The Columbia River Gorge is one step closer to becoming an international destination for art, culture and heritage! Stacey Malstrom of Maxwell PR, Kasey Cordell of Portland Monthly, and Linea Gagliano of Travel Oregon spent an afternoon visiting some of our region’s wonderful venues and talented artists.
Portland Monthly’s editor, Kasey Cordell, profiled the Gorge in the April issue and included a number of Gorge businesses. The article is titled “Western Muse; The Columbia River Gorge’s growing art scene inspires itineraries beyond the outdoors.” To read the full article just click the link above.
The tour began with resident artist and GM, Loree Harrell, to view the “Mirror Project Installation”. Then on to Caswell Gallery to visit bronze sculpture artist, Rip Caswell and jewelry designer Ali Peret. Rip shared his design for a destination gallery to include studio/apt. spaces, shared gallery, gorge wine tasting and art gardens.
Art Director, Parris Foley was a good sport when we dropped in to the sounds of power tools as workers frantically worked to put the finishing touches on the soon to be open “Infusion Gallery”. Claude and Penny Cruz, owners of Troutdale’s newest gallery, Marco Polo Designs, shared the process of hand making, Venitan and Murano glass beads that Claude designs for their jewelry collections.
On to Corbett, traveling along the Historic Columbia River Hwy and past the Historic Springdale School where children learn in an art based environment. Joseph Schneider was waiting for us as we pulled into the driveway adjacent to his big red barn and proceeded to awe with his dramatic sculptures created from unexpected objects.
Then to Cascade Locks on I-84, pointing out the 6-mile stretch of scenic Hwy 30 that is currently under reconstruction to open this summer as a bike/pedestrian only route connecting Troutdale to Cascade Locks. In Cascade Locks, Heather Soderberg showed her sculpting studio and shared her latest projects, still in wax. A private tour of the foundry gave us all a new respect for the numerous and complex steps taken between the wax figure and the final bronze form.
Stainless Steel Sculpture artist, Brad Lorang, demonstrated the process of transforming a flat sheet of steel onto a beautiful relief sculpture and discussed the use of heat and elements to create the desired colors. Finally, we met the Cascade Locks Tourism Team at the newly re-opened Cascade Locks Ale House. They shared their visions of International sailing events at an expanded beach front and 26 miles of proposed mountain biking trails.