Tour showcases local art galleries, artists

“American Gothic Goats,” by Anderson, is one of his more popular oil paintings. The piece was featured in the Art Harvest Studio Tour’s catalog.

Beginning Oct. 1, McMinnville kicked off its annual Art Harvest Studio Tour. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., people from Yamhill County toured art studios and watched artists at work. Some of the studios included Third Street’s Currents Gallery, Hidden Treasures and Pacific Frame.
The event was sponsored by the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County. James Dowlen, an artist and member of the AAYC, participated in the tour.
“This is my fifth year. I have a lot of fun doing it, he said. “It’s really pleasant. It attracts people who are tuned in to your artwork.”
The event has taken place for close to 19 years. This year, Dowlen served as tour coordinator and acts as the primary communication between the artists and the AAYC.
He encourages students to come check out the event.
“Everyone is welcome to come join the tour — especially art students,” he said.
Another artist in the studio tour was Jess Anderson. This was Anderson’s first year with the tour.
“I got my first set of paints when I was 11,” Anderson said via e-mail. “I can’t remember when I didn’t do art; it has always been an important part of my life.”
Anderson attended commercial art schools and pursued that part of the business for approximately 20 years. He also taught at Chemeketa Community College and at state and federal prisons off and on for 30 years, he said via e-mail.
“I made some fine artists out of guys who had never traveled that road,” Anderson said via e-mail. “[They were] was some of my best experiences.”
One of Anderson’s most notable works in the tour is his oil painting “American Gothic Goats.”
Anderson’s other pieces for this year’s studio tour include “Aristocat,” “Painted Utopia” and “Salvador Doggie.”
“I always welcome guests who want to visit my studio,” Anderson said via e-mail.
The Arts Alliance was formed in the 1980s and is a nonprofit arts organization that strives to raise awareness of the visual arts.
The AAYC welcomes anyone who loves the arts and is mainly comprised of volunteers. There are members and an executive board. Associate Professor of Mass Communication Lisa Weidman is the alliance’s president.
“The primary goal is to nourish the creative spirit in everyone,” she said. “The president just keeps the wheels turning.”
The Arts Alliance promotes the arts, supports arts programs and arts education. However, the artists do most of their own fundraising.
Some of the works in the tour include ceramics, photography, paintings, jewelry, paper art and woodwork.
The tour runs Oct. 8-10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information about the AAYC, visit to
For more information about Dowlen’s art visit
For more information about Anderson’s art visit

Chelsea Ploof/Freelancer
Jessica Prokop/Culture editor
Chelsea Ploof and Jessica Prokop can be reached at

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