Ashland’s Original Outdoor Market is 28 years Old

The Lithia Artisans Market has been part of the arts and cultural landscape of Ashland, Oregon since 1983 — 28 years and still going strong. Back then the alley-way known as Calle Guanajuato was little more than a mess of blackberry brambles and trash. The first artisans who showed were also responsible for helping to clean the alley and make it presentable as a venue for selling art and crafts. Jeff Johnson, a local sculptor who lives in Talent, told me that he was part of the crew who hauled numerous truck loads of garbage to the dump.

Sally Ehrman in her booth at Lithia Artisans Market.

On a totally different topic, I wanted to convey a short story about inspiration. What inspires us artists? It was early Spring, and I was at the annual rummage sale at the Methodist Church in Ashland. I was milling through the treasures when I ran into Sally Ehrman, a fellow Lithia Artisan. She had a light about her as she clung to an older hardbound childrens book. “You look happy”, I said to her. “I am happy, I just found a book I’ve been looking for for years. I couldn’t remember the name, just what it looked like.” She began thumbing through the pages of the book to show me something. “See this?”, she said, pointing to a particular scene in the book. “I’ve been envisioning using this image in one of my collages. I’m really excited.”

The art of Sally Ehrman, tiny collages on lightswitch plates. Taking something common and turning it into art. I love that.

What stayed with me was the fact that this image had been in her head for years and she had creative plans that had been on hold for all that time. Now that she had the image she could blend that with the other ideas and create what only her mind had been able to see. Now she could manifest that vision into a piece of art. That moment made her glow from the inside out, and I could feel her excitement. Isn’t it amazing what it is that inspires all of us to do what we do. Little, simple things are important. Beautiful.

The weather forecast for this weekend is perfect — Saturday, sunny, high 77, Sunday, lots of sun, high of 85. Nice…

Gene Burnett with DeLonde Bell playing at Lithia Artisans Market. Gene plays this coming Sunday, June 26, from 3 'til 5.

Music Lineup

Saturday, June 25

11:30 – 1:30 Shybo

3:00 – 5:00 Amanda West

Sunday, June 26

11:30 – 1:30 Jon Galfano

3:00 – 5:00 Gene Burnett

By the way, Gene Burnett is opening for “America” at Britt Festival this Friday. Way to go Gene! Hope he is in an exceptionally festive mood and treats us to a great set on Sunday.

About LithiaArtisansMarket

We are a collective of artists, artisans, and musicians who gather along Ashland Creek during the sunny months of the year to sell our wares, dance to the sounds, and share in the abundance of life. Saturdays from 10:00am - 6:00pm and Sundays from 11:00am - 5:00pm, April 14th through November 15th. Two sets of live, original music each day. 40 local and regional artisans selling their unique creations.
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