Magical tales will spring to life in Lincoln City this Friday, Sept. 8, as the Chessman Gallery unveils its latest exhibit, showcasing children’s book illustrators of the Oregon Coast.
The show will open with a public reception from 5 to 7 pm, offering wine, light refreshments and a chance to chat with some of the four featured artists.
The show features original illustrations and prints from “Come one, Come All to the Fairy Ball,” by Sarah Gayle, “Bruno the Bear Who Stayed Awake” by Matt Fitzwater, “The Land of the Fizzy Pop Tree” by Krista Eddy, and “Poet” by Aria La Faye.
Completed versions of all four featured books will also be on display and available to buy.
A former resident of Toledo, Oregon, Sarah Gayle is an accomplished author and illustrator who wears many other hats — sometimes literally — as painter, designer, paper artist and costumer.
Through all of her experiences, Gayle has looked for opportunities to be creative and to see the world differently. Her secrets are simple: nice matters, never lose your childish enthusiasm and remember to play. She is currently on a sailing adventure, making art and discovering beauty all around her.
Matt Fitzwater, of Lincoln City has a background in graphic novel illustration and takes a philosophical view of existence.
“Atomically, I am a concentration of molecules and placement,” he said. “Geologically, I am the current sum of minerals whose origins lay in the stars. Biologically, I am the convergence of genetics and timing. Sociologically, it’s events and interaction.”
Matt’s book, “Bruno the Bear Who Stayed Awake” is the culmination of many years’ work, capped off with a well-organized Kickstarter campaign.
“This whole project started when my daughter asked why her bear was, one day, wearing a tutu,” Matt said. “I answered her with this story which turned out to be popular enough to be repeated.”
Krista Eddy went to school to be an illustrator. She graduated with BFA in Illustration from Long Beach State University and kept her drawing skills alive by filling countless sketchbooks as she traveled the world having adventures. She has had careers as a barista, faux painter, muralist, art teacher and, most recently, director of the Chessman Gallery.
“The Land of the Fizzy Pop Tree” is a project that Eddy has worked on for the best part of two decades and has finally brought to life through an experimental self-publishing technique using high-quality newsprint. The black and white, ink illustrations draw on the styles of Howard Pyle and NC Wyeth as they illuminate an inspiring tale about rescuing our playful, childlike side.
Aria La Faye is an experienced floral designer, a polished artist and the owner of La Faye Art Studios in Seal Rock. Her wide range of artistic skills reflect an adventurous imagination that is often captured in her work. Something of a traditionalist at heart, La Faye’s love for conventional methods defines her as a professional, although it is her interpretation and captivating use of color that sets her apart from other artists and florists.
The show will be on display through Monday, Oct. 9, available to view from 10 am to 4 pm daily except Tuesdays. The Chessman Gallery is located inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Hwy. 101. For more information, call 541-994-9994 or go to lincolncity-culturalcenter.org.
Book some extra time
This Children’s book Illustration exhibit coincides with a celebration of books and authors taking place in the cultural center auditorium on Saturday, Sept. 9.
The free festival will run from 9 am to 4 pm, with an author fair, author readings, storytelling, music and food. Festivities will resume in the evening, with a $10-per-person program of music and theater from 6 to 8 pm.
For details, see story on page 5.