Discover Florence’s public art through a self-guided tour

“3 Blue Spires” by Gerry Newcomb is currently on display at the Siuslaw River Interpretive Center on Bay Street.

May 25, 2022 — The City of Florence Public Art Committee (PAC) has partnered with local volunteers and

Oregon Coast Quests to create a Florence Public Art Quest, a self-guided educational experience of art, local culture and architecture in Historic Old Town Florence.

Oregon Coast Quests is a program through the Sea Grant program of the Oregon State University Extension program. Quests are fun, free-choice learning adventures that use clues and hints to encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural, and historical treasures of place and community. Suitable for all ages, self-guided quests allow lifelong learners to explore outdoor spaces in a new way and at their own pace. At the end of each interpretive Quest, participants find a hidden box containing a logbook to sign and a hand-carved stamp to mark their accomplishment.

“Oregon Coast Quests inspired us to create the Florence Public Art Quest for our community and visitors as a way of featuring our public art. People are able to go at their own pace, learn new things and be inspired by what they experience,” said Public Art Committee Co-Chair Jo Beaudreau, who first learned about Questing through Dina Pavlis and Jo-Ann Curtola and their work with Vision Quest.

“One of the goals of the Quest is to provide Questers with an expanded foundation of Art and Culture that is found right here in Florence. In rural communities, residents might have fewer opportunities to expand their understanding and knowledge of arts and culture due to lack of exposure and resources. The Florence Public Art Quest can be adapted for school field trips, senior living centers, multiple people or larger groups being on the Quest at the same time, or people just being out and about on their own. It also was created so visitors of all ages and walks of life may experience Florence,” Beaudreau said.

The Public Art Committee worked to make the Public Art Quest as accessible as possible by multiple test runs with a broad test group, including disabled members of the community. 

“The Florence Public Art Quest is unique in nature since it is ongoing, born from collaboration, educational on many levels and entertaining,” added local artist Patricia Williams, who has been working with the PAC to create the Quest.

On Saturday, May 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers from the Public Arts Committee will be at the Port of Siuslaw Boardwalk to help guide people through the Art Quest and celebrate the launch of the quest.

PAC also wanted to make sure this was a timeless Quest, so efforts were made to allow for flexibility with changes in our area. Oregon Coast Quests books are revised and released every two years. The Florence Public Art Quest will be featured in the next book, published in early 2023. The current Oregon Coast Quest Book is available for purchase at Books ‘n’ Bears at 1255 Bay St.

A free handout of the Florence Public Art Quest will be available at the Florence Events Center (715 Quince St.), BeauxArts Fine Art Materials (2285 Highway 101 Ste. H), Florence Regional Arts Alliance (120 Maple St.), Siuslaw Public Library (1460 9th St.), Books 'n' Bears (1255 Bay St.), and the Siuslaw News (148 Maple St.).

Visit www.ci.florence.or.us/bc-pac/florence-public-art-quest for more information about the Florence Public Art Quest. 

More information about Oregon Coast Quests can be found at their website: seagrant.oregonstate.edu/education/quests.

PAC was formed in 2015 by the Florence City Council. The mission of the PAC is to integrate art into the daily life of our community, inspiring extraordinary creative expression by enhancing the vitality, economy, and diversity of Florence through the arts.

Questions about the Public Arts program can be directed to Sarah Moehrke, Senior Economic

Development Analyst, via [email protected] or 541-991-8276.

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