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  {no featured artist while gallery packs to move}



  {no featured artist while gallery unpacks in new space}



  Pattie Brooks-Anderson

Pattie tosses winter aside with a burst of color in her spring show, Mystic Alchemy, which debuts in Backstreet’s new location in the other side of our same building, 1421 Bay Street.

Beginning with cartoon story illustrations as child, Pattie developed her expertise in linear art, a skill that has carried through in her inks and watercolors today. “Watercolor is so amazing with its twists and turns. These little surprises fire my imagination.” 

She gathers much of her inspiration from walks -forays into nature, and from meditation and through Qigong with its classic exercise movements – many that simulate the movement of various animals.

“Animals seem to impart a sense of spirit,” she says. Her latest lion series of paintings utilizes her washes of brilliant watercolor and gouache accentuated with fluid black ink lines of varying widths using a brush or pen. The black ink veils the subject and allows the viewer a peek into the magical message Pattie offers. The result is an ethereal and dramatic play of dark and light creating a sense of spirituality.

In addition to her watercolors, Pattie creates unique altered art pieces, the Goddesses and Queens, or her driftwood birds, sculptural examples of her spiritual approach to art.

While attending San Diego State college as an art major she also took biology which peaked her interest in animals and trees which find their way into today’s pieces. She interrupted her studies with marriage and family. Later she obtained a degree in Commercial Art from Palomar Community College. In addition to showing showing her work at festival and college venues she worked as a freelance artist.

After Anderson returned to San Diego State to finish her degree in painting and printmaking, she rented a space in an artists’ studio complex where she helped develop an artist’s co-op. Finally finishing her degree in 1997, she taught high school fine arts and commercial art.

For six years she has been a leader in Backstreet Gallery Co-op and is currently our President.

You can find more of her work in her Etsy shop and more on

Celebrate Pattie and her work at her reception
Saturday, March 9th 3-5PM at Backstreet Gallery.



  Jane Rincon & Geraldine McMahan

April is special for Backstreet artists, Jane Rincon and Geraldine McMahan whose theme, “The Sea”, offers a collection of expressive watercolor paintings, shell art and classic hand built pottery.  Their reception will be held during the Second Saturday Gallery Tour, April 13th, 3-5PM at Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay St. 

Jane’s studio, The Crows Nest, sits high overlooking the ocean. Her masterful watercolors illustrate windswept beaches and shorebirds that capture her attention on beach strolls with her two labs.  Magic abounds when Jane mixes the traditional colors of Prussian Blue, Payne’s Gray, Burnt Sienna and Umber with Mayan yellow creating her award-winning watercolors.

Rincon’s exhibit focuses on shore birds that inhabit the Oregon coast. She alternates blending loose washes where she combines rich color, collage texture, and careful composition in scenes, with fine detailing in her feathered subjects. Watch for her new painting, “Kingfisher.”  Living seaside offers opportunities to collect shells she’s woven into shell wreaths and cards.

A member of Watercolor Society of Oregon, Jane was awarded Best of Show in Celebrate Arts 2012. She enjoys her book club, gardening, walking, swimming, hiking and sharing it with her dogs. In support of the arts, she has been active in the Seacoast Entertainment Association.

Jane will be taking an acrylic class that will send her talents in a new direction.


Don’t be fooled by the beautiful perfection of Geraldine McMahan’s white and red clay stoneware cylinders and pumpkin pots. Each piece is hand-built without using a wheel.  “I most often use oxides and under glazes so that the look and feel of the clay itself is the decoration.” Experimenting with a matte black glaze and red-gold glaze results in a mottled look blending reds, greens and golds in the finished piece. With these subtle tones her work is classic.  Geraldine rarely uses shiny glazes. With her applied textures, the clay takes center stage. For interest, she applies texture by pressing items into the clay, incising, or sculpting.

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” applies to Geraldine’s latest creations, ceramic quilts. Noticing the pillars that run through the center of the new gallery, she developed her new ceramic quilts. These unique wall-hangings are rectangles or squares pieced together much like a quilt and then adhered to beautiful, oil-finished, hard wood blocks from her husband’s remnants left from larger projects. Look for pieces entitled, “Quilt with a Tiny Face” or “Quilt with a bird.”

Geraldine introduced collaboration between artists resulting in exciting final projects plus bringing the membership into closer relationships.

Both Jane and Geraldine are original Backstreet members and have been strong leaders in bringing the gallery to its present level of organization and quality

Find out more about their art with a reception for Jane and Geraldine. April 13th, 3-5PM at Backstreet Gallery. During this time our resident authors will be having a special book signing event as well.  You can read all about that here.  Great refreshments will be served.  



  Trudonna & Mary Hillsbery

A reception honoring Little Dickens award winners will be this Saturday, May 11th from 3-5 pm during the Second Saturday Art Tour.  Trudonna & Mary Hillsbery’s art will also be on display in the gallery for the month of May, as their prize from December’s event.




Trudonna, whose unique work of both 2 and 3 dimensional pieces, in a wide range of media and sizes, invite your imagination with their organic shapes she tends to develop in series, that may evolve over many years. Her Significant Stones Series are “buntings created with an ancient wrapping technique using stones, beeswax, hemp and cotton.”


 Mary Hillsbery is a 17 year-old junior at Siuslaw High School where she is already engaged in seeking a career in art through the art program there and will follow that path in her college years. Though home schooled by her Backstreet artist mother, Carol Hillsbery, who influenced her, Mary says, “I think I was born with the passion to be an artist.”



  Kathy Elfers & Stephanie Ames

Spotlighting felt artist Kathy Elfers and photographer Stephanie Ames, Backstreet Gallery invites you to a reception honoring these award-winning artists on June 8th. 3-5 PM.


Kathy Elfers has had a strong interest in primitive technologies for many years. Fascinated by how Indigenous cultures survived prior to the industrial revolution, she has studied many of their skills that today, have become an art form. Her great passion is the ancient art of felting. Dating back to between 6500-3000 BC, felt is one of the oldest known textiles. Kathy became interested in felting after taking a hat making class in 1999. As she lays out her wool, it is a marvelous feeling to have the fiber slowly turn into “fabric”, by just simply rubbing it. Using traditional and contemporary designs, she executes her talents in both functional and decorative art. There are wall hangings, felted flowers that fit beau tifully in her vessels, handbags, mixed silk and felt scarves, and even more innovative creations. Kathy is an Oregon native, and nature is her palette, in her truly unique art. She has won many prestigious awards and has traveled the western U.S. extensively, showing her work. You may have seen Stephanie Ames photographic pieces around as she has won many awards and her work is used in local publications. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she is a retired educator. Teaching computer skills maybe have been the natural path for her transition to photography. Oregon is one of her favorite places to hike, backpack, snowshoe, rock-hound, and even climb Mt. Hood. Her travels mark the ideal backdrop for her drop dead gorgeous photographic work.  At once, viewers notice a dramatic play of light in her work. “I love how light and the camera lens combine to reveal our everyday world as a mysterious, and perhaps, unknowable place.” Stephanie’s work is not accidental as she checks tide tables, sun and moon charts and knows just where to catch high tides splashing against the rocks or settling on the “golden hour” to find the magic in the sunset or sun rise.  Whether it’s a staged piece or natural phenomenon, Stephanie’s work is truly unique.



  Meredith Draper & Jennifer French

Summer brings out the best in mixed media artists Meredith Draper and Jennifer French with their show, “An Easy Breezy Summer”, at Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay Street. The gallery is proud to honor these two artists and their fanciful creations, at a reception July 13th, 3- 5:00 p.m.


Meredith says, “I’m inspired by oddments that can be blended together to create an original piece, either free-standing, a wall hanging or jewelry. The hunt for these oddments in thrift stores and garage sales is half the fun.”

 Storing these found treasures: watch parts, images of people, feathers, bird houses, beads, and much more are boxed, stacked and perched in her studio; they wait to be married and reassembled into a marvelous piece of art. What better way to recycle?

 Her ideas come while she works, as she does very little “planning ahead”. With its own individual flavor and bit of whimsy, the pieces come together in a one-of-a-kind piece dubbed, “Altered Art.” After joining a local group of Altered Artists, it opened the door for her to become  an Altered Artist extraordinaire.

Jennifer French employs her marvelous sense of joy and wit in all of her work, especially her ever-popular card series, “Gull’s First Impressions©” and also her individual bookmarks and post cards, bearing inspirational quotes and original watercolors. “My paintings usually end up with a whimsical and humorous touch, and my style of art reflects my simple joys in life. Many have said my creations make them smile inside, which of course gives me warm fuzzies all over.”

 She has an adventurous spirit and enjoys exploring new media. Her latest work includes carved and painted linoleum blocks and colorful watercolors on archival stretched canvas,  preserved by Dorland’s beeswax. This adventurous spirit also is apparent in her two teen novels, Fidgets and Hoot Owl Shares the Dawn. Who knows what she’ll create next?

 After seeing the need for a co-operative gallery in a town with so many gifted artists, French was the impetus and the inspiration for the creation of Backstreet Gallery. Getting together with other enthusiastic artists, Backstreet was formed in 2005 and has been growing in stature ever since.

 Come enjoy the afternoon with these two artists and find out more about their whimsical art, July 13th, 3 – 5:00 p.m. There will be great hors d’oeuvres and the art of 24 others local artists.



  Jayne Smoley & Jan Landrum

“Back to Nature” is the theme for watercolorist Jan Landrum and glass artist, Jayne Smoley’s August Featured Artists Show.



Jane Smoley’s works, a variety of geometric shaped pieces in vibrant glass, include bowls, plates, hanging designs, starfish, jewelry, nightlights, wall sconces and custom light fixtures. Her glowing pendants are dichroic eye-catchers. All pieces are layered and kiln fired at 1500 degrees Fahrenheit for an average of 20 hours and often cold worked, then returned to the kiln.


Her newest gleaming pieces are executed in powder screen painting on glass. Using botanicals inspired by vintage graphics from the 1800’s, Jayne combines these shapes together with universal geometric designs in a totally new second millennium way.

Jayne was one of the founding co-chairs of the “Artful Affair” presented by the Rotary Club of Florence to provide art scholarships to our local students. She is also an active participant in the much-acclaimed Holly Jolly Follies.


Surrounded by nature on her 4 acres along the scenic Oregon coast, Jan Landrum is easily stirred to create. Distinctive watercolor seascapes, florals, landscapes, and lighthouses flow from her brush while she vintage music flows through her studio.  She creates with ease especially when she lets it all happen with waves crashing against the shore in her expressive seascapes.

Her latest love is portraiture.  She developed a penchant for art an early age and sketched people whenever she could. As a member of Figures 8’s, where artists meet weekly to paint or sketch from a live model, Jan has learned to pay attention to detail. This skill translates into her other exceptional work as well.

“At Backstreet, my inspiration comes from the camaraderie and my connection to others whose passion is art.”

Celebrate their art at their reception, August 9th 3-5pm.



  Karen Nichols & Tanny Cosko

 Enjoy a joint show entitled “Faces”, a very unique interpretation by artists Tanny Cosko and Karen Nichols as they are Featured Artists for September.


         Welcome back, Tanny Cosko. She recently returned from Mexico where she loves the vivid hues of Mexican art. Her travels and love of color are reflected through her fabric art and altered art.

         A bit of whimsy plays through her wall-hangings which include feathered Ladies on Canvas, Warriors decked out in leather, floating Divas- angel-like ladies, finely stitched art quilts, and unusual collages.  Many pieces are endowed with her alluring signature painted faces.

         In addition to her wall décor, she designs innovative jewelry, alters shoes splashed with color or covered in found objects and is always coming up with a new creative ideas to capture your whimsy.

         Originally from Sweden, via New York, California and Idaho, Tanny landed here. She is inspired through her associations with fellow artists. Monthly, she meets with the Crafty Cougars to create 3D pieces and has been a member of Backstreet for six years.

         Karen Nichols is an award winning and diversified artist who enjoys a variety of media. Irises, graceful birds, wild horses or a child’s smile are but a few inspirations that motivate her unique artistry in 3D paper painting collage sculptures, portraits, watercolors, oils, acrylics and photographs.

         In this show, Karen interprets many faces of her subjects through paper painting collage, where she combines painting with rice paper artistry and creates 3D sculptural pieces.

         Visual mysteries abound in the workings of author’s mind, especially when the author is also an artist. Nichols also illustrates and designs book covers as she has for her own books.  Thornton House is a mysterious spellbinding novel with a dynamite ending.The Unexpected Gift is an inspirational novel with plenty of action: A Marine reclaims purpose and trust through love and redemption.

         Join Backstreet in celebrating with “Faces” and find out more about the artists’ work,September 14th, 3-5 PM. Great refreshments will be serve



   {no featured artist * Halloween theme instead}



  Mary Beers

We are pleased to announce Mary Beers as our Featured Artist for November.  Combining multiple components, Beers loves to create with various beads, metals, seed beads, stones, then weave them into intricate pieces of beautiful and unique jewelry. She uses the various weaving stitches, stringing, and wire work in her creations, but weaving is her favorite.

Beers is mostly self-taught. At seven years of age she was given a kit filled with plastic beads. When she had leftovers from kits, she sought more supplies at bead stores. This sparked her life long interest in beading.   

To learn more, she researched through books to learn basic techniques. Then at 12, she found the directions from a Native American trading post to construct a loom. With her Dad’s help, she did it. From there, she learned how to weave and her creative spirit took over.

From Manila, in the Philippines, she was adopted and came to live in McMinnville, OR. After marrying, she came to Florence. She says that her greatest joys are her children, Ramil, and Zhade.

After being commissioned to do beadwork and beading classes for her husband’s tribe, she was inspired to reprise her own work and designs. She hasn’t looked back since.

In between her family and jewelry designing, she manages to fit in more creative efforts – music and the theater. You may have seen her in the recent production of  the little Theater’s Great White Way. She has been involved with music at the Casino and the tribe and she often shares her lovely voice at Backstreet Gallery After Hours.

CROW children’s productions is another of Mary’s efforts which include last year’s Music Man Jr. and The Little Mermaid for next year.  Beers also enjoys the outdoors, cooking and is learning basket weaving in the Native American style.

Meet this outstanding artist and find out more about her work at her reception on the Nov. 9, from 3-5pm.  An array of scrumptious refreshments will be served.  This will be a stop on the Monthly Second Saturday Gallery Tour.



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