Port Orford's musicians.
From left, Mark Feldhaus, Bonnie Cox, Suzanne Monk, John Clute.
(The painting is "The Elk" by Elaine Roemen
the bust is called "Birdland" by Julie Hawthorne)
When I retired I had no idea that one day I'd be organizing the events above. Actually, the space is presently housing two events at the same time.
The first one is on the wall: The Two Muses/Writers and Artists' Exchange organized by Elaine Roemen, the painter of the Two Muses, and Weld Champney, the poet who reflected on the painting. Forty-five writers submitted poems for artists to interpret visually; and vice-versa. Begun during the last Labor Day Weekend at Siren's Cove Cafe Annex, the Two Muses will run through September.
The event has inspired artists and poets of all ages and locals as well as tourists, have stopped in for an art experience that made them laugh or cry, asked nothing of them except to spend a few minutes and contemplate a unique experience that was not available on the web or on their mobile app. Siren's Cove Cafe has been a marvelous venue for the artists, having hosted many such events.
The second event is a monthly, taking place every Third Tuesday at Two, an open microphone event with live music groups and writers sharing their work, or interpreting the standards. Sometimes the place is standing room only; sometimes, just a handful enjoying a break from their routines, listening to Vivaldi, Bach, or Bob Dylan and Bo Didley.
I have been president of Port Orford Arts Council for the last four months, and the idea that someone with my experience would be asked to run this group was never on my radar. I come from an education background, not an artistic one. Writing had not been in my daily life. Only after I retired and had time to learn the craft, to spend hours and hours reading and writing, attending workshops, and mostly meeting with like-minded folks, I began to share what I wrote, got the courage to start blogging, encouraged others to do the same, spoke about the insights and the rewards of writing and sharing. A friend of mine who is an artist asked me to consider lending the POAC a hand as its new president.
Running an organization, obtaining funding, organizing events and communication, is easy for people who have been in such businesses in their working days. I'm learning. I'm frustrated and elated at the same time. Frustrated that I have no staff; no real knowledge who can do what; but also elated that such a small town has so many artists who are generous with their time and their talents.
Unlike other businesses, the arts demand your attention not to sell you anything. They ask you to think with a perspective that is not not usual one; to consider possibilities beyond the obvious.
The arts put the finishing touches on your human soul.
They allow your inner thoughts to stand in the forefront.
Without the artist, that chunk of marble in Tuscany would never have become The David!