Warning: Assembly Required

Rusty clock gears, a tattered ticket stub, worn doll parts, a key to an unknown and ancient lock, a tin box, a metal wing, a spigot, a sprocket, a spring…You have found yourself in an amazing and wondrous place, surrounded by artifacts bursting to tell a story and creating more questions than providing answers.  You are in the studio of an assemblage artist.

The assemblage artist creates beautiful, disturbing, whimsical, fascinating, and sometimes frightening pieces of art using worn out, forgotten, broken, discarded, overlooked,  and unusual items.   Donning the hat of archeologist, anthropologist, tinkerer, treasure hunter, and story teller – the assemblage artist travels from estate sales to old barns, re-use stores to garages and attics – looking for the perfect elements to artfully craft into a work of art.

I doubt that Aristotle had assemblage art in mind when he stated, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  However, the adage couldn’t better describe the art of up-cycled and found objects.

Looking at individual pieces, the found objects from treasure hunts – a wing nut, a jar of railroad nails, an old thermometer – are interesting no doubt, but rather meaningless on their own.  Mixing, matching, and moving the pieces until it feels right.  The objects become unified – meaningful.

Five accomplished northwest assemblage artists have come together in an exhibit entitled, “Sacred Scraps.”  Tory Brokenshire, Stephanie Brockway, Shelly Caldwell, Jennifer Campbell, and Dayna Collins have created more than a gallery showing of their work, but an exhibit that will take the viewer through the process of creating assemblage art.  You will find jars displaying raw materials, clay, metal, tools they use, books that inspire them, and unique finished pieces of art – all incorporated into the display.  Artwork will not be for sale through this exhibit, rather it is about the process of how assemblage art is created.  The goal of this show, says Dayna Collins, is to “share the love of creating and showing people how what some consider junk can become beautiful pieces of art.”

The exhibit runs February 1-28, with an opening reception on Friday, February 1, 4:30-6:30pm in the Hatfield Library on the Willamette University campus. For more information check out

If you are curious about assemblage art, working with found objects, or perhaps are afflicted with wild inspiration after seeing the “Sacred Scraps” exhibit, check out the classes offered at Art Department this winter.   Both Tory Brokenshire and Dayna Collins have classes coming up.  Art Department is located downtown at 254 Commercial ST NE, Salem or visit
www.artdepartmentsupply.com to see class offerings online.

local art scene -get involved

Whether you’re looking to network with other artists, find venues for your work, or participate in shows, joining one of our local art associations can benefit you while supporting the arts in our community.  Depending on the organization you join, there can be many financial benefits to membership – discounts on show entry fees and art classes.  Many also offer free seminars to help artists over common hurdles – with topics ranging from web presence to studio lighting.

As the calendar turns over, many non-profit art groups are in transition between boards.  Artists in Action recently held its’ annual member meeting, counted votes, and announced the freshly appointed board.   Upcoming actionable items will be forming committees and planning the years’ upcoming events, so it’s a perfect time to get involved.   AiA Monthly Member Meetings are 6:30-9:00pm every 3rd Tuesday of the month at Broadway Commons, 1300 Broadway St. NE, Salem in room 304.  For information about membership and annual events visit www.artistsinaction.org.


art listings

Nov 17 – Feb 10
In conjunction with Manuel Izqulerdo: Myth, Nature and Renewal. Professor Emeritus Roger Hull has organized two small companion exhibitions that explore different aspects of Izqulerdo’s art and life. In the Study Gallery, Manuel Izquierdo: Marquettes and Small Sculptures will feature a range of models and small sculptures that served as improvisational pieces and exercises or formed the basis for larger works. Museum Hours: Tues-Sat 1am-5pm, Sun 1pm-5pm. Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Jan 4 – Jan 26
“Art that Teaches: Uniting America” is a new art show featuring student work from North Salem High School. The show will open on Fri., Jan 4 from 6-8 p.m. Free admission. Exhibit dates: Jan 4-26. Exhibit hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Elsinore Framing & Fine Art Gallery.

Feb 2 – Feb 26
For the month of February, Keizer Art Association announces the Annual Photography Show. This is a juried show, open to all Oregon artists. A reception will be held on Saturday, February 2 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Hours: Thursday & Friday, 2 p.m – 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Keizer Art Association.

Jan 8 – Feb 2
For the month of January, the Mary Lou Zeek Gallery will present the paintings by Monroe, Oregon artist Jenny Gray. Jenny’s work over the last few years has been about layers; covering, hiding, censoring and the control to show only part of her story. Gray often starts a painting with marks or colors representing specific emotions, places or people.  She then takes this raw “information” and adds, subtracts, covers and layers her paintings. Jenny’s paintings are about being human, expressed through the paint, her paintings are also about the freedom of the paint itself; rough, fast, busy, quiet, thoughtful, hidden or in your face.  Often, Jenny’s work is influenced by a wide range of subjects; the northwest landscapes, barns, fences, typography, the desert and ephemera. Jenny is a graduate of San Jose State University, San Jose, California and currently lives in Monroe, Oregon. 12pm – 5 pm. Mary Lou Zeek Gallery.

Jan 8 – Feb 16
The Last Supper, a thought-provoking series of painted plates illustrating final meal requests of death row inmates in the United States, The Last Supper installation project now consists of 500 plates. Artist Julie Green, an associate professor of art at Oregon State University, started the series in the early 2000s and intends to paint about 50 plates annually until the death penalty is abolished. Green said she sees the plates as a way to humanize individual inmates, and to bring home the gravity of the death penalty issue by the sheer number of plates she has created. She uses cobalt blue mineral paint on found and vintage tableware. Gallery hours: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. The Arts Center.

Jan 16 – Feb 11
Currents Gallery announces “Make it Red” January show that features the color red. The opening reception is January 19. Hours: Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Currents Gallery

Jan 18 – Mar 16
This exhibition, taking place at Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill, brings together Bush House Museum and 15 other local historical-cultural organizations for its When We Were Young: Childhood Around the Valley exhibition. This group exhibition will focus on the lives and other activities of children growing up in the Willamette Valley from the late 1800s through the 1940s. Bush House Museum will focus on Sally Bush’s photographs of children taken in the early 1900s at her family’s Victorian home in Bush’s Pasture Park. For more information, contact Ross Sutherland, Museum Director, at 503-363-4714. Willamette Heritage Center.

Jan 19 – Mar 24
Manuel Izquierdo was an important Portland sculptor and teacher. His steel, wood, and stone sculptures were based on mythological figures as well as abstract and biomorphic plant and animal forms. Organized by Professor Emeritus Roger Hull, the exhibition features over 50 sculptures and a wide range of works created during Izquierdo’s career. . A full-color monograph by Professor Hull will accompany the exhibition. Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Jan 25 – Jan 26
The Oregon Garden’s 80-acre botanical sanctuary will be full of color as hundreds of vibrant quilts from throughout the Northwest unfurl for the 6th annual Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show, The event will feature quilting demonstrations and lectures, a variety of popular quilt-related vendors, and a tearoom with lunch fare and specialty concessions. The event will highlight guest artist Charlotte Warr Andersen, creator of one-of-a-kind pictorial quilts, who specializes in fabric portraits that feature meticulous hand appliqué involving hours of work. Andersen is renowned for her original creations and teaches her techniques internationally. She will be giving daily lectures throughout the show. Show is included with regular Garden admission: $11 adults, $9 seniors and older, $8 students 12-17, $5 children 5-11, and free for children 4 & under. Or volunteer during the event and receive free admission. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Oregon Garden.

Jan 29
Docents provide a guided tour of the “Manuel Izquierdo: Myth, Nature and Renewal” exhibition each Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Jan 29
Education curator Elizabeth Garrison will lead a workshop for teachers that focuses on the “Manuel Izquierdo: Myth, Nature and Renewal” exhibition. Admission to the workshop is free, although advance registration is required by calling (503) 370-6855 by Jan. 28. 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Feb 1 – Feb 25
Chelsea Goin is a Silverton-based jewelry designer who specializes in one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Her pieces include sophisticated pearls and semi-precious gem stones. Her current show was inspired by French Romance with sweet colors in the pinks, reds, and purples. All of her designs are elegant yet perfect for everyday wear. Opening Reception Friday, February 1, 2013, 7-9 pm. Lunaria Gallery.

Feb 5 – Feb 28
Featured artists, Becki Trachsel-Hesedahl  and Linda Jacobson, have come together to create “Art from the Heart,” Red Raven Gallery’s February show.  Becky uses transparent watercolor to create juicy, luminous landscape close-ups.  Often they are microcosms of nature that, on closer exploration, reveal surprise elements.  Linda Jacobson presents a larger world-view with unique textile designs that incorporate fabric, metal or gemstones to produce landscapes filled with color, texture and movement.  The group show, “Red Velvet,” incorporates work from Red Raven member artists. Both shows run February 5-28, with an opening reception on February 6, 5:00-8:00pm.  Red Raven Gallery.

Feb 5 – Mar 2
If your childhood home could hear you, what would it say? It might have been an apartment in the big city, a farm down a country road, or rambling house with many kids and pets — there’s a place from our past that will stay with us forever. Home is a group show that asks artists to create a piece that salutes their childhood home or memory of living there. If only walls could talk.  The Mary Lou Zeek Gallery will be presenting a group show of 25 artists who have started with a central theme of “Home”.  Opening reception will be Friday, February 8th from 7-9pm.  Mary Lou Zeek Gallery.



Bush Barn Art Center
600 Mission St, Salem
(503) 481-2228

Currents Gallery
532 NE Third Street, McMinnville
(503) 435-1316

Elsinore Framing & Fine Art Gallery
444 Ferry Stl, SE. Salem
(503) 581-4642

Hallie Ford Museum of Art
700 State Street, Salem
(503) 370-6855

Hatfield Library
1055 Mill Street Southeast, Salem
(503) 370-6301

Keizer Art Association
980 Chemawa Rd NE, Keizer
(503) 390-3010

Lunaria Gallery
113 North Water Street, Silverton
(503) 873-7734

Mary Lou Zeek Gallery
335 State Street, Salem
(503) 581-3229

Red Raven Gallery
440 Ferry St, Salem
(503) 798 9973

The Arts Center
700 S.W. Madison Ave, Corvallis
(541) 754-1551

The Oregon Garden
873 W. Main Street, Silverton

Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill
1313 Mill St SE, Salem
(503) 585-7012



Keizer Art Association
“Annual Photography Show”
Entries Due: January 30, 3-7:00pm

“Around the World”
Entries Due: February 27, 3-7pm

Salem Art Association
Salem Art Fair; Festival Call for Artists
Deadline: February 11, 2013 5:00 pm

Red Raven Gallery
“Tick Tock” – Artistic, Functional Clock Show
Entries Due:  February 21,22,23 11-5:30pm