Celebrate mom and the arts with 2nd Saturday Gallery Tour

Artwork by Pam Nedder of the Florence Regional Arts Alliance.

This weekend’s 2nd Saturday Gallery Tour comes the day before Mother’s Day on May 12. It’s the perfect chance to explore local art galleries, sample refreshments and take home unique local artwork. Visit the following locations and more during the tour from 3 to 5 p.m. at various locations around town. For more information, visit 2nd


Backstreet Gallery

Digital surrealist Tom Lederle and author Judy Fleagle team-up for a combination of the abstract and reality for their reception on May 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay St.

After a number of years using IT skills in his career, Lederle now translates those concepts to create what he refers to as “digital surrealism.” Based on original photographs and digital images, he manipulates ordinary scenes or found objects and digitally transforms them into extraordinary images, which often evoke a moody or unearthly interpretation.

Lederle is also developing a “hybrid digital” process, where once the image is transferred to canvas, he uses a good old paintbrush and acrylic paint to further enhance the image. His new book, “Journey from Nerd to Artist,” introduces his innovative processes.

“No matter what your age or station in this world, creating and enjoying art helps keep life exciting and meaningful,” Lederle said.

Similarly, Fleagle didn’t start out as an author. She taught second grade for five years and first for 17 years in California and then worked as an editor/writer at Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines for 21 years.

In 2010, she embarked on a third career as an author. She wrote “Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges” (2011); “The Crossings Guide to Oregon’s Coastal Spans” (2013); “Around Florence” (2014), history of the area from 1876 to the present; and “Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known” (2015) about rescue animals that became great pets — eventually.

 A fifth book, “The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED” came out in December 2018. More than 500 copies sold in the first four months. It covers 26 locales that made Fleagle take a second look during her years as a magazine editor and say, “Who’d a thunk it!” Some locales are man-made, others created by nature and a few show nature in action.

Fleagle enjoys her life as an author. She keeps busy and stays out of trouble.

For more information, visit www.backstreetgallery.org.


Florence Regional Arts Alliance

Florence Regional Arts Alliance (FRAA) is pleased to feature the dramatic, versatile, and always surprising artwork of Pam Nedder during the month of May at the FRAA Art Center, 120 Maple St. in Historic Old Town Florence.

Nedder describes Florence as “a little slice of heaven.”

She became interested in art because of her and her husband’s involvement with FRAA, and began participating in different classes, learning various art techniques.

After a career involving lots of spreadsheets, Nedder says, “I found myself falling head over heels in love with painting. When I discovered the art of acrylic pouring, I found my passion. It all starts with making a mess — literally! Part of the fun is the joy in always being surprised by the finished product. Everyone sees something different.”

The public in invited to come to FRAA on May 11 for a special “Second Saturday Gallery Tour” reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served as guests view Nedder’s artwork and each “see something different.” Nedder will be there to talk with visitors and share more about her artistic process and techniques.


Mudmusic Studio

Local ceramicist Mike Schwartz is holding his annual two-day Pit Fired Ceramics Studio Sale on

Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11. Each year on Mother’s Day Weekend, he opens his Mudmusic Studio to the public to sell his pit-fired ceramics.

Pit firing is an ancient process in which the pieces are not fired in a kiln, but, rather, in an open fire. No glazes are used — the dramatic colors Schwartz achieves are due to the interaction of fire and smoke working on the salts and metals applied to the ceramics. The pieces themselves are thrown the potter’s wheel. Each is a one of a kind work of art.

A psychiatrist in a prior life, Schwartz moved to Florence in 1995, and learned to become a potter to fulfill his view of retirement.

“It’s all about reinvention. Retirement should not be spent just sitting around,” he says.

Currently, his work can be seen in five Oregon coast galleries from Gardiner to Astoria. Locally, his work may be seen at the River Gallery on Bay Street year-round. You can also preview Schwartz’s work via mudmusicstudio.com.

The sale is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The studio is located at 04899 Heceta Beach Road, 1.3 miles from Highway 101. Watch for the signs. For more information, please call 541-997-1012.


Siuslaw Public Library

“Things with Wings” are the theme for Siuslaw Public Library’s Hang It All 2 Community Display at the Florence branch, 1460 Ninth St. While no reception is planned, the community is invited to come in all month to view this non-juried public art display.

Springtime is the perfect time to find soaring sources to inspire arts and crafts

Information about the fifth annual Hang It All 2 is available at the library, at www.siuslawlibrary.org, on the library’s Facebook page or by calling 541-997-3132.


The Studios at Jayne Smoley Design

The Studios at Jayne Smoley Design, 1458 First St., is featuring the photography artwork of Craig Shreeve in May, along with resident artists Smoley and her fused glass, Tamarah Phillips and her oil paintings and Gigi Lassan and her jewelery and paintings.

Shreeve has an amazing eye for capturing and enhancing his photos with multiple layers, images and filters.

In addition, The Studios is again hosting its “Make and Almost Take.”. People can come in and make a own 3.5-inch glass dish and it will be ready for pick up on Thursday. It’s a chance to get a taste of what Smoley’s Sip & Fuse classes are all about for just $15.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, there will be open stock shopping of items included in Smoley’s Studio Boxes. Many people have asked to buy a candle, mug, art and chocolate from the themed Studio Boxes, and 2nd Saturday is a chance to shop these exclusives. Gift certificates are also available.

There will be live music by Jeff Lovejoy and refreshments during the tour.

For more information, visit jaynesmoleydesign.com.