Culture — Oregon Artist Showcase provides opportunity for smaller artists to display work

Rob Dailey said for many artists it’s difficult to find a venue to showcase their work.

“It’s sometimes difficult to get into retail galleries and often requires the artists have large bodies of work or enter into long-term agreements,” said Dailey, executive director of the Chehalem Cultural Center.

So, three years ago the CCC established the Oregon Artist Showcase.

“And opened our galleries up to any artist living in Oregon,” he said.

Submissions are due Dec. 13.

“All mediums are accepted, with limitations only on size and weight because of space and safety,” he said. “We get everything from 2D to 3D, from exotic materials in modern pieces to traditional materials in classical works. One of the greatest aspects of the exhibition is the variety.”

Winners, who will have their work displayed starting in January, are announced Dec. 20.

“The work that ends up in the gallery is blind judged, so it is based entirely on the quality of the art, not on the background or established popularity of the artist,” Dailey said.

He said they have about 100 artists submitting work every year, so with a three-submission maximum, jurors are reviewing 200 to 300 pieces.

“All work is juried by professional, independent curators. Last year we picked two veterans, Mary Lou Zeek and Loni Parrish. This year we recruited an up-and-coming curator named Elizabeth Spavento,” he said. “Our staff receives the submissions and anonymizes the images so the juror can’t see the artist names. The juror must also keep in mind that all the works need to fit together into a whole exhibition. It’s harder than it sounds.”

But he said the process is worth it, because the response to the show is always great.

“Something about the freshness and diversity of the show always brings people in,” Dailey said. “It’s a great show for us in January and February because the cold months of the year slow down our foot traffic, but OAS has proven to be worth getting out for.”

The exhibition opens Jan. 10 and closes Feb. 13.

Although the pieces are on display, they are also for sale. Works are submitted with a sale price, and must be sold at that price.

“Most galleries work on the consignment model, splitting sales with the artist 50/50. We’re a nonprofit organization, so we pass along more to the artist,” he said. “That means the artists earn money and we cover our costs. Our 40 percent goes directly back into arts programming, helping pay for everything from light bulbs to summer camp scholarships for kids.”

For more information, or to submit pieces, visit www.

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