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.
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.”
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…
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.