Featured Stories

Strolling the Southeast ArtWalk

by: David F. Ashton, Charley Wheelock, KaPow Design, sits on one of his handmade benches, with his kids, Madeleine and Leo.

Southeast Portland artists flung open their studio doors on the first weekend in March, as they participated in their fourth annual ArtWalk. From S.E. 9th Avenue to 41st Avenue, 75 artists amazed visitors with their works of art.

Because we couldn't visit all of these locations, we chose at random five of the artisans showing their works.

Our first stop was at 'Studio 2507' on S.E. Clinton Street, where we met Annie Meyer.

'I'm a painter working in three media,' Meyer explained. 'I do paintings, ceramic tile, and monotype prints. My subject matter is the human figure, and landscapes of France.'

As we admired her miniature works of art -- ceramic tiles -- Meyer told us she'd been creating tiles since 1984.

'I love the Southeast ArtWalk,' said Meyer. 'It's a free, friendly event, exposing people to local artists and their work.'

Next, in a woodworking shop, we met Charley Wheelock of 'KaPow Designs'. He showed us custom cabinets he was making. But, he looked lovingly at newly-finished benches he had on display

'These benches are made out of pallet stickers,' he explained. 'They were in a pile, being sold as firewood. I started milling them, and found a crazy variety of hardwoods. So, I designed a line of furniture that would minimize the amount of milling. I've succeeded; there is very little waste - and these benches showcase a huge variety of wood.'

Wheelock suggested I meet the owner of the wood shop located on SE Division Street at 25th Avenue, Scott Stewart.

There, we asked the name, or nature, of his business, and Stewart answered simply, 'I'm a furniture artist. I mostly create custom, commissioned furniture and wood artwork. But, I also do my own line of designs, unique to my style.'

Sitting on one of his designs -- a hand-made chair -- Stewart glanced over at the 'Iris Table' next to him. 'The way these open up, it reminds me of the flower.'

Our next stop was on S.E. Brooklyn Street, just east of SE 23rd Avenue, where we saw Kristin Yount's 'house of art'.

'I make terracotta pottery,' Yount told us. 'I like the color of terracotta.'

In addition to her unique designs and decoration, Yount told us, she makes her own lead-free colors, which she uses to paint the pottery. 'My pottery is all 'food-grade safe'. You could put it in the dishwasher, but you shouldn't. After all, it is a work of art.'

At the same location, we also met Amy Stoner. 'This is my third year exhibiting in the ArtWalk,' related Stoner. 'I like the sense of community this event brings about. I also like meeting other artists in the area. That is how I met Kristin, who is hosting me here.'

The best part, Stoner said, is seeing people who are interested in your work. 'Having them stop by to talk for a while is much better than, for example, meeting them at a store or gallery,' she added.

Want to learn more? Check the Internet website: www.seportlandartwalk.com, or call 503/232-0745 for more information.