777 NW Beach Drive
Newport, OR 97365
Directions: Google Maps and other online mapping programs can have a problem directing you to the VAC. Here are the easiest directions to follow: heading north or south on Hwy. 101, turn west on NW 3rd St. Proceed straight down the hill. At the second stop sign, turn right. One short block later, turn left under Nye Beach archway. Proceed straight to Nye Beach turnaround and parking lot. The VAC is the large blue and gray building off the turnaround. To director offices and upper parking lot: turn west of Hwy. 101 at NW 3rd St. Head down hill. At second stop sign, continue straight 1.5 blocks, with the Sylvia Beach Hotel remaining on your left. The VAC administrative offices can be accessed through the smaller, upper parking lot.
The Oregon Coast Council for Arts welcomes Florence artist Kathy Elfers and her exhibition, “Out of the Box: Contemporary Design in Felt Making,” to the Coast Oregon Visual Artist Showcase (COVAS), from December 1 to January 26 at the Newport Visual Arts Center. Elfers works in the styles of wet felting, needle felting and Nuno felting, and she will present wall hangings, wall sculpture and 3D objects, some incorporating mixed media. An opening reception for “Out of the Box: Contemporary Design in Felt Making” will be held on Saturday, December 1, 5-7pm, with the artist talking about her work at 6:15pm.
The COVAS Showcase features mid-career artists living on the Oregon coast and rotates artists from throughout Oregon’s seven coastal counties. Having lived in Florence for the past ten years, Kathy Elfers will be representing Coastal Lane County in the COVAS Showcase. Elfers is a native Oregonian, was born in Corvallis, grew up in Corvallis and spent several years in Central Oregon before moving to Florence.
“In 1999 I watched a group of students making felted hats. Fascinated by the process, I took the class with Gin DeCamp and fell in love with the art form,” Elfers says. “It was magical to lay the loose felt fiber, add soap and start rubbing. Within a short time, I could feel the fiber beginning to bind and tangle on itself. The combination of traditional and modern techniques, and experimenting with various fibers, allows me to create a multitude of visual and textural effect.”
Ms. Elfers studied graphic arts for two years at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. From there she moved to Bend and pursued her studies in primitive cultures and archeology. Influenced by native designs, she worked with deer and elk leather, creating traditional and contemporary art and clothing, before turning her full attention to felting.
Wet felting, Elfer’s preferred method, dates back to 6,500-3,000 BC, while needle felting and Nuno felting are more modern forms. Elfers works in all three styles and enjoys combining the techniques to create her original works.
“It’s very important that I make my contribution in preserving these ancient skills and traditions,” Elfers says. “I consider myself a keeper of the felting tradition. As with an antique, it is my responsibility to preserve and protect, and then pass it on to the next generation.
Kathy Elfers is a felt instructor and co-founder of the Siuslaw Fiber Arts Group. She has won numerous awards at fiber art shows, including the Black Sheep Gathering and the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Her work can currently be seen at Backstreet Gallery in Florence, Mindpower Gallery in Reedsport, and Latigo and Lace in Augusta, Montana.
The COVAS Showcase is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4pm.
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