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Winter Wonderland – Gallery Wide Feature


Ramona Welzel & Jacklon Manzanares

Ramona Welzel is a versatile artist who excels in three media. She enjoys layering in all three arts to create depth and dimension.  When Ramona walks her black and white dogs, her neighbors have dubbed her The Black and White Lady, maybe not knowing that Ramona also creates detailed, and stylized black and white ink drawings. Her pen and inks utilize a combination of gray washes and linear blacks that result in the illusion of depth.

A signature creation of Ramona are her “Paper Quilts.  Using angular shaped, hand-painted and textured pieces of paper, she carefully stitches and folds the papers together forming a unique “quilted” work of art. Her latest is stunning in many shades of white.

Winning awards at Celebrate Arts and the Rhody Festival, Welzel is known for subtle, abstract, layered watercolors with interlacing forms.  However, her recent watercolors are precision renderings of the Siuslaw Bridge. Resembling skyscrapers, she focused on the spires, an architectural study viewed from a unique angle.  She said, “As a former resident of New Jersey, who viewed the New York skyline for years, I feel an affinity for skyscrapers.”


Jacklon Mazanares brings an elegant touch to Backstreet Gallery with dramatic jewelry. Her pieces are worn from California to New York, to Paris, also in Japan and Canada.  A friend once gave Jacklon some beads, saying, “I know you can do something fabulous with them.” Her jewel case is filled with sophisticated “fabulous” jewelry.

Jacklon loves traveling and shopping, especially when her excursions take her to bead and design shows. She personally selects the natural gems that make up her collection of jewelry. “I prefer to handpick my stones so that I’m sure of what I get.” She often sees exactly what will make the ideal piece.  Come see what her latest trip to a bead show in Pasadena brings to Florence.

 At home, she can pull together stones and metals much as you would when you dress and put an outfit together.  She uses fine quality crystals, lamp work beads, dichroic glass, pearls, and other gemstones.   Combining these with sterling silver, brass and copper, she twists, hammers and wraps, converting raw materials into wearable art that transforms an ordinary outfit into stunning.



Akos St. Clair

Award winning wood carver, Akos St. Clair, is Backstreet Gallery’s featured artist for March. You’re invited to a reception held in his honor, during the Second Saturday Gallery Tour, on March 8, 2014.

Akos takes a specially selected piece of wood, wields hand-held rotary power tools, razor knives, scalpels, and sandpaper then finishes the piece with Danish oil. The result is one-of-a-kind detailed relief wood carvings. Years of practice have contributed to the finely tuned skills he applies today.

St. Clair’s art reflects the influence the Northwest Coast Native art tradition. After numerous visits to Washington and British Columbia, Vancouver Island, he developed a great respect for the Native artisans he observed at work. Much like those Native artists, a good deal of St.Clair’s work illustrates a deep interest in the birds and animals that surround us.

While most of his carvings are beautifully hand-framed wall hangings, other pieces, such as bowls and boxes, might be functional as well. His small pieces may take as few as 10 hours to carve, but most take 20 to 40 hours to finish.

St.Clair’s work has been shown at various venues around Florence, including The Siuslaw Public Library, Celebrate Arts, Empty Bowls and the Rhododendron Art Show.

With all the hours he puts into his art, he still finds time for playing tennis and reading, two other interests he pursues.

 “I really enjoy being part of Backstreet Gallery, being inspired by other artists, and having such a beautiful venue where my work may be shown and appreciated.”

On March 8th, 3-5 PM, come by Backstreet Gallery where you will find his distinctive art joining the other 28 local artists’ work and also enjoy great refreshments.



Bonnie Kramer & Tamarah Phillips

Two outstanding artists, Bonnie Kramer and Tamarah Phillips entered Backstreet’s Little Dickens Show in December, winning 2D and 3D Best of Show awards.   Size was not a limitation for their representation in this show.

           Coming to  Florence for 35 years before leaving Los Angeles,Bonnie settled here seven years ago. She came because of, “ the sweet people, all the water, the forest, and the ocean.”  Bonnie earned a master’s in Gerontology at USC and Clinical Psychology master’s at Antioch University.  She put this expertise into teaching at Emeritus College, SMC, subjects from social ethics to home repair, auto safety and maintenance, and led bereavement support groups.   However, Kramer has always been interested in creating since she majored in art during high school. Retirement offered her an opportunity to put her energy into art.  While she has dabbled in a variety of the arts including wood-working, fused glass, and ceramics, she now aspires to hone her skills as a metal artist.  Being drawn to metal work, Bonnie completed welding classes at the Community College in Coos Bay.  Taking found metal objects and sheet metal she creates the innovative assemblages and fashions the amazing sculptures that this show features.  Of her art Kramer says, “I love the creativity, the imagination and the thoughts – it’s like music for me.”


           Tamarah traveled around much of her life when her father was in the military and later when he took a job in Nuremburg, Germany.  This adventure, walking with her father in the forests there, sharing history, myths and fairy tales has influenced her art today.  Phillips has been interested in art all her life since she was caught drawing on the walls and floor with lipstick. Her art has come a long way from then to now. Art and writing capture much of her free time when not working at Bon Jour.  Patterns, light and darks, in ink, watercolor, colored pencil  and especially oil set Tamarah’s unique otherworldly style apart from other artists.  These distinctive pieces often depict women’s faces. Her images tell a story, “human figures changing into something magical: dancing, nymphs, and hidden symbols.” Influenced by Daisetsu Suzuki, she strives for her art not just to be technical, but to grow from her unconscious creations.  Inspired by working with bright, vibrant color Phillips says of her work, “Wherever the muse speaks, I follow.”


            Come enjoy these two talented artists’ work for the month of April and celebrate them at their reception on April 12th from 3-5pm.



Bernie Herr



Carole Hillsbery & Pamela Vosseller



Donna Fay Allen & Jayne Smoley

Abundant creativity fills Donna Fay Allen’s display with works of alternative process photography, jewelry, altered objects and art dolls capture your attention.

In July, Donna’s work includes 12-15 innovative 3D art dolls, themed in black and white. Music and words individualize each piece. Many of the dolls incorporate altered porcelain heads, arms and legs. Sculptured heads top other dolls. Body parts include found objects like birdcages, old tins and lamp parts. These dolls are an extension of her Paper Art Doll kits of fairies and mermaids.  “I always liked to play with dolls, and this work is just an excuse to be a kid again!”

Her one-of-a-kind jewelry exhibits Allen’s talent of combining materials in a unique way. ”Much of my jewelry is designed to feel more like personal talismans or magical objects. I have also begun to venture into the “fine art” jewelry arena using both sterling silver and fine silver in addition to bronze, copper and brass.”

 Donna’s knowledge of archaic photographic processes has led to the creation of distinctive photographs and prints.


“Summer Brights” is the theme for Jayne Smoley’s  jewel of a glass show.

Whether it’s utilitarian or decorative, each of Jayne Smoley’s glass pieces is unlike any other piece. Layering glass and firing the pieces at very high temperatures fuses vibrant colored glass into her geometric-shaped art, line, color and shape being key elements.  You’ll find a medley of hanging designs, plates, bowls, plates, sculptures, trays and starfish.  Her glowing pendants are dichroic eye-catching jewelry. As the light touches her creations, they come alive.

Illuminate your world with a variety of wall-sconce lamps and night lights that may create subtlety or brilliance, in addition to being a sculpted art piece. Ask about her custom work.  All of her gorgeous work goes through a process of layering and firing at high temperatures up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. The art may be removed from the kiln, cold worked, powered then returned to the kiln, taking several days to complete.

 Jayne is a member of the Oregon Glass guild. Her work is found in many private collections  throughout the US, Australia, Canada and has been exhibited in Bend, Portland and  Eugene as well as in Florence.


Help us celebrate their art during their reception, July 12, 3-5pm.



Jan Landrum & Jane Rincon

Talented watercolorists, Jan Landrum and Jane Rincon, liven up August with their special show.

Long time Florence resident Jan Landrum entered into Florence’s art world in the ‘70s, working in oils and collages. She displayed her work in Florence’s first artists’ co-op, Gallery of Local Artists.

Fostering her lifetime love of art, Jan took watercolor classes from Bob Kutch and Susan Weathers. It was instant love with the first splash of water, which describes many of her pieces that depict luminous ocean and water scenes.

Her work includes varied subject matter, from florals and ocean scenes to still lifes and portraits.  Some paintings are as soft as a summer breeze. Others exhibit a dramatic flair.

She’s a member of Figure Eights. Twice a month they gather to work using live models as their subjects. This activity has fine-tuned her drawing skills and challenges her watercolor abilities. She looks forward to trying acrylic painting.

Jan’s work has been shown in the Peace Harbor Hospital, Siuslaw Library, various restaurants, and has been a member of Backstreet for nine years.

When Jan steps out on her deck overlooking her 4 acres, she is greeted with burst of pansies and colorful flowers she tends with a green thumb. She may be accompanied by her beloved terrier named Speedy,  and Chihuahua named Suzie.

President of Backstreet Gallery, Jane Rincon was an original member whose hard work, ambition, organizational skills and creativity have contributed to Backstreet’s success. Jane is an award-winning artist garnering the coveted Best of Show in Celebrate Arts 2012.

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 three labs, Coco, Rosie, and newcomer Daisy.

In addition, Jane has broadened her work to include unique watercolors and acrylics on Yupo paper.  This summer show called, “Colors”, presents a range from realism to the abstract.

Jane takes advantage of her beachside residence not only for subject matter, but also for the beautiful array of seashells that she weaves into striking wreaths.

She looks forward to advancing her skills through Chinese Brush painting and through a study of trees with her friend Susan Weathers, teacher and fellow Backstreet member.

Jane’s energy is spread through of a variety of activities that she enjoys. Swimming, biking and kayaking trips have left her bronzed by the Oregon sun.

Her creativity is not confined to her studio. It oozes out into her outstanding garden and her kitchen. She has a cookie obsession so she loves to bake and cook.

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



Karen Nichols

“Take Wing” featured with “6×6 Challenge” at Backstreet Gallery

We are thrilled to have as our Featured Artist for September, the multi-faceted, award winning artist, Karen Nichols. A reception will be held onSeptember 13th, 3-5PM where you will also enjoy the works of community artists invited to the 6×6 Challenge of taking ordinary wooden boxes and transforming them into marvelous art pieces.

 While Nichols paints in oils and acrylics, this show, entitled “Take Wing”, encompasses a variety of local birds and winged creatures created in her signature medium – paper painting collage. Her distinctive watercolors will also be included.

 The collages are her original process where she gathers all kinds of rice paper, which contain fibers. She then paints the paper in a variety of colors. When torn, the effect is a feathery piece that can be fitted together to form various subject matter.  This soft-edged quality makes the paper ideal for creating her many fowl feathered friends.

 You’ll also have a chance to get a signed copy of her brand new book, Second Chance Heart. How often does one experience a miracle? Other books available – The Unexpected Gift:  an inspirational story of a Marine who reclaims his life through the love and redemption. Thornton House: a mysterious love that transcends time and opens death’s door. These books are also available on

 Stacked, hung and otherwise displayed will be the wooden box creations that make up the 6×6 Challenge. Artists were invited to think inside or outside the box as they interpreted their assignment.

Come to the reception, Sept. 13th 3-5pm where you can meet the artists and find out about their work while you enjoy scrumptious refreshments.



Kathyrn Damon-Dawson

Kathryn Damon-Dawson’s recent paintings from her series “Bird Dialogues” and “Urban Semantics” are at Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay Street, from October 7 through November 4, 2014, where Kathryn is featured artist during October. 

  “Artistic vision comes from seeing with your eyes and feeling with your heart,”  D. W. Patterson.  This concept is reflected in Kathryn’s paintings.  She utilizes digitally gathered forms but paints moment-in-time consciousness.  “My painting, “It Takes a Colony,” is a 40” x 13” watercolor of 39 Common Murres.  I sought to capture the alert-urgency of this colony of coastal birds while retaining individual identities through my choice of composition and unexpected use of vivid color,” says Damon-Dawson.

 The title “It Takes a Colony” is also an analogy for the structure of Backstreet Gallery, a nine year old, for-profit, cooperative corporation which Kathryn helped birth nine years ago.  She is presently on the Board and holds the position of Secretary.

Tiles of additional paintings in this show include “Love Remembered,” “Reflection In the Woods,”  “Walkin’ My Lady Home,” ”Country Fair Crow,”  “Lightness of Being.” Some paintings are inspired by travel in Europe, 2013, with granddaughter Sarah.  

Kathryn’s painting “White Bishop – Black Knight” is in Medford during October.  It is one of 80 selected from 328 paintings for the juried, Fall 2014 Watercolor Society of Oregon Exhibition. The Rogue Gallery, 30 S. Bartlett St., Medford, October 3 – 31.

 “Golden Boy of the Dunes” appears on the current cover of Central Oregon Coast Telephone Book by Pacific Publishing Co. which is also the publisher of Kathryn’s children’s book, “Dogs, Crows and the Corn Chip Dance.”

 Rand Dawson, Kathryn’s husband, will offer guitar music at her reception Saturday, October 11, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Backstreet Gallery.   Refreshments will be provided.





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