If you're on the West Coast and need an excuse for a long weekend away, here are two options of note:
Feats of Clay XXI, Lincoln, CA
The historic Gladding Bean terra cotta factory in Lincoln, California opens to visitors once a year during the annual Feats of Clay ceramic sculpture competition and exhibition, this year from April 26 through May 25.
Visitors will learn about the special characteristics of Lincoln clay, take a look back in history to see how Gladding McBean’s skilled artisans sculpted enormous pieces of art for architectural facades, and will become aware of the company’s basic production of ground pipe, roof tiles and garden pottery. They will stroll by the twenty-two massive beehive kilns and visit the historic molding room. In addition, art lovers will get to view over seventy pieces of ceramic sculpture, most of which are for sale.
This year's award winners, chosen by juror Judith S. Schwartz from more than 1,100 entries, include Gabriel Pargue, Portland, Oregon; Porntip Sangvanich, Los Angeles; Shane Keena, West Henriette, New York; and Jeff Irwin of San Diego.
Reservations are required for tours and can be made by calling the Lincoln Arts Council, organizers of Feats of Clay, at (916) 645-9713. Entry fee is $10. Visitors must be age ten or older and should wear comfortable shoes as tours last about ninety minutes and require much walking.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Lincoln Arts and Culture Foundation, supporting local cultural programs, including a summer concert series, after-school art classes, and school arts programs. For more info, visit their website.
Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale WA
Maryhill Museum of Art will present its annual Outdoor Sculpture Invitational May 10 - October 31, 2008. The exhibition features large-scale works in a variety of media by Northwest artists Gregory Glynn, Stuart Jacobson, Alisa Looney, David Miller, Dennis Peacock, Mylan Rakich and Tom Urban. Exhibiting artists and Maryhill's curator of exhibits, Lee Musgrave, will lead an exhibit walk on Saturday, May 17 at 4 p.m. as part of the museum's Members' Day festivities. Admission to the museum's sculpture garden is free.
In addition to works in the 2008 Outdoor Sculpture Invitational, visitors to Maryhill can also see sculptures from the museum's collections that are on permanent display: on the grounds -- works by Brad Cloepfil, Tom Herrera, Mel Katz, Heath Krieger, Jill Torberson, Julian Voss-Andreae, Jeff Weitzel and Leon White, and in the museum -- Auguste Rodin.
Perched on a stunning 5,000-acre site overlooking the scenic Columbia River Gorge, Maryhill Museum of Art contains a world-class collection of artwork ranging from early 20th century European works to Native American objects. This award-winning museum, founded by Northwest entrepreneur and visionary Sam Hill, opened to the public in 1940. Outside the museum is an Outdoor Sculpture Garden, Lewis and Clark interpretive panels, and a life-sized replica of Stonehenge.
The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 15 to November 15. Admission fees are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $2 for children age 6-16. Maryhill is located off Highway 97, 12 miles south of Goldendale, Washington. Drive times to the museum are 2 hours from Portland/Vancouver, 3.5 hours from Bend, 4 hours from Seattle, and 1.5 hours from Yakima. Visit www.maryhillmuseum.org for more information.