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Get your hands dirty in clay

Posted by on Apr 23, 2018 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Get your hands dirty in clay

Creating art can be inspiring. It can also be a tad frustrating.
But, in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Every artist was first an amateur.” 
The volunteers at the Hoffman Center for The Arts’ clay program will help you find your inner artist.
Established in 2006 by Kathleen Ryan, the clay program offers a wide variety of clay activities for anyone 18 years and older at its open studio.
And they want you to get your hands dirty.
Working at the wheel at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita.
Originally the studio consisted of one kiln, one wheel and a handful of volunteers. Since then, it has steadily grown to include five wheels, two kilns, and over 30 volunteers. 
“We’re very proud of how far we’ve come,” said volunteer clay studio co-leader, Sharon Gibson. 
That growth has allowed the program to expand hours to three days a week and one evening at their open studio.
Everyone is welcome to drop by the studio, though it’s often better if participants have a little more to spare.
“We work with raw clay and you have a lot of steps to see a piece through to the end,” said co-leader Steven Gibson. “The entire process takes about two to three weeks.”
Beginner and expert clay artists are welcome.
That’s not to say you can’t start simple: beginners can easily learn to make a simple pinch or slab pot.
If you want more one-on-one instruction, you can choose from private lessons as well as master classes featuring local and regional clay experts. 
Curious about the work being done in the studio? You can usually find ceramics from studio and guest artists on display in the adjoining Hoffman Gallery. There’s also a large ceramic sale across the street at Hoffman Gardens during the summer. Proceeds support the clay program. 
Take a private lesson or a group class: whatever your pace!
The studio relies on donations of supplies and time and charges a nominal fee for studio time and clay. 
“We really try to keep the fees down so it’s approachable for everybody,” said Sharon, noting that the studio is one of the largest not-for-profit studios on the coast. 
The studio has a large base of local users, though the Gibsons have noticed a slight rise in drop-ins by out-of-towners. 
“Often times those folks are interested in a new experience. They don’t necessarily want to take anything home with them,” said Sharon. 
“Whether it’s food or art, people are becoming more interested in learning how to make things,” Steven added.

Open Clay Studio information:
Hours are Tuesday & Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. and Thursday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Adults age 18 or older, all experience levels
Studio fees are $2 an hour and clay fees are $1.50 per pound
No reservations needed.
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Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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Art Accelerated: Blink, you miss it

Posted by on Apr 12, 2018 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Art Accelerated: Blink, you miss it

Here’s one you might have missed.
A few weeks ago, Georgia O’Keefe showed up at a local brewery with a signature painting, a vase of flowers and a whole bunch of art supplies. She planned to inspire and instruct a group of people who had come to paint while enjoying microbrew.
Christine Harrison as Georgia O’Keeffe.
The results were stunning and the people had a blast. Did you miss it? Easy to miss if you blinked!
This is how the creators behind Tillamook Art Accelerated think.
“We offer inspiring happenings in unpredictable places and unforgettable art experiences,” said board member Neal Lemery, a retired local judge turned “creative.”
“Our timing is good—people are thirsty for the arts in Tillamook. Everything we’re offering is a hit: sketch crawls, en plein air painting sessions, art classes for all ages, open mic nights, a book fair with local authors, and now we’ve opened a gallery and started a monthly art walk.”
Art Accelerated offers many unique, art-based experiences.
Next up? One of Art Accelerated’s founders, Dennis Worrel has his sites set on doing something memorable on the scenic Wilson River Highway which will celebrate its 100th anniversary this coming October.
Along with a host of partners, including the Forest Center on Highway 6, ODOT, and the Pioneer Museum to name a few, Art Accelerated plans to produce a series of creative events called “Celebrate Route 6.”
Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? Stay tuned for details, and don’t blink or you’ll miss it!
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Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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Your hosts on the Coast

Posted by on Apr 6, 2018 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Your hosts on the Coast

For anyone who has spent time visiting the parks of the Tillamook Coast, you soon realize you don’t want to leave. There is too much beauty, activity and relaxation to enjoy in one visit.
A select few have chosen to stay and make these parks their home away from home. They are camp hosts and they have dedicated themselves to sharing their passion for these beautiful places with others.
Dick and Carolyn Colbert of Rockaway Beach were looking for something unique to do with their retirement. While many of their peers were fleeing to southern climates, they wanted to get out and explore the Oregon Coast.
After talking to friends who had hosted at area parks, they decided to give it a try.
“We always loved to camp,” Carolyn said. “We wanted to help enhance the visitor’s experience of Oregon.”
They hitched up their cozy trailer and headed north to Nehalem Bay State Park. Nestled on a beautiful sandy spit it offers activities such as horseback riding and fishing.
Oregon State Parks rely on camp hosts to perfrom a wide variety of services.
As hosts, the Colberts enjoyed being available to visitors from their camp site and found themselves meeting and befriending people from across the United States and around the world, including other hosts.
They participated in helping park rangers organize nature talks, history presentations, and pot-luck dinners.
“Even when there was nothing going on, we were never bored,” Carolyn said.
The Colberts spent nearly a decade hosting – at Nehalem Bay and along the Oregon Coast – before Dick passed away in 2014.
Their trailer became a second beach home and the Colberts found that camping didn’t mean “roughing it.” Their trailer was often decorated with bright flags, wind chimes and other touches of home.
“I enjoyed putting out flowers,” Carolyn said. “We even had a DVD player in the trailer. If I never had to get mail, I would never have gone home.”
Park Ranger Geoff Baertlein, coordinator of the camp host program at Nehalem Bay State Park, said camp hosts provide a number of invaluable services: greeting campers, answering questions, preparing firewood, cleaning up litter.
“The hosts are very important to Nehalem Bay State Park and the Park System,” he said. “We wouldn’t be able to function without them: our parks wouldn’t look as nice.”
Baertlein adds that for everyone involved – Park Rangers, hosts, and campers – its often a lasting familial relationship.
“I’m really proud of the program and the hosts. I’ve made some great friends over the years and we’ve managed to get a ton of work done,” he said. “I’m always happy to bring new folks into the program.”
For hosting information at Nehalem Bay State Park, contact Park Ranger Geoff Baertlein at  503-801-4675 or
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Roll out the red carpet for Riverbend Players

Posted by on Apr 4, 2018 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Roll out the red carpet for Riverbend Players

The joy of community theater is the chance to see friends and neighbors stretch beyond their comfort zone and inhabit personalities the polar opposite of their own.
A pharmacist becomes a pirate; a police officer belts out Sondheim; a librarian gets to tap dance.
Audiences and actors get to let their hair down and live in someone else’s skin.
It’s probably why Jack Nicholson called acting: “everybody’s favorite second job.”
Everyone can act. Manzanita Mayor Mike Scott had a role in 2016 production of The Odd Couple.
Seeking to build on that joy Riverbend Players – a community theater group based in Nehalem – first appeared on stage in 2005. Thanks to a dedicated group of theater enthusiasts and volunteers, they began a more robust schedule of productions in 2007, including staging plays and dinner theater.
As enthusiasm for local theater grew, Riverbend Players saw the need for a more dedicated, permanent space to perform.
“That eventually morphed into the current performing arts center at North County Recreation District (NCRD),” said Tom Cocklin, board president of Riverbend Players.
The space was unused except for storage and was most definitely not ready for prime time: disheveled and tattered around the edges.
“It was mostly storage, and piles of stuff everywhere,” Cocklin said.
That has since changed with around $200,000 worth of work: new lighting, padded seats, carpet, railings and a remodeled stage, giving the room a classic, regal feel.
“It went from a really uncomfortable place to be to a fantastic venue,” said Cocklin.
Riverbend Players’ inaugural production in the revamped facility was Neil Simon’s comedic classic, “The Odd Couple” in 2016. Recently they have tackled Cole Porter’s “You Never Know” and Garrison Kanin’s “Born Yesterday.”
It takes a village to put on a play.
With over a decade of stage productions and a remodeled facility under their belt, Riverbend Players recently achieved non-profit status and have seen their original base of volunteers grow from five to 35. They also have a contract with NCRD to be their house theater troupe and have added the ability to purchase tickets online.
In short, they are taking the Tillamook County theater scene by storm with three annual productions: one in spring, one in summer and one in fall/winter.
In all, Riverbend Players has staged 34 productions with 15 different directors.
Riverbend Players produces three plays each year.
“We have a play selection committee that submits their recommendations to the board,” Cocklin said.
Though they are serious about creating authentic theater experiences, Cocklin said that everyone is welcome to become a part of the group. Whether your interest is behind the scenes or acting, there’s room for everyone.
“As we grow, we want anyone who is interested in the theater arts to come and get involved,” Cocklin said.
Riverbend Players has grown since ints inception in 2005.
And if you’re shy about getting up on stage?
“We have a great group of veteran actors ready to help,” Cocklin said. “We’re a very friendly, inclusive group.”
NCRD Performing Arts Center is located at 36155 9th Street in Nehalem.
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Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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New and wonderful reasons to kick back in Pacific City

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on New and wonderful reasons to kick back in Pacific City

Driving north on Highway 101, there comes a moment when I find my gaze pulled westward and there, across the wetlands flush with geese, rises Haystack Rock, the iconic landmark signaling we are almost there.
In the past, I’ve come to Pacific City to kayak, for Dory Days and the Blessing of the Fleet and for wine tasting. I’ve walked the beach, watched the horses, the surfers and SUP’ers, and plan for the annual April Birding and Blues Festival.
But on this weekend, I—with hubs Chan in tow—have come for the sole pleasure of checking out some of the newest additions to this oceanfront town. It’s a list as diverse as it is distinctive: a luxury lodge and spa, a chic airy restaurant dedicated to sustainable fine dining; and an RV park of new and vintage Airstream trailers.
Headlands Lodge exterior
We pull into town on a Saturday and moments later, I get my first look at the Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa, a blend of wood, glass and stone, with unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean, Haystack Rock, and the beach for as far as the eye can see.
I arrive just as owners Mary Jones and Jeff Schons are coming through the front doors and am lucky enough to be invited on a personal tour with Lodge manager Jennifer Nelson.
It may seem the public restroom is an odd place to start, but it’s a testament to the amazing detail the pair have put into the Lodge, made obvious here by the living wall sculpture captured first in its reflection in the mirror. Crafted by Coyote Gardens of Neskowin, it’s also a fine example of the effort made to use local artists throughout the hotel.
In the lobby, we pass the gift shop, and the Meridian restaurant, where wall-to-wall windows are designed to open and fold back on those fine coastal days. Each of the three guest room floors features a space dubbed “The Pantry,” the place you’d normally find overpriced vending machines. Here, it’s stocked with locally sourced snacks like Tillamook ice cream and Oregon Bark’s Tom Bumble Bar. And no need to worry about the correct change, snacks here are on the honor system. In the same vein, you won’t find a concierge at Headlands. Rather, those helpful people here are known as Adventure Coaches, at your service to help plan all kinds of outings.
Headlands Lodge view
As we walk, passing views of the spa, the future herb garden, and even a “Hideout,” soon to be equipped with hammocks, I can’t help but notice the prevalent theme of geese. That, as I soon learn from an etching on the wall, is the Headlands’ logo, a nod to the Semidi Island Aleutian Cackling Geese whose only wintering spot in the world is Pacific City.
“Each year, the Geese fly south more than 2,000 miles from their small Alaskan nesting Islands to Oregon’s North Coast. Every evening during their annual Pacific City stay, they leave the grassy pastures in the Nestucca Valley and soar across a mile of ocean to roost on Haystack Rock—the same towering monolith Headlands guests can see from their rooms and cottages…”
Finished with this tour, Nelson walks me across Cape Kiwanda Drive to check out Hart’s Camp, where, “It’s always glamping season.”
Airstream glamping
Currently, there are seven Airstreams. Each comes with a private yard and deck, a custom-built bike rack for the complimentary Linus bikes, a BBQ, fire pit, outdoor shower and bundle of wood. Future plans include a total of 30 to 40 Airstreams and cabins, and a recreation center including an indoor pool. I’ve camped, but never glamped, and this has me thinking it’s time to start.
But this time around, I’m ready for a little pampering in my oceanfront room on the second floor of the Headlands Lodge.
I step into a room featuring box seat views of Haystack Rock, a king-sized bed, cast iron soaking tub, fireplace, private deck, and undoubtedly the best vantage point offered by any shower on the Oregon Coast.
With the right supply of rations, it seems to me a soul could check in here and need never go out. Almost. As it happens, an outdoor hot tub awaits and I’m a fool for a hot tub, especially one with an ocean view. On our way there, we pass through the spa where an instructor leads a sole student in yoga, and where the gym is stocked with Pelaton bikes, and his and her locker rooms feature steam rooms.
Chef Andrew of Meridian Restaurant at the Headlands
Later, we dress for dinner and walk to the Meridian, nearly overflowing with the revelers celebrating a birthday party. The manager sees us watching, and slips us around the back of the bar where we have a full view of the kitchen, overseen by Executive Chef Andrew Garrison.
Bartender Brian has just moved from Texas and is already loving the Oregon Coast vibe. When we mention we plan to have breakfast in the morning, he recommends two of his favorite dishes. And, of course, after a soothing slumber to the sound of the surf, we take his advice, ordering the Smoked Salmon Benedict and Headlands Hash. As promised, they do not disappoint.
On our way home, we again pass the wetlands and this time when I see those geese, I am reminded what a singular place this truly is.
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Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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Teeming with color and whimsy

Posted by on Mar 30, 2018 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Teeming with color and whimsy

Open the door to the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook and it’s as if you, like Lewis Carroll’s famous Alice, have fallen through the looking glass and landed squarely into an alternate world.
The Latimer Center, as locals call it, teems with color and whimsy as both antique and new textiles give visual splendor. The building is a delightful nod to yesteryear. It dares visitors to dally.
Once the Maple Leaf School the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center boasts one of the 104 quilt square pieces included in the Tillamook County Quilt Trail.
“A lot of people walk through the door and they say it feels so good in here,” said Carol Weber president of the center’s Board of Directors.
“The center wraps itself around people and holds them close,” she explained. “There’s a feeling of camaraderie here.”
What makes this place special?
First, the center is a museum and is open to the public: anyone can pay the $4 museum admission and see the beautiful rotating textile exhibits. Some of those exhibits are local history pieces while others are on loan from areas near and far.
Kim Schauss, one of the center’s two associate managers, said tours buses stop often, along with visitors to the Tillamook Coast. Often, visitors who tour the museum become members. They return time and again.
“We get thank you letters in the mail all the time,” she said of people who feel deep attachment to the space.
The center also boasts hands-on classes taught by talented instructors. It’s very common for both local and regional museum members to come take a class and end up staying for hours to help with other classes, or to volunteer, Carol said. She continued that the Latimer Center has always been a space where questions are encouraged and skills are taught for the joy of learning.
Associate Manager Kim Schauss is also a museum member. She takes classes at the center and welcomes guests cheerfully with both a cup of tea and talk.
More than a century ago, young scholars gathered in the building to learn sums, writing and history. Then it was called the Maple Leaf School. Today spinners and weavers, tatters and quilters, knitters and all sorts of artisans gather to work and learn. Museum goers are often astounded and delighted to see weavers working on vintage looms.
The Latimer Center is also a store.  On the walls and along the walkways quality quilts and rugs, doilies and dolls, all made by local artists are for sale.
Finally, the Latimer Center is a repository. It is a place that preserves and archives textile artifacts from Tillamook County History. The repository, says, Carol, is an invaluable piece to the center’s community importance.
Built in 1995, the repository houses over 400 quilts and 300 textile artifacts. Volunteers work at cataloging the items. A team from the center travels to quilt shows and artisan fairs to showcase the center’s artifacts. The oldest piece on display at the center is a hand-sewn quilt dating to 1878.
Donated quilts sometimes get deposited on the center’s front doorstep. Other times, they have been mailed from across the country. In some instances, loved ones have carefully delivered family heirlooms and after deciding to donate the piece, have left with tears in their eyes, Carol said.
Weavers gather weekly to work the heirloom looms at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center.
Visitors are welcome to tour the repository, she added, but they need to call and arrange a touring time prior to their trip so that an additional staff member can lead their tour.
Latimer Quilt and Textile Center is located at 2105 Wilson River Loop in Tillamook. The center is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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