Art “Walk” around Happy Camp

By Judy Bushy

Saturday was a celebration in Happy Camp. It was Buster Pence’s birthday. Happy Birthday Buster!

Also, it was the Art Walk, sponsored by one of the art organizations in town, the Klamath Knot Arts Council, which organized in July 2003. They propose to do whatever they can to bring our communities together through art. It was the grand opening of their new gallery in the building downtown by the 2nd Ave Bridge. You will see their new sign above Indian Creek Road on the new art gallery. They call their building “the Knot”.

The theme of the art at the Knot was “Creatures at Water’s Edge” with Connie Rasmussen, Loretta Montinye, Amanita Mullier, Gail McDowell, Karen Davis, and Rebecca Cote. There was also a performance of ‘Tales from the Book of Egret’ by Randell Reed, Ann Kelly and Todd Gilbert.

One of my very favorite things about Happy Camp is the Basket weaving skills of Wilverna Reece and others who are learning the ancient art of making baskets of all sorts, sizes, shapes and purposes. The first stop on Saturday’s Art Walk is the Karuk People’s Center Museum where Reece had baskets on display.

Right across Indian Creek Road at the Happy Camp Resource Center was artwork by Melissa Culbert, which was fun to see. You would be amazed at the cougar portrait! It was good, and done when she was in high school with one of my girls, I believe.

Down Washington Street at the Happy Camp Community Computer Center you’d enjoy art, digital art and writings by the high school students. Their publication, Indian Ink, was only $2 and had some exceptionally talented pieces in it.

Across Fourth Avenue in the Memorial Log Building built during the depression, people here showed everyone that working together they could accomplish what had been thought impossible when it meant an education for the children of Happy Camp. Today, Violet Anderson was there and we got to see many of her paintings. Not only her art, but her family must have inherited artistic talent also. Her family was also showing other art, photography. Isabel Goodwin also had really nice fish pattern quilt and other quilts and very nice art displayed.

A fun gathering was at Evans where Beth Buchanan and Eddie Davenport were making music, the little horses were waiting to be petted, and Jean was showing her horseshoe creations. Live Music by “The Rainy Day Trio” was enjoyed by people shopping booths at Old Town Park. Atwood’s skilled blacksmithing creations from triangles, to call the crew to lunch, and utensils to serve up lunch, to wrought iron gates and beautiful flowers were for sale. Dave and Glenna’s, metal sculptures come from Somes Bar. There were fabric arts and even a bake sale. Bill Latten’s walking sticks were with Peggy Whealon’s quilts.

The Frontier CafĂ© had Kathy Harvey’s photography, Up the hill, George Swem had art done by his mother up to the time she was 95, displayed. He shared some of the gold gilding that she had learned in Spain. That was the place to get my favorite strawberry lemonade made by Dolly Elliston. G & L Tires had jade jewelry by John Harkschin.

There were botanical themed art pieces at the Forest Service Information Center. Watercolors by Sheryl Alex were were displayed at Napa Auto Parts. Right next door, Kind and Gentle Dog Grooming had photography and oil paintings by Jill Livingston displayed. While I didn’t get to see Joe Emerson’s artwork at Forest Lodge Motel, the new manager, Dinah, was very friendly, inviting all in to see the art. She said the workmen are texturing the walls and it won’t be long until Forest Lodge has more rooms again. There was a large native American sculpture out front that I would have liked to see if Joe carved it.

Veronica Salvage had her paintings on display at Double J Sports & Spirits and the frames made by Jason Rasmussen set them off very well. It looked like an elk strolled in to enjoy the art also.

Ann Stranton had her photography at Pizza House. Bigfoot Towing was the site for Wayne & Margie Scott and Ron Kelly’s rocks, gems and jewelry. Tim Britton’s photography was at Al’s Auto Repair. Al Garrett’s photography was where the Chamber office is supposed to be, down the walk, Linda Davis paintings were to be displayed. Time was running out to do all the sites in three hours.

Parry’s Market had Nancy Kilmer demonstrating her art, Gloria Chappelear was showing oil paintings at the New 49ers Prospecting Club. Right next door Diann Hokanson had oil paintings and pastels at Siskiyou House. Klamath Siskiyou Art Center was getting ready for the monthly potluck and show which was for Alan Crockett’s oil paintings. This gallery at the Bigfoot Corner, the Klamath-Siskiyou Art Center, and the group working on construction of a new building working with the Forest Service and the Tribe to obtain RAC funding for their building project.

I doubt it possible to really stop and spend as much time as you wished looking at all the art you wanted to study closer. The hiking wasn’t for many of the patrons of the arts but some did. There were great things to see and a lot of wonderful people to stop and visit with. Perhaps the difficulty with completing the entire art walk, was stopping to visit too.

The Klamath Knot Arts Council is encouraging community-oriented arts (painting, sculpture, music, dance, theater – all the arts!) like the Kids’ after-school art program, gallery shows for members, the April Spring Performing Arts event at the High School, this Art Walk, and yet to come, in August, their 3rd Annual Free Dance at the River Park.