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The highway, their way

Published on January 8, 2018 4:37PM

An art exhibit 3,365 miles in the making has reached its final destination at Lincoln City’s Chessman Gallery, where everyone is invited to a grand opening this Friday, Jan. 12.

“Connect US 20” is a celebration of art and community assembled by artists Sal Strom and Lynn Moyers during an epic, coast-to-coast journey along Highway 20. Their 12-state odyssey concluded last May when the pair arrived in Newport.

On their travels, Strom and Moyers visited libraries across the country with a goal of celebrating rural America through quirky, humorous, colorful play and linking people together through art.

The resulting exhibit is made up of colorful cheesecloth maps of the journey alongside photographs of local authors from across the US.

Strom, a painter, experimental filmmaker, photographer, teacher and cultural anthropologist, is the daughter of the late, legendary Depoe Bay restaurateur Gracie Strom, who ran Gracie’s Sea Hag for many years.

“Connect US 20” comes after Strom spent six years working on a project about World War II, a progression she said marks a shift in the focus of her art from war to joy.

“Joy is contagious and about community unlike happiness, which is individual and often short-lived,” Strom said. “The best teacher of quirky joy is Amazing Gracie, she had a zest for life and shared it freely.”

Friday’s reception will run from 5 to 7 pm, offering light refreshments and the chance to chat with the artists.

The exhibit will be on display through Feb. 5 available to view from 10 am to 4 pm daily except Tuesdays at the gallery, located inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Hwy. 101.

For more information, call 541-994-9994 or go to www.connectingUS20.com.

As part of “Connect US 20,” Strom will be offering three free workshops on Saturdays throughout January, where participants can view video footage from the cross-country journey and try their hand at creating their own artwork.

Running from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday, Jan. 13, 20 and 27, the workshops will invite participants to add to a colorful safety pin chain and create cheesecloth backdrops for books by local authors, which will then be photographed and added to the exhibit. The final part of the workshop encourages people to play with the cheesecloth by tossing it up and running through the rainbow while Strom captures the joy with photographs.

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