Welcome to the Hoffman Center’s Blog!

Hoffman_Center_logo_rgb_smallThis is where you’ll find the latest announcements for our workshops, art camps for kids, the authors presenting at the Manzanita Writers’ Series, as well as other performances in music, magic, and theater.

To see what’s coming up, simply scroll down this page to see all the latest posts.  Or, if you are looking for something specific click on a category (from the list on the right hand side of the screen), and you’ll see all the posts relating to that topic

Along the top of the page, you’ll see additional tabs for more information about the Hoffman Center (just pull down the menu at each tab to get the info you want.)  Enjoy finding out more about us, and we hope to see you soon.

Judith Barrington will read from her new book of poetry, The Conversation, at a special Sunday Poetry Event at 2pm on Sunday September 13

JBarrington-2LG - CopyJudith Barrington will read from her new book of poetry, The Conversation, at a special Sunday Poetry Event at 2pm on Sunday September 13, 2015, at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita.

Barrington won the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition in 2013 and this resulted in Salmon Poetry, of County Clare, Ireland, publishing a new collection, The Conversation. The title poem was selected by Thomas McCarthy as the winner of the O’Donoghue competition.

“Judith Barrington spent the turning over of 2013 into 2014 in the hospital with surgery and recovery from a brain bleed. A year later she’s produced a dense and beautiful book of poems (her first new full-length book of poems in more than 10 years) that looks back over her childhood, her family, her memories, her grief…with the kind of clarity only found through a lot of loss….” —Kirsten Rian, The Oregonian

Barrington is the award-winning author of four poetry collections, two poetry chapbooks, a prizewinning memoir, and a text on writing literary memoir. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies.

Barrington was on the faculty of the low residency MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage for many years and has spent much of the past thirty years teaching creative writing at various universities and at many summer writing workshops in the United States and overseas.

With her partner Ruth Gundle, Barrington was awarded the Stewart H. Holbrook Award for outstanding contributions to Oregon’s literary life. She is the co-founder of The Flight of the Mind Writing Workshops, which for seventeen years provided two week-long sessions on the McKenzie River, Oregon, bringing together outstanding teachers and participants from all over the U.S. She is one of the founders of Soapstone. Born in Brighton England, she’s made her home in Portland since 1976.

There is a suggested donation of $5 for the event which is open to the public. Barrington’s reading will be followed by a Q&A, and book sales and signing.

Brian Benson will read from his book Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America – Saturday, September 19

brian bensonBrian Benson will read from his book Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America at the Hoffman Center for the Arts at 7pm on Saturday, September 19, 2015

Brian will also teach a writing workshop during the day on “The Elusive Art of Funny Ha-Ha.” Whether you want to use humor in fiction or nonfiction, join Brian to learn how to find the funny in your writing. We’ll read strong examples, discuss humor in writing and do a guided write. Bring a short (500-word max) piece for critique. The workshop fee is $30 and the workshop will run from 10-12:30 at the Hoffman Center for the Arts. Register here

Brian didn’t plan to write a book when he set out on his 2,500-mile bike trip across country with a new girlfriend. Later, inspired to write by teachers like Cheryl Strayed and Karen Karbo, he created a memoir that is as much about an internal journey and relationship journey as it is about a bike ride.

“Brian Benson’s new memoir about the journeys we take and how they shape the people we become is not to be missed.” — BookPage

“An utterly addictive read… You won’t be able to tear yourself away from this sharp-eyed, hilarious memoir.” — Powell’s.com

Brian’s bio reveals a meandering journey to writing. “Over the years, I’ve built rock walls in northern Michigan and played jazz guitar in western Guatemala. I’ve edited a magazine for bohemian travelers and served egg rolls to Madisonian suburbanites. I’ve taught Spanish to five-year-olds and English to fifty-year-olds and helped people learn to fix tiny bikes for tiny children. And all of this, in its own way, has led me to writing. These days, I spend my mornings putting words to paper and my nights teaching writing workshops, most often at the Attic Institute.” Brian’s new project is The River Signal, an original radio story written on a paddlewheel riverboat as it floats the Mississippi.

Following Benson’s reading and Q&A, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Me and My Bike.”

Admission for the evening is $7.

11th Anniversary Celebration Open House Scheduled

HCA Celebration Logo 4150Hoffman Center for the Arts will Celebrate its 11th anniversary with an open house on Sat. Sept. 5th from 3 to 5PM at the Center, followed by a concert from 5:15 to 7PM in the Hoffman Gardens (if weather permits, inside the Center if it is raining).

All events will be free to the public.

The open house will include an art show by Clay Studio Artists, and art from several participants from visual art workshops (encaustic, book craft, botanical drawing and embossed card making) held at the Center during the past year.  Art and writingscreated for the recent Word and Image event will also be displayed. There will be scheduled free events: film shorts, staged performances, open stage samples, clay studio demos, plus a chance to sample Wordplay at the Writing Lounge. Cake and cold beverages will be served at the open house.

Hoffman Center for the Arts will also kick off their membership program at the Celebration on Sept. 5th. Find out how you can become part of the creative, fun-loving community and support your local Art Center.

Raffle tickets will be available throughout the day, thanks to the generous donations by local merchants, restaurants and individuals we appreciate and hope you will support. Pizza Garden, Blackbird, Cloud and Leaf, Bread and Ocean, Buttercup, Angelina’s, Finnesterre, The Roost, Wanda’s, Creative Fabrics and Allan Olson, potter.

Local bands will perform at the free concert from 5:15 until 7PM. The raffle drawing for all six prizes will be held at 7PM, at the conclusion of the concert. You do not need to be present to win.

Save the date! Stop by and find out what’s new at HCA: Sat. Sept 5th, 3 to 5PM for the open house and 5:15 to 7PM for the concert. Raffle drawing at 7PM.


Wheel Throwing Class added for September 18

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.07.40 PMCLASS FULL.  

The Hoffman Center Clay Studio in Manzanita will present another Wheel Throwing workshop Friday, September 18, 2015, from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. J S Hauer will lead the class.

This workshop will cover basic clay art and throwing principles and the studio’s throwing equipment along with plenty of hands-on practice time and real-time coaching.

The cost is $35 which includes three pounds of clay and three hours of instruction, plus use of all tools needed. The fee also includes kiln firing and glazing. The cost for follow-up work time at the studio is $2 per hour.

Space is limited, so sign up by delivering payment to the Studio, located at the corner of Laneda and Division Streets in Manzanita. You can also register and pay online.  Studio hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 – 4; Saturdays 10 – 2.

Questions? Interested in future Clay Studio classes? Contact us at: hoffmanclaystudio@gmail.com

Film Series Presents “The Black Sea”

windowThe Hoffman Center for the Arts Manzanita Film Series will screen the 2015 feature film “The Black Sea” Friday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Admission will be $5.

Written and directed by Brian Padian, the film tells the story of five friends who go to a beach house on the Oregon coast for the weekend. One of them, Allison, is clearly troubled by something, but the others don’t say a word or intervene. And then she vanishes.

“The Black Sea” was filmed in Arch Cape and Portland. It stars Cora Bensch, Erin McGarry, Corrina Repp, Bill Sebastian, Joe Von Appen, and Matt Sipes

The feature lasts 75 minutes, and refreshments will be available.

Director Brian Padian will attend the screening to participate in a question and answer session.

A film trailer can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/90540056.

Show to Combine Words and Images

The Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita will unveil its first “Word & Image” project — a collaboration of writers and artists — Saturday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. The event will be open to the public.

The show will remain on display Sunday, Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Word & Image challenged artists and writers to create original pieces, each in response to the other’s work. It was conceived by local writer Emily Ransdell and local artist Deborah DeWit to answer the question, “Can artists and writers see through each other’s eyes?”

The 30 participants, ranging in age from 15 to mid-80s, each submitted three original pieces. They were then randomly paired and tasked to each pick one of the other’s works and write or create something entirely new from it.

The resulting combined works will be printed as a frame-able art piece and offered for sale.

Ransdell is a poet with an MFA in Creative Writing, and currently a member of The Poet’s Studio at The Attic Institute in Portland. DeWit, a full-time painter and photographer whose work is included in many collections throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“Writers have been writing in response to art for centuries,” said Ransdell. “We thought it would be interesting to try a modern take on the tradition by letting artists have their turn as well.”

“Word & Image is a spin-off of the Hoffman Center’s weekly Writing Lounge,” she added. “Where local writers create short pieces in response to various prompts, often resulting in works that surprise the authors themselves.”

The writer/artist pairings are Aina Tonjes/Cathi Howell, Bob Balmer/Peggy Biskar, Dave Dillon/Scott Wilson, Debra Simmons/Karen Gale, Elizabeth Johnson/Steve Jones, Gail Balden/Renee Delight, Joan Masat/Lynn Thomas, Kay Stoltz/Lori Dillon, Laurie Hoff Schaad/Ryan Pederson, Lynnette Scribner/Glenna Gray, Phyllis Mannan/Vera Wildauer, Sher Ireland/Gary Seelig, Tela Skinner/Doreen Lindstedt, and Tricia Gates Brown/Juleen Johnson.Birds of a Feather-Blackbirds 6072

Can Artists and Writers See Through Each Other’s Eyes?

birdsFifteen artists and writers are immersed in a unique creative experience this summer at the coast, trying to see through each other’s eyes in their own creative process.

They are taking part in a new program at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita.

Titled “Word & Image: A Dialog Between Writers and Artists,” the program paired artists and writers to create original pieces, each in response to the other’s work.

The Hoffman Center for the Arts is known for its variety of programming for all of the creative arts, with the Writers’ Series, Clay Studio, art workshops and shows, Friday Night Flicks, and musical events.

This summer, two women launched a program to combine two of those arts, spurring artists and writers to leave their comfort zones for this different kind of creative process.

Emily Ransdell is a poet with an MFA in Creative Writing. A past recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, she is currently a member of The Poet’s Studio at The Attic Institute in Portland. Deborah DeWit, a full-time painter and photographer for 35 years, has exhibited widely. Her work is included in many private and public collections throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“Writers have been writing in response to art for centuries,” said Ransdell. “We thought it would be interesting to try a modern take on the tradition by letting artists have their turn as well.”

Ransdell described the project as a spin-off of the Hoffman’s weekly Writing Lounge, where local writers create short pieces in response to various prompts, often resulting in works that surprise the authors themselves.
Whereas artists and writers usually generate works that reflect their own experience and vision of the world, this project compels them to respond to someone else’s vision of the world.

“This way of finding subject matter for an art piece is both similar and different than the way I usually work,” says artist Lori Dillon, “a lot of the time I do get inspired by an event, series of events, or my own poetry/writing in my head.  So the difference is that I’m being ‘led to create’ by someone else’s voice.”

“One key thing here,” adds Ransdell, “There are no rules. No set process. The artist and writer can choose to meet or not, discuss or not, share results ahead or not. The whole goal of this was for people to experiment.”

Everyone seems to be approaching it differently. Some have looked at other works by the artist and writer. Some met once to discuss, others not at all. Some pairs are exchanging process progress and results all along the way.

Artist Vera Wildauer and poet Phyllis Mannan were matched and chose not to meet or discuss their process.
“It might be good to see the original,” Mannan wrote Wildauer in an email, “but I don’t think I want to hear the background, at least not right away. I want to let my unconscious mind work a bit first.”

“I rarely work from a picture or photograph when I write,” Mannan added in an interview, “so this way of working was unfamiliar to me. I learned to closely study the nuances of a scene, to question the relationship between people and objects. I hope to use the process of careful questioning in future work.”

“I was immediately drawn to one of Phyllis’ three poems,” Wildauer describes working from the other direction, “since it included so many images and evoked so much meaning about the ‘real world’ versus faith — with some odd juxtapositions. I had a great time with it, finding mixed media to lend itself to the process perhaps more than other forms.”
Writer Aina Tonjes and artist Cathi Howell did choose to meet.

“I got two pieces to choose from,” says Tonjes, “and after meeting with Cathi in person one of them became much more relevant than the other. I did need to know what exactly moved her to put those shapes down, and without having talked about it I don’t think I would have been able to motivate myself to write.”

“I wasn’t sure how to best write about Deborah’s piece at first,” Ransdell said. The two coordinators are taking on the same challenge as all the participants. “I didn’t want to just describe. I wanted to evoke something.”
She remembered a technique that poet and teacher Andrea Hollander used during a PoetryFest workshop in Manzanita. Hollander had the participants choose six words and work from there.

“So I chose six words that Deborah’s piece made me think of and I’m working from those,” Ransdell adds, “It’s definitely a technique I’ll use again. I was surprised and pleased; it’s a different kind of poem for me.”

The thirty participants range in age from 15 to mid-80’s, and come from as far away as Long Beach Peninsula and Portland to those who live full or part time in Manzanita, Nehalem and Wheeler. At the evening event where participants were paired up,

Juleen Johnson attended via Facetime. Her husband held up an iPad so Juleen could see the audience and the event from her location attending the Iowa Writers Conference in Iowa City, Iowa.

The event has certainly paired up people who might never have interacted otherwise. 15-year-old writer Elizabeth Johnson brought her parents along from Long Beach, Washington, to meet with photographer Steve Jones, 61.

Artist Karen Gale said “the biggest surprise was to find how much my partner Deb Simmons and I had in common both in our styles and in our lives. We are the perfect partnership!”

Simmons responded in an email to the same interview question whether anything surprised her about the process with “the friendship that has formed with MY artist!”

“I think all of us feel like the bar is kind of high,” says Dewit, “I need to do something worthy. Plus it’s just one piece of art or writing, not one of many of your works in one place. And everyone feels a commitment to each other, to honor their work.”

“What a challenge this has been, what a stretch,” adds Simmons, “The bottom line is to come up with something ‘worthy’ of the artwork, which I admire and love.”

The results will be unveiled at an opening reception and reading at the Hoffman Center for the Arts on Saturday, August 29, open to the public. Each pairing will be printed as a frame-able art piece and offered for sale as a souvenir for people who come to the show.

The project might well become a recurring event. After all, it exemplifies the Hoffman Center for the Arts’ tagline and goal: Explore. Create. Connect.

And who knows, it might inspire other projects.  “This is such a unique event!” says Lori Dillon, “Now I’m thinking about the concept of pairing musicians and writers and visual artists.  Whoa, doesn’t that sound crazy and good?

Hiking Book Gets Manzanita Launch

unnamedAuthor Connie Soper will launch her new book “Oregon Coast Trail: 40 Consecutive Day Hikes from the Columbia River to the California Border” Thursday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita.

The event is free and open to the public.

“I don’t consider my book a traditional trail guide,” said Soper, a part-time Manzanita resident. “I think it’s important for hikers to be aware they are walking through history, along same paths and trails first established by Native Americans and later by settlers.”

Most of the hikes listed include mile-by-mile maps, and provide tips such as which hikes are tide dependent, and how to arrange for boat rides. The book also includes historic and present day photographs, as well as stories about places passed along the way.

Cloud and Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita will provide book sales at the launch event.

“Wine and Weed” Volunteer Day

IMG_5868The next “Wine and Weed” event is on Wednesday, July 29th. Please join us from 4-6.  Weeding, gravel spreading and, a special assignment will be part of the fun!

Beverages, snacks and good conversation will be enjoyed!

We need someone with a gas powered weed eater.

Hope to see you!
Call Karen Babbitt with questions.

“Starry Night” Photos to be Displayed

Starry Night Image wLogo 6072The Hoffman Center will host an artist’s reception Saturday, Aug. 1, from 1 to 3 p.m., to feature the “Starry Night” collection by Neahkahnie-based photographer Linda Cook.

“Starry Night” includes a wide selection of images of nighttime stars, planets, the moon, the Milky Way, as well as sunsets. Cook will be on hand to offer advice on how to best view and photograph night skies.

“Shooting these images in the dark of night, and being blanketed in stars, planets, and constellations is pure joy for me,” said Cook. “It has become my passion, my pre-occupation.”

Cook uses a full frame digital camera with a wide-angle lense to capture the pictures.

The photographs will also be on display during the Center’s “Once in a Blue Moon” event the night before at 7 p.m. The Friday evening show will feature local individuals and groups performing moon-related music and acts.
All photos will be for sale at both events.