Saturday, October 15, 2011

Art Harvest

Years ago, our friend Monica Setziol-Phillips helped found a tour of Yamhill County artists. For one weekend, tour goers could purchase a catalog of participating artists and a button that would gain them entry to the homes and studios of artists working in a variety of mediums. Many years later, Art Harvest is still happening, expanded to two three-day weekends and with many more artists. Monica did not show her own work at Art Harvest for quite a few interim years, busy with other projects and with showing her lovely wood and weaving sculptures elsewhere. But this year she rejoined the tour. Johnny and I helped out one day of the second weekend: yesterday, Friday, October 14.

Monica has her looms set up in the house that her parents, both since passed away, built and lived in high on a hill near Sheridan. Her woodworking shop up there is the one she shared with her famous sculptor father, Leroy Setziol. The gallery on that property is fairly new and a wonderful place to showcase artwork. Because the three buildings are quite separated, it takes three people each day of the tour to guide visitors.

Johnny parked cars, greeted the arrivals, and showed them the workworking shop with ongoing projects, tools, and varieties of wood that Monica uses in her sculptures: mahogany, teak, yellow cedar, black walnut and more. Monica and her husband J.P. spent most of their time at the house where J.P. hosted with beverages and snacks while Monica explained and demonstrated her various weaving techniques.

I stayed in the gallery, answering questions and selling Monica's artwork, large and small. I couldn't resist ordering some carved refrigerator magnets for Christmas gifts and for myself... lovely small sculptures. Monica carves wooden dishes and trays as well, each unique. She took orders for those as the ones on display had mostly all been sold, as had the magnets.

Also selling well were cards Monica has made of her paper cuts, another thing she does beautifully. One original was on display but not for sale.

Virtually everyone who entered the gallery was audibly in awe of Monica's talent. No one else in this country does weaving and wood combined. Only a few of her wall pieces were unsold by the second weekend, when Johnny and I helped out. Here is a sampling of the ones I managed to get reasonably good photographs of.

Besides wall pieces, Monica had two elegant, free-standing wood sculptures on display.

Outside the door of the gallery, the view across the valley was artistic itself.

A corner of the deck around the gallery hosts one of Roy Setziol's sculptures. A visitor discovered, atop the railing in another corner, an oak gall with a ladybug nestled picturesquely in its center. The observant visitor's warm breath woke the little creature, who wandered out, looked around, and promptly crawled back inside its cozy refuge. We all, ladybug included, felt wrapped in beauty at this harvest of art.

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