Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Day at Sitka Center

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to get into a free class offered at the Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology in making cyanotype prints. I have worked with this process before, but always came out with pale blue prints. This time, the instructor introduced to the proper way to bath the print so that the end result is a deep indigo blue.

She also showed a method of treating the print with tea to make the print look like an old sepia photograph. While we were limited to printing local flora, one of the students brought an example of how this process can be adapted to print transparencies.

Sitka Center is located on beautiful Cascade Head just north of Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast. In the summer, they offer a variety of art classes taught by professors from local colleges and well-known fine artists. Imagine working in a studio nestled in the pine forest within view of the ocean. In the other seasons of the year, Sitka Center offers 3 months residencies to artists who want to work in the solitude of Sitka. The rent is free for the three months - the artists only have to agree to do an art-related community service and make a presentation of their art at an open house.

The residences the artists stay in

The view the artists have from their residence.

Sitka held an open house after the class and I stayed for the artists' presentations. The woman that taught my class, Sakaya Taniyokuchi, came from Japan for the residency and focused on cyantotypes and beautiful sculptures made of bark and pieces of trees in which she embedded broken, clear glass. The other artists included in the open house presentation included a local photographer who spend his residency photographing the remaining buildings in abandoned towns and other historical structures and then tells a story of how the place was named; a woman who plays several types of recorders (old-fashioned flutes) and entered playing a drum and the flute at the same time and another woman who came to Sitka to find her artistic voice and did so with drawings, cutting driftwood into small circle pieces and sewing the pieces together to form a "blanket" and making driftwood installations. It was an inspiring afternoon and I look forward to taking more classes here.


The grounds are full of art made by artists in residence

At the end of the open house, I decided to investigate a new beach nearby, Road's End. This was not a good day for the beach because when the Pacific Northwest has a rare sunny and warm spring day EVERYONE goes to the beach and it was very crowded. But this crow does not seem to mind.

And these kids seem to having the time of their life in this oh-so-cold water.....

And except for the stop-and-go traffic both going to and returning from the beach, this was a perfect day.

1 comment:

tory said...

I love to hear of your travels, your photos let me see places I have never been.-The cyanotype prints are fascinating.It makes me want to try it. Thanks