question and answers

Q. What goes into the thought process when selection an exhibition title, you ask?
A. Using the current exhibition as an example, with the title: SOLITUDE ( which is the final Seaside First Saturday Art Walk event for Fairweather's in 2014), the thought process was: “as if to say, I am alone. This is my life. What is, here, and I will make the most of it.”

The title of an exhibition is selected months in advance. The artists are invited to work towards the opening date as a collaborative project; oftentimes, many have a similar vision, rapport and fellowship. After the artists have spent months (or even years) putting together a body of artwork, opening night is an opportunity to share with the other artists and personally interact with an audience.

The pursuit of creativity is largely a solitary activity. Artists tend to spend the day working in isolation. While this solitude is often required for focus, being along too much can make one crave contact and to hear feedback for the creative process. With an Art Walk opening, artists speak with each other, talk with patrons and share inspirations with other highly motivated people.

The title of an exhibition is selected months in advance. The artists are invited to work towards the opening date as a collaborative project; oftentimes, many have a similar vision, rapport and fellowship. After the artists have spent months (or even years) putting together a body of artwork, opening night is an opportunity to share with the other artists and personally interact with an audience.

And, too, patrons meet other art lovers. They listen to elaborate (sometimes, humble and ever grateful) explanations from the artists. Everyone appreciates being socially engaged as an audience. Indeed, one may see familiar faces at each event. Many personal and professional associations develop.

Each person has a different need for human contact. Some artists may enjoy their own company; whereas others find the silence of working on their own facilitates the creation of artwork. During an exhibition, artists find opportunities to interact with other people. Public events serve to reassure that one is not alone in an art experience.


Q. Describe doing business in vacation-land?
A. Doing business in Seaside, it is easy to feel like you’re on a perpetual vacation. Visitors take time to do morning beach walks, afternoon gallery strolls and late evening sunset views sitting on the promenade. As a business owner, we see visitors doing what we are able to do all the yearlong. Every day finds us falling in love with Seaside all over again. It’s no wonder Seaside received carloads of out-of-towners daily during the summer. Greeting and assisting the visitors validates why we chose to do business here. Smiles are exchanged and shared.

But while visitor outings are typically limited to the usual activities, we “in-the-know” locals get to enjoy some of the lesser known, and all the more special pastimes. “Those that live in the arts, support ALL the arts.” The Seaside First Saturday Art Walk motto says it all. There is something cultural going on, a party once a month. And it is all about having enough fun doing business and re-booting an event each month that is worthwhile. Fellow businesses are working together with trust, respect and compassion; illuminating the arts.

Summer, too, is a great time with family bonding activities, as for more of us “full-timers” there is no shortage of weekends full of house guests. We, those that do business in vacation-land are luck to live and work in the special part of heave-on-earth. We are able take full advantage of the coastal gems all the yearlong, but, especially in the summer, are delighted to see, once again Seaside through the eyes of those visiting.

Q. Describe a value important in design planning.
A. Focus on adding the value of "awe". By integrating a sense of more plentiful time-- authentic value is created-- like taking a deep breath. Recently a university study determined the differences between feelings of awe and happiness. "When you value awe, you feel very present in the moment. It captivates you to a time found." Those who value awe are more likely to appreciate nature, art, music or the accomplishments of others. While those who selected happiness as an important value oftentimes immersed themselves with items that portrayed personal accomplishments.

In design planning, items that are selected that have a "fleeting and rare" theme, provide a sense of "awe" that will reorient peoples lives. Edmund Burke wrote that awe-- which he calls "the sublime-- is more likely to arise from something obscure-- a tangled found piece of driftwood, or a finely imagined then created piece of art-- rather than something expected or manufactured."

"Awe" is more of a mind-set, as a value, it is a perception of finding peacefulness and solitude. .

Q. How do you handle the changing season in creating good design?
A. For more subtle and sophisticated design choose a design theme without being too predictable. Try to stay away from decor that's too obvious or over-the-top. Understated textures and tones used in moderation create interesting interiors.

Use references of being at the sea without overdoing it, use design disciplines that are truly coastal that truly support the body and the spirit of the place. Beach living enhances lives. Find icons that reflect the elements of rock, glass, aged wood and precious metals. Remove clutter that always-- and in all ways-- inevitably leads to stagnated looks. Rely on experts who have devoted themselves to the field and are masters at it, for they are able to select items through the prism of years of experience.

Life at the beach matters. Embrace the changing season.

Q. Describe what you mean when you post events as "high season"?
A. The high season is the time after spring break crowds, it is the time between the start of summer (mid-June) and the end of summer (early September). 

It's called the high season in the land known as "vacation-land" for it is the time of vibrant beach events all along the North Coast.   And, too, here in Seaside, at Fairweather's,  it is the time for our love affair with the arts in people, in doing good works and in creating memorable events. 

It is the time we open our doors to sunlit mornings and starry nights.

Yes, we  welcome the high season for it is our time to provide a real-time canvas of all things that are artful, real, and authentic.

Yes, it is our time to provide a memorable season for everyone, locals and visitors.  It's our time for loving loving the high season from the very start. It's the time where living well-lived is possible every day. It's our time to make everyone feel that they are on vacation every day.

For a terrific read:  "Coastal Tourism Turns The Tide" June, 2013 Matt Winters/Coast River Business Journal editor.

Q. Define your signature style.
A. Thoughtfully editing the collections and forecasting the upcoming seasons, I take time to consider and select a decidedly emerging idea and a designer look. My approach has one important quality: to provide an artful vision.

The products are to be made by hand, made in America and the gallery will feature highly talented and acclaimed Northwest artists. My signature style, oftentimes tweaked and refined, is created to offer the fairweather house & gallery “look”.

In truth, a few are not just, let’s say…favorites, but rather have become signature pieces…as in the sublimely beautiful faux bois iron candelabra, design pieces that are the “Fairweather” calling cards. And, too, most importantly, favorite artists have become our celebrity personalities, truly mirroring personal and professional ideals.

Patrons say: “This place is amazing.” And, then, I must share: “I’m a minimalist in my mind, constantly editing the displays, walls and tables to insure that the gallery isn’t too-perfect…but, rather, a showcase of sophisticated one-of-a-kind art pieces and talents that highlight each individual season.”

My signature style, in my opinion, truly then is a set mind, applying a vision of what ifs, must-sees and to dos.

Q. How do you curate the artists for the new season?
A. As with each season, auditions are held with artists who are referrals or who we have gotten to know up close and personal as friends.

For the 2013 spring season, a quote truly says what we have orchestrated: "Let's do what spring does with the cherry trees." A much-loved line from the poem "Every Day You Play" by Pablo Neruda.

And let us say... from the get-go... we surely do spring better! The shows have nothing to hide, reveling openly and gaily the season's exuberance and release from the winter season. There is a delightful collection of artists, yet the art featured will always play second fiddle to the delightful spring season of living along the ocean's edge. We chose work that inspires, that connects, that makes us laugh, that cracks us open (as in the art work by John Halverson's original art titled "Seaside Golf").

We found artists that are able to share our empathy, embracing patience and fortitude with the ever changing seasons. So, the work that is made available for the shows of the spring season makes all the difference to us, to you, the art patrons. The work empathizes our view of being, of living close to nature, or an Neal Maine, photographer/ naturalist states in his mission statement... "of living along the coastal edge".

The search for the authentic, the original runs strongly throughout all the area's galleries. The spring artists selected share an optimistically long-view way of looking at the season. Yes, indeed, we... do spring better.

Q. Why do you offer special after-hours events rather than during the day?
A. It takes something special and quite a lot of extra time to capture the attention of virtually every art patron and artist, for in doing "events for a cause" (art fund-raisers to be held for the North coast non-profits).

The affairs, although art-driven, are offered to a select group of artists that have elected to support specific charities. Non-profits from the largest (Food Bank) to the lesser known (United Paws) have been supported throughout the six past years. The events allow visitors the opportunity to see art, to learn about the artists and to hear about the causes that are brought forward in the public eye in a quiet and personal arena away from the hustle and bustle of the peak visiting hours. We truly believe the affairs allow art patrons the chance to improve the lives of those who live and serve here.

In 2012, nearly $2000 was contributed through programs like silent auctions, in-kind donations,and a percentage of Art Walk sale proceeds or through direct donations. In 2013, we will continue to give back to groups that are meaningful to our community and to our artists. The charities chosen, whether large or small, are important to all of us. We will continue recognize the importance of sharing good will. It is part of our mission and vision: finding the good.

Q. At times, I have been asked: What does your home reveal about you?
A. During the day, my work is truly diverse, embracing the many NW artists, displaying their original works and working with their personalities in addition to showcasing chic styles of design. Oftentimes, the days are crazy, the gallery ever-changing.

Yet at home my space is minimal, perhaps some would call it "beige land"...for I need a clean slate to focus, unwind and to feed my soul. The house is modern, in a beach cottage shingled style, with no clutter -- a place for simplicity and calm.

And I like modern art, abstract and contemporary, for minimalist art, like opera arias in music, allows my mind to wander. My home is an expression of simplicity and calmness. I expect, the most revealing aspect of my home, is the interests in the ebb and flow of the ocean and the values found in the seasons of nature. The space features views, paths and gardens that are the work of the natural world. The space is open-minded, allowing the thinking and centering process to evolve freely.

Living on a ridge, I have the best of both worlds in views... a morning sunrise and an evening sunset when the weather cooperates. Although, even in the wildest weather, I enjoy going into the ancient pine forest in the back garden to recharge with mother nature, as well as, walking on a desolate beach. My place in Gearhart, the spot I call home, is away from the busyness of life and the many facets of operating a business in Seaside.

Q. I need help visualizing change. I know what I want but not the best way to get it. How do I find the best possible solutions?
A. Professional interior designers can do so much more than recommend furniture, fabric and colors. In addition to having an in-depth product knowledge, an accredited designer has the disciplined eye to help you visualize your ideas. One way to ensure you are working with a professional is if he or she is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (A.S.I.D.).

A.S.I.D. members must meet the profession’s education and experience requirements, as well as adhere to strict code of ethics and conduct. An accredited designer is one who has passed rigorous scrutiny and testing. You get the benefit of an experienced professional who can solve problems, avoid costly mistakes, and most importantly, create an attractive, affordable space designed specifically to meet your lifestyle needs.

Q. There seems to be interest in encaustic art. What is it?
A. Encaustic art is painting with pure pigments and a mixture of molten beeswax. Paint is applied hot with a variety of tools then cools and hardens within seconds. The process is quite tactile and sultry. Painting with hot was results in a velvety matte finish.

Multiple layers of paint and clear wax create overlapping color and amazing depth. The medium can be textured, scraped, incised, etched, combed, embossed, sculpted into three dimensional forms or smoother to a glassy finish.

The molten nature of the medium can be used for collaging or embedding mixed media into the wax. Since beeswax is compatible with oil paint, oil pigment sticks can be used to glaze in rich colors or to fill in incised markings.

Although it seems new, encaustic is actually one of the world's most ancient and archival painting mediums, predating oil. From the Grego-Roman Egypt period, circa 100 B.C. to 200 A.D., Fayum portraits have survived through the centuries.

Encaustic art was a lost art until pioneer artist Jasper Johns began contemporary beeswax painting in 1954, exposing it to a new generation of artists.


Visit fairweather house & gallery's blog to view past q&a.

E-Mail questions to: fairweatherhouseandgarden@gmail.com

Our Summer Hours:

Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri and Sat
10:am to 6:pm
Sundays 11-4:pm

fairweather house & gallery
612 broadway seaside, oregon 97138
located in the "Historic Gilbert District"
downtown Seaside, Oregon

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