundry for an orientation and tour with Lonnie Paola.

_Q0A0653Week two: Gating, burn out and pour at Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.
Monday, 3/11 and Thursday, 3/14, 2013
6:30-8:30 PM

Monday: Foundry and casting expert, Lonnie Paola, will walk you through the entire foundry process. You will then learn how to “gate” your piece and dip your piece in slurry and sand to create the shell.
Thursday: You will watch your piece burned out from the shell and cast. Your piece may be cool enough to come out and be “chipped”. Some will be carried over to next week.

Week 3: Chipping, sandblasting, polish and patina At Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring._Q0A0714
Monday, 3/18 and Thursday, 3/21, 2013
6:30-8:30 PM

Monday: Lonnie will demonstrate chipping and sandblasting. You will sand and polish your piece to get it ready for the patina.
Thursday: You will apply a basic patina to your piece and attach a base (optional). You are now an experienced sculptor! 

Bronze sculpture by Rip CaswellCost: $495 (materials included); optional base is additional $25. To register call Rip Caswell Sculptures at 503-492-2473.

Note: Sculpture design must be original work and no larger than 6″H x 3″W x 3″D

COMING IN APRIL: For those of you who would like to take Sculpting 101, but are unable to come on weeknights, Rip will be offering a 4 day intensive workshop on two consecutive weekends in April. The class will be the same number of hours and cover the same material, but will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 6 & 7, and April 13 & 14. Exact times will be determined. Cost is $495. To register, please call the Gallery.