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Sculpture 101–weekend intensive starting in April

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class adCaswell Gallery is offering Rip’s Sculpture 101 class for the artists and novices. Our next class will be a weekend intensive of the 3 week Sculpture 101 class. Rip will cover the same exact material as in the 3 week session. The schedule will be:

Saturday, April 5, 10-1pm at Caswell Gallery in Troutdale, OR. Students will start their sculpture under Rip’s guidance and take their piece home to continue work.

Sunday, April 6, 1-3pm at Firebird Bronze in Boring, OR. Students will finish their sculpture and initiate the start of the casting process.

Saturday, April 12, 10-4pm at Firebird Bronze in Boring, OR. Students will continue with the casting process and finish their bronze on this day. Bring lunch.

Bring your favorite sculpting tools. We will have some tools available for purchase. Clay is included in the cost. Call Caswell Gallery at 503-492-2473 to register. For specific details on what will be covered visit: http://www.firebirdbronze.com/sculpture-101-class-weekend-intensive/

First Friday in March

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2014-02-18 11.16.23Ahhh spring!! We were off in January, snowed out in February, but we’re ready to roll into spring in March.

Come celebrate the onset of Daylight Savings Time and First Friday with fresh, new work by Brenda Boylan, Michael Orwick, Bev Jozwiak, and Bev Curtis. Preview a selection of work by Lillian Pitt for her upcoming show in May. Catch up with Rip, enjoy a little blarney with Kathy (just back from her trip to Ireland), and check on the progress of Chad’s “Helmet Hero” monument. Entertainment by Quincy Blanchette and wine tasting, of course. Festivities start at 5 pm and go through 9pm.

Because we’re so anxious for spring, here’s a little trivia about Daylight Savings Time from timeanddate.com. Did you know:

Not all countries, in the northern hemisphere observe DST, but many do. Records show that the phrases “spring forward and  fall back” have been used as far back as the early 20th century. DST allows more daylight in the evening (which we all love). 

Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784, but the instigation of DST is mainly credited to English builder, William Willett who proposed the Daylight Savings Bill to House of Commons in 1908. It was not until WW I (1916) that it was adopted by several European countries. The US adopted DST in 1918 with the Standard Time Act, which also established the standard time zones as we know them. Most states in the US observe daylight saving time except Arizona (but the Navajo Nation does) and Hawaii.

Image: Autumn’s Wake by Brenda Boylan

Announcing The Pearl Art Auction

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tpaa Logo finalThe people of the Pacific Northwest have waited a long time for a signature art auction and the wait is finally over. The inaugural auction is scheduled for Labor Day, September 1, 2014, and will be held at Urban Studio, a contemporary event venue located in the arts culture hub known as the Pearl District of NW Portland. The event will be held in conjunction with the popular Art in the Pearl Festival, which operates in the Pearl Park Blocks, a short walking distance from Urban Studio.

Rip Caswell saw that the Pacific NW region of the U.S. was missing an art related event of such caliber, and so planning began on The Pearl Art Auction in order to fill that void. Expectations are that the event will draw buyers from the entire western states and that The Pearl Art Auction will become one of the west’s greatest art events. Visit the website for more information on how to register, submit art for consideration, and more!

Fundraising effort for Leonard Dewitt Monument

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Chad Caswell is well on his way to becoming a respected sculptor in his own right. Several months ago Chad was contacted by the City of McMinville as they were laying the groundwork to commission a monument honoring Leonard DeWitt and all the Oregon Army National Guard soldiers who fought in WWII, and “distinguished themselves in battle”, but were never awarded the Medal of Honor.

leonarddewittjpg-58c7fefd5e860fdbAs many of you are aware, Chad has been working on this sculpture for a few months now, but what you might not realize is this sculpture will become a reality only when funding has been achieved. Chad has recently learned that a portion of the funding for this monument has not been realized. We are highlighting this effort on behalf of REAL-Heroes.US and all those “current Oregonians who serve under the same 41st “Sunset” Infantry banner.”

REAL-Heroes.US recognizes those who encompass the best of American ingenuity and coolness under pressure. They are dedicated to “Recognizing Excellence and Leadership” by strengthening our communities through emulating ethical leaders.

We hope you will visit www.real-heroes.us to learn more about Leonard DeWitt, this organization and ways you can help in this endeavor.

Read our blog post to learn more about Leonard and why he is called “The Helmet Hero”.

To learn more about the Congressional Medal of Honor, visit wwwcmohs.org.

How do you value your art collection?

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Should you purchase art with or without regard to its investment potential? That is a very good question. Art advisers would suggest that before you buy any art, you should investigate its provenance — or at least consider it very seriously. An item’s provenance refers to documentation about the piece to include its origin, historical information, previous owners, etc. — anything that establishes the trail back to the artist. Other factors to consider are published reviews about the artist or particular piece, documentation on how much the particular artist’s work typically sells for, who has purchased the work, has it been sold at auction, and if so, the selling price, etc. The assumption being once you’ve gathered this information and can support its value, you may then give yourself the “green light” to make the purchase and have some confidence that it has potential for financial return.

WarholOther advice you might hear from an expert is to determine if the art is deemed “good”. Because art is subjective, it would seem that would be very hard to establish. The work may have received critical acclaim, been well received in the show circuit, and some individual pieces may even stand out above the rest in the artist’s catalog, and the art and artist might be classified as “very collectible”— but does that make it “good”? We would agree, that from an investment perspective, these are serious considerations.

If you’re a first time buyer, you might find these details very confusing, complicated, and maybe even controversial. The truth is that every aspiring and working artist wants their work to be in demand and command as  high a price as possible. But most artists would also say that they want their art to be appreciated and sought after as much for its aesthetic attributes. After all, an artist first picks up a paint brush, kneads a hunk of clay or carves a block of wood for the sheer joy of creating something out of nothing. It cannot be denied that the feeling of having created something with a fingerprint individual only to that artist, doesn’t have a price tag.

And then there another reason to buy art — for its sheer beauty and the pleasure it gives you every time you look at it. Do you get lost in the color, the scene, the texture? Are you in awe on how the piece was executed? Do emotions rise up in you when you see the piece; does it reveal memories like nothing else can? If you answer yes to any of these questions, consider that art purchased based on emotion has as much value as that purchased by algorithm. We would validate the argument that if you intend to see it and live with it every day, you want to select artwork that moves you and delights you every time you encounter it. We would also agree there is satisfaction in knowing if you ever wanted or needed to sell your art, you would realize a return. In the end, whether based on an investment outcome or pure aesthetics, we hope your art collection, first and foremost, brings a smile to your face!

To learn more about how Herb and Dorothy Vogel amassed their very extensive art collection, read our blog “Two unlikely art collectors” . If you want to shop for art because it moves you explore the hundreds of artists websites all very the web.

Of course there’s room for a blend of these approaches. If you would like to learn more about art investing, here are a couple of interesting articles to check out:

The Top-Performing Alternative Investments: Fine Art

Forbes Magazine: Ten Expert Tips For Investing in the Art Market

From $1000 to $15,000,000—read an interesting article on Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans”.

Sculpture 101 class starting in February

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Introduction to Sculpture 101 at Caswell Gallery and Firebird Bronze
Monday and Thursday, February 17-March 6,2014, 6-8 PM
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Rip Caswell is offering a unique opportunity for aspiring sculptor. Rip will coach and critique your creation from molding the clay to adding the patina. You will begin working in Rip’s Studio at Caswell Gallery in Troutdale and finish your piece at Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.

Week 1: Design and sculpt at Caswell Gallery in under the guidance of Rip Caswell.
Monday, February 17 and Thursday, February 20; 6:00-8:00 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.

Week 2: Gating, burn out and pour at Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.
Monday, February 24 and Thursday, February 27; 6:00-8:00 PM

Monday: Our Foundry expert 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. Invite a friend or spouse. We will have a potluck (hot dogs and burgers on us) and watch the bronze pouring.

Week 3: Chipping, sandblasting, polish and patina At Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.
Monday, March 3 and Thursday, March 6; 6:00-8:00 PM

Monday: Our Foundry expert 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 and complete your piece; attach a base (optional). You are now an experienced sculptor!

Cost: $495 (materials included)
If you want a base for your piece there will be an additional charge of $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
First Friday: Students will display their finished pieces on First Friday, April 4

Giving the gift of art

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So Christmas is over — ahhh! Hopefully you were thrilled with all the gifts you received — and gave! If that was not the case, you must be hoping next year will be better.  Of course at Caswell Gallery we believe there is nothing better to give, or receive, than art. Yes, it can be a bit chancy, but here are a few tips to guarantee your gift of art will be perfect for the person lucky enough to be on your “nice” list.

Pink PeonieIf you’re an art lover, you probably try to buy gifts that reflect your appreciation for unique works of art. Because an art purchase will probably be a more expensive item than you are likely to purchase at a big box store, you want to feel you are selecting just the right piece for that special recipient. If you are shopping for a painting, it helps to know which painting your loved one covets. If you have that info, than you have no problem. If you arrive at the gallery and that particular piece is no longer available, be sure to confirm its sale. Ask if they can check with the artists to see if he/she has a similar piece in inventory. If not, consider selecting another painting by the artist, but perhaps go smaller. This way, the painting is likely to still work, but not be an unwelcome “commitment” by the recipient.

If a painting is a bold move, consider something smaller. Perhaps a piece of pottery or artRaku_Beverly Curtis (2) glass. These types of items are less expensive and can be a little easier to display and integrate into a decorating scheme. A small piece of sculpture that will inspire an emotional reaction will almost always be perfect.

If purchasing artwork as a gift still makes you a little nervous, consider a book or note cards depicting the work of the preferred artist, a print reproduction, a blown glass “ornament” rather than the bowl or vase, or a utilitarian pottery object, rather than a larger statement piece. Even art jewelry can be displayed as well as worn.

If you’re going in the opposite direction and plan on purchasing a large scale or very expensive piece of art as a gift, be sure to ask about the return policy. Often you will not be PSmith_Mid-cycle-Sundownable to return your purchase for a refund, primarily because of the gallery arrangement with the artist. The gallery may have already paid the artist for their work, and refunding the money would not be possible. Exchanges may not be an option either, so it’s best to be as sure as possible about your purchase.

Art can delight on the most subtle levels (and vice versa). Giving or receiving art can be the epitome of gift giving pleasure. Just make sure to consider the receiver’s taste and preferences, and make the best decision possible with that knowledge. Most likely you can’t go wrong if you consider these suggestions. And yes, Christmas may be over, but Valentine’s Day is a few short weeks away!

Images:
Pink Peonie by Brenda Boylan
Raku vases by Bev Curtis
Mid-Cycle Sundown by Phil Smith

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