Echo Mountain artists raise funds after devastating year

Oregon Coast

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Among the many livelihoods threatened in the last year, few have been as acutely affected as people who make up the arts community near Otis, Oregon.

The fairs, markets, public art shows stopped because of the pandemic — then the Echo Mountain Fire added insult to injury in September as it burned near the town, destroying some artists’ workspaces, works of art, sheet music and other means of their creativity. 

“Some of my good friends in this art community I saw go through all of that loss — their home, their studio, their work and their ability to start again,” Artist Joanne Daschel said.

Joanne Daschel’s studio was spared — now she’s part of a growing number of artists and others who are donating to help support artists who were not as lucky. This past weekend, a silent auction put on by the Lincoln City Cultural Center raised several thousand dollars that’ll go as direct payments to artists who’ve had their tools and workplaces destroyed. 

Joanne donated a glass mosaic, called Wake Robin.

“This is our native trillium that blooms in the forest in the spring usually around Easter,” she explained while describing the art piece. “That to me seemed like a perfect subject to contribute to this auction — this idea of renewal in spring and something beautiful that’s blooming in the darkness.”

The Lincoln City Cultural Center also has a from-the-ashes art show planned for April 9 to help raise more money. The show will feature stories, artwork, photographs and artifacts from the fire.  

“From melted clam guns to glass that’s been resolidified together into lumps — [they’re] actually kind of horrifying and beautiful artifacts,” Lincoln City Cultural Center Executive Director Niki Price said. “We’re going to put them all into a gallery here at the cultural center and throw a big party.”

It’s all about doing whatever is possible to throw a lifeline to artists in the Lincoln City area whose treasure of art and studio space was destroyed by fire last fall. 

You can help by making a donation here.

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