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Milwaukie City Hall to double as art gallery

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At least 20 artists will be represented, working in mediums that include paintings, collage, multimedia, hand-made ornaments, photographs, prints and more.

The art on display at Milwaukie’s City Hall through Dec. 29 represents a win-win situation for both the artists and the community, said Denise Emmerling-Baker, a member of artMOB, a nonprofit city arts committee.

SUBMITTED PHOTOS - The art pictured here showcases the variety of pieces in many mediums that will be available for sale at Milwaukie City Hall through Dec. 29.“Buyers get to see and purchase smaller, more affordable pieces by several artists who normally show at galleries and businesses all over the greater Portland area,” she said.

“And the artists benefit by having exposure to the audience that attends popular Milwaukie events, such as the Thanksgiving farmers market and the Umbrella Parade,” she added.

ArtMOB welcomes “local artists of all ages and brings in well-known artists of various genres to expose our local community to various types of art that they might not generally see in Milwaukie.”

The name is an acronym for Art-Milwaukie on Board, and the committee “has been curating local and international art at Milwaukie City Hall for several years, and we try to align our shows with local events,” Emmerling-Baker said.

“Each exhibit that artMOB coordinates at City Hall has its own unique flair, and this one is no exception. It’s also a fun way to help those of us who struggle to find imaginative gifts for loved ones without breaking the bank,” said Jordan Imlah, Milwaukie’s public affairs specialist. “ArtMOB embodies the spirit of our community in many ways — they’re some of the most dedicated volunteers I’ve ever worked with, incredibly talented and passionate about helping Milwaukie thrive in any way they can.”

Art at City Hall

The Milwaukie City Hall Gallery consists of the walls and one glass case on the main floor, Emmerling-Baker said.

At least 20 artists will be represented, working in mediums that include paintings, collage, multimedia, hand-made ornaments, photographs, prints and more.

Emmerling-Baker is among the artists who will be showing their work at City Hall; others include Fred Swan, Oscar Diggs, Roger Hodge, Jennifer Feeney, Suzanne Vaughan, Kimi Kitsch, Chris Haberman, Vandy Hall, Scott Chase, Ace Troy, EMEK, ZAP (Zimbabwe Artists Project), Jessie Fox and many others.

In conjunction with the Thanksgiving farmers market, a reception with the artists will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, at City Hall.

Another reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at City Hall during Milwaukie’s Umbrella Parade and Tree Lighting festivities.

Art may be purchased with cash or check during regular City Hall business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or during the artist receptions.

“This is a great chance to get one-of-a-kind treasures to share with friends and family. The art is lovingly handcrafted by our talented community members, and they make wonderfully memorable gifts,” Emmerling-Baker said.

Imlah added, “This is a special occasion for the community to give the gift of art to their family and friends with some truly one-of-a-kind pieces, while supporting our talented local artists.”

Help from Haberman

Haberman, a 1991 graduate of Milwaukie High School, is vice chair of artMOB. He was appointed to the arts committee by Mayor Mark Gamba last February.

Haberman is known in Milwaukie for the huge mural he painted on a previously blank wall at MHS in the summer of 2015.

The mural showcases the school’s mascot, a giant galloping mustang, along with depictions of events, businesses and people central to Milwaukie’s history.

“While working on the mural process with artMOB and the city of Milwaukie, I really felt a spark happening here in Milwaukie; some real change going on, with the MAX track, an overall feeling with First Friday, and a general feeling of an arts-focused community,” Haberman said.

In addition to his work with artMOB, Haberman also curates other spaces in downtown Milwaukie, including Beer Store Milwaukie, Wine:30, Painted Lady Coffee House, Cha Cha Cha, Libbie’s Old Bar Gallery, Missing Link Bike Shop and Shear Perfection Salon, among others.

“I’m here to help businesses and the community, to link them with art and to expose more people to the creativity that is abundant in our region,” he said.

Arts awareness

Haberman said he has enjoyed working with the committee and the city to help expand awareness of the arts, while being involved in local businesses and acting as a bit of a liaison for Milwaukie to his connections with artists in Portland.

“I grew up in Milwaukie, so it’s really fun to come back here and be part of a ‘renaissance’ that has been growing for years,” he said.

“I’m here for the long haul. I’m focused on arts in Milwaukie, and I want the growth of the city’s cultural expanse to be a good experience for everyone involved.”

The community should support the City Hall art event because it is special to Milwaukie, Haberman said.

“Not all city halls host events in towns like this, so the fact that we have a public space in a city building is unique and really a great form of communication and community outreach,” he said. Haberman added, “Supporting local art and artisans is supporting the community, while enabling art buyers to purchase and enjoy original and unique products that are 100 percent local.”

Buy local art

What: Milwaukie City Hall will display the work of more than 20 area artists through Dec. 29. Art may be purchased with cash or check from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and at two upcoming artist receptions.

When: Artists reception, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, and 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at City Hall.

Where: 10722 S.E. Main St.

Details: The City Hall show is curated by artMOB, the city’s arts committee. Members of artMOB include: Andrea Adams, chair; Rebecca Banyas, Hamid Shibata Bennett, Chris Davis, Denise Emmerling-Baker, Chris Haberman, vice chair, and Serafine Lilien.

Artists: Artists represented in the City Hall show include Fred Swan, Oscar Diggs, Roger Hodge, Jennifer Feeney, Suzanne Vaughan, Scott Chase, Kimi Kitsch, Chris Haberman, Vandy Hall, Ace Troy, EMEK, ZAP (Zimbabwe Artists Project), Jessie Fox and Denise Emmerling-Baker. For more information, visit milwaukie

oregon.gov/arts-committee.