ArtsEast and Art Center at the Old Library NEWS

Merger Committee - Staff and Board of Directors from ArtsEast and the Art Center

Merger Committee – Staff and Board of Directors from ArtsEast and the Art Center

On behalf of the ArtsEast Board of Directors, I’d like to share some exciting news! The ArtsEast Board of Directors recently signed a letter of intent to begin formal preparations to pursue a merger with the Union County Arts and Culture Center (DBA Art Center at the Old Library) in La Grande.

We recently reached another milestone in the merger process. On October 2, 2014, the La Grande City Council formally voted to approve the transfer of the Lease Agreement of the Carnegie Library held between the Art Center and the City to ArtsEast. We are one step closer!

Our Board of Directors recognize that combining our two organizations will allow us to provide the best arts programming not only for our members, but also for the communities we serve. Together, our nonprofit organizations share 44 years of history and commitment to providing quality arts programming in our local and regional communities. Our goal is to combine resources and integrate programs and services to better meet the needs of our growing communities. Through this merger, we look forward to leveraging strengths and expertise we each bring to more effectively serve our communities. Merging with the Art Center will not significantly change the operation of ArtsEast programs—we will maintain both locations, current programs (Union County Children’s Choir, EOU Community Symphonic Band, and others), and annual events.

If you are not familiar with the Art Center at the Old Library, they were established as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2005. Their mission is “…to provide Union County with enriching arts experiences through classes, exhibits, and cultural activities.” Their programming focuses on arts education through classes offered at their facility for children and adults, supporting local and regional artists by hosting bi-monthly art exhibits in their gallery space, and hosting various cultural activities (music, dance, theater, and film events). Annually, they service over 7,500 patrons through their various programs.

Please know that we truly value your membership and support of our programs here at ArtsEast. We expect that this merger will only strengthen and further our vision of providing quality arts learning opportunities for our communities in our local and regional service areas.

As always, you are welcome to stop by the ArtsEast office, send an e-mail, or give me a call with your feedback.

All the best,

Mika Morton
ArtsEast Executive Director



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ArtsEast & Art Center Member Appreciation Event

Speakeasy flyer for members

You should join us at the SPEAKEASY, this Saturday from 8-11pm down at the Art Center and have a little whiskey, nibble on some delectable desserts provided by our local and regional chocolatiers, AND help support the arts in our community! This event is free for current ArtsEast and Art Center members. Not a member? That’s okay – you can get yours at the door for $25.

Individual membership is $25 and may be purchased online at or in person at the Art Center Tuesday-Saturday from 10-4.  Entry will include tasting of region chocolates from and $15 to be used toward food, beer, wine, bourbon samples, and games!  Prizes for best costumes or come as you are! All members will be entered into a drawing for 2 glass blowing ornament workshops with Dimond Art Glass studio in Cove.

Questions?  Please contact the Art Center at 541-624-2800, Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

Thank you!

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More Professional Development Workshops Opportunities!

In conjunction with the ArtsEast Biennial 2014 show, ArtsEast and the Art Center at the Old Library will present Professional Development Workshops for any who wish to attend.

Topics for the remaining two workshops include:

Finding Exhibition Opportunities with Robert Tomlinson (Sept. 22, 6 – 7:30pm, $35) at ArtsEast

Presenting Your Portfolio/Portfolio Peer Review with Robert Tomlinson (Sept. 23, 6 – 7:30pm, $35) at ArtsEast.

ArtsEast is located on the corner of 6th St. & ‘L’ Avenue in La Grande.

To register for any of these workshops, you can either call ArtsEast 541-962-3629 or the Art Center 541-624-2800. You can also register online at

About Robert Tomlinson: Robert has been the executive director and curator for four art non-profit organizations: the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Gallery One Visual Arts Center, Jupiter Arts Center and the Oregon Arts Alliance. He also had his own contemporary art gallery in New Mexico for 4 years. He was also the director and organizer for the first two annual citywide exhibitions for the city of Emeryville, selecting and installing works by 120 artists each year. Collectively, he has curated and installed over 100 exhibitions.

He has also been an active teacher – designing and implementing an art & architecture curriculum for the first through sixth grades in San Francisco public schools, beginning drawing classes for high school aged students and a middle school art curriculum for the Thorp Unified School District. He also set-up programs for people with developmental disabilities. As executive director for the Oregon Arts Alliance, he developed and taught a series of workshops based on best business practices for artists called, “The Art Of Doing Business”.

The ArtsEast Biennial 2014 show will run through September 27 at the Art Center at the Old Library. The ArtsEast Biennial 2014 is made possible in part due to the generous support of the Wildhorse Foundation in Pendleton, OR.

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New partnership with Grande Ronde Community Choir

GRCC 2013We are excited to announce a new collaboration between ArtsEast and the Grande Ronde Community Choir! Starting this year, ArtsEast will take on administering the Grande Ronde Community Choir and help with registrations and marketing. Mike Frasier will still lead the choir as the director with accompanist Lanetta Paul.

With this new collaboration, comes a new opportunity for participants to invest not only their time and talents to the choir but also to contribute additional funds to help sustain this unique community-based choral program. These additional funds will go straight back into the Grande Ronde Community Choir.

The fee structure is as follows: Friend $25 (participation fee); Patron $50 ($25 participation fee plus $25 tax-deductible donation); Encore $100 ($25 participation fee plus $75 tax-deductible donation); and Maestro $125 ($25 participation fee plus one-year membership to ArtsEast/Art Center at the Old Library). Members at the Patron level and above will receive name recognition in our programs.

Download a registration form and bring it with you to the first day of rehearsal on September 18th from 7-9pm in Loso Hall 123 on EOU in La Grande. For more information, contact ArtsEast at 541-962-3629 / email or Mike Frasier at 541-910-1149 / email.


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ArtsEast Biennial 2014 Announces HONORED ARTISTS

Biennial Honored Artists 2014ArtsEast Biennial 2014 opened with a well-attended and festive reception on August 1 at the Art Center at the Old Library in La Grande.

ArtsEast Interim Executive Director Mika Morton and Art Center Executive Director Annie Eskelin presented “Honored Artist” awards to Kathy Benson (La Grande), Jaime Gustavson (La Grande), Tammy Kinney (Ontario), and Debbie McIntosh (Pendleton).

“Honored Artists” were selected by this year’s Juror, Douglas Russell (Oregon State University Art Faculty). In addition to the $250 cash award, award recipients are invited for a group show at the Art Center in the Summer of 2015.

Other artists selected for the show include: Steve Antell, Wendy Bull, Antonia Carriere, Jack Coelho, Tom Dimond, Darcy Dolge, Mona Dinger, James Dumble, Karen Erickson, Michael Gove, Denise Gravener, Janet Hume-Schwarz, Hillery Lay, Austin McDonald, Zaq Mendenhall, Kendrick Moholt, Linda Peterson, Connie Robbins, Cindy Sitz, and Stephen Wadner.

This year, we received 109 entries from 38 artists from across the region, but only 35 entries from 24 artists were selected. In selecting works for the Biennial Show, Douglas Russell was looking for work that “sparked a response in me, regardless of style, through things like originality, imagination, emotional depth, design, and technical achievement.”

Special thanks to the Wildhorse Foundation for their support of the ArtsEast Biennial 2014 show. We would also like to recognize local support from J. Hume CPA, Northwind Associates, and Dr. and Mrs. Matt Cooper.

The show will run through September 27 at the Art Center at the Old Library. The Art Center at the Old Library is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm. For additional information, call ArtsEast 541-962-3629 or the Art Center at the Old Library 541-624-2800.

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“Monotype Printing” with Frank Janzen, Master Printmaker at Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts

Frank Janzen at work

Photo credit: Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Pendleton OR

ArtsEast and the Art Center at the Old Library is pleased to offer Professional Development Workshops during the ArtsEast Biennial 2014 show for any who wish to attend.

The first in a series of four Professional Development Workshops is led by Frank Janzen, Master Printmaker at Crow’s Shadow Instituite of the Arts in Pendleton. “Monotype Printing” will be on August 2, from 10am – 4pm at the Art Center at the Old Library. The fee for this workshop with Frank Janzen is $75. Space is limited to 12 participants. To register, call ArtsEast 541-962-3629 or the Art Center 541-624-2800. You can also register for “Monotype Printing” and other workshops online at

ABOUT “MONOTYPE PRINTING” All materials and equipment will be supplied by Crow’s Shadow including paper. Participants will be using a small etching press so all of the paper will be torn to 11” x 15” as well as being registered. Participants will be able to create a print that has been printed edge to edge (bleed print) or one with a pristine border. There will not be any particular theme; participants are invited to create anything they wish from realistic landscape to abstract or anything in between. Due to the limited amount of time, the initial demonstration will be about mixing and modifying inks and using a roller or a brush to achieve a consistent layer of ink on a Plexiglass plate. Frank will also explain the various mark-making techniques as well as discussing signing, documentation, and preservation of prints.

ABOUT FRANK JANZEN: Frank moved to the Pendleton area from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to become Crow’s Shadow Institute of Art’s first full-time resident Master Printer in 2001. He is an artist in his own right, working mainly in printmaking and painting, and has collaborated with numerous artists in the U.S., Canada, and South Africa in the creation of limited edition lithographs. A gifted instructor, Frank collaborates with artists of all ages and skill levels. Whether working one-on-one with professional artist of guiding a classroom of high school students through the technically challenging medium of fin-art printmaking, Frank has demonstrated an ability to help translate the artist’s vision onto paper.


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ArtsEast Biennial 2014 – Opening Reception August 1, 6 – 9PM

ArtsEast Biennial 2014 POSTER_updated information

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ArtsEast names Mika Morton Interim Executive Director

Mika MortonLA GRANDE, Oregon -The Board of Directors of ArtsEast welcomes long-time staff member Mika Morton as Interim Executive Director. In this position, Morton will oversee all ArtsEast functions including arts education opportunities in Eastern Oregon schools and local community-based programs through ArtsEast’s Community School of the Arts program, a partnership between ArtsEast and Eastern Oregon University.

Morton brings a wealth of experience to the position, having worked for ArtsEast since 2009. Most recently, she served as Programs Coordinator, managing the Artist-in-Residence and Community School for the Arts programs. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Art (Art History) from Oregon State University and has worked in art galleries in Portland and Corvallis. She has worked as a technical writer for a software company and serves currently as president of the Central Elementary PTA, where she also teaches art classes as a volunteer.

Morton replaces Kelly Richards, who held the Executive Director position since November 2013. During her tenure, Richards stewarded the organization and supported arts in the community by reaching out to community members and organizations and bringing them together for collaboration and conversation. Morton plans to maintain the high quality of ArtsEast programs. She comments, “I am extremely excited with the opportunity to represent an organization that advocates for the arts by providing arts learning opportunities in the schools and in our local and regional communities. I look forward to engaging our community members and our local and regional partners to fully realize our shared vision for a vibrant community that supports the arts.”

Since its founding 1977 as a 501(c)3, ArtsEast has inspired interest and participation in the arts across Eastern Oregon. Based on the Eastern Oregon University campus in La Grande, ArtsEast provides Artist-in-Residence programs in regional schools and oversees the Community School of the Arts, which hosts music lessons, the Community African Drumming Group, the EOU Community Symphonic Band, and the Union County Children’s Choir. In addition, ArtsEast supports regional artists through the ArtsEast Bienneial Show, a juried show open to all artists in the region.

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Collaboration with Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (La Grande)

Ladd Marsh Bird Festival - Artists at workWe were delighted to have been asked back to participate in the 9th Annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival this year. We will once again be collaborating with Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife to help promote and celebrate birds, birding, and the natural beauty of the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area.

The Bird Festival is May 16, 17, & 18 this year and the Plein Air painting event is scheduled for Saturday, May 17 from 9am – Noon.

There are six “Host Sites” throughout the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area (see map below) that are designated for bird watching. Each Host Site will be staffed with an experienced birder to point out birds/wildlife and answer questions from the public.

Ladd Marsh Bird Festival - Plein Air Sites MAP

We are looking for artists who would like to spend a few hours Saturday morning painting and visiting with birders and the public at these designated Host Sites. Each site can host several artists and most of them are located near restrooms. Parking is free to visitors all day. Please plan to bring a snack, plenty of water, and be prepared for spring weather in May (rain, sun, or maybe snow showers!?).

Last year, visitors enjoyed the company of 12 artists. If you would like to participate in this year’s Plein Air even at the Ladd Marsh Bird Festival, please contact ArtsEast as soon as possible. The Plein Air stations are numbered  1 – 6 on the map — please note that Site 5 has already been reserved.

For more information on the Ladd Marsh Bird Festival, please visit Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Please feel free to contact ArtsEast if you have any questions about the Plein Air event at this year’s Ladd Marsh Bird Festival.

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ArtsEast Biennial 2014 – CALL FOR ENTRIES

biennial call for entries posterArtsEast and the Art Center at the Old Library invites Eastern Oregon artists to submit entries for the 2014 Artists of Eastern Oregon Biennial Show.  The Artists of Eastern Oregon Biennial show is a juried art competition open to all artists, 18 and over, residing in the following counties in Eastern Oregon: Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler.

This year, we are pleased to be collaborating with the Art Center at the Old Library in La Grande. The Biennial show will be juried by Doug Russell, the gallery director at Fairbanks Gallery and curator of the Fine Art Collection in the School of Arts and Communications at Oregon State University in Corvallis. The Biennial show will open August 1st and run through September 27 at the Art Center at the Old Library.

Frank Janzen, Master Printer from Crow’s Shadow Institute Institute of the Arts in Pendleton, will be our keynote guest speaker during the Opening Reception on August 1st. He will also lead a Printmaking Workshop on Saturday, August 2, at the Art Center.

Artists may submit up to three digital images with a $35 entry fee by April 25.  The work must have been created in the last two years. Artwork previously exhibited in an Artists of Eastern Oregon Biennial show is not eligible. Artists will be notified of their acceptance by June 2 – 7, 2014.  Accepted pieces must arrive at the the Art Center July 21 & 22.

Up to four artists will be selected as “Honored Artists” and each will receive a $250 cash award.  The four artists will be featured in exclusive exhibits at the Art Center at the Old Library in 2015 and their work will be featured on the ArtsEast and Art Center web sites and in materials promoting the organizations.

For submission details and general specifications, download the Application Packet. Please mail your application, submissions, and entry fee to:

ArtsEast – Biennial 2014
P.O. Box 541
La Grande, OR  97850

Special thanks to the Wildhorse Foundation in Pendleton for helping to fund this regional art exhibit.

For additional information, please contact Mika Morton, Assistant Director, at 541-962-3629 or send an e-mail.

ArtsEast Biennial 2012 information.


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