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Artists' work on display as studios open to public

Twenty-six artists once again will welcome visitors to their work spaces during Open Studios of Beavercreek, starting Friday, June 6, and continuing June 7 and 8.

For two of those artists, Bonnie Merchant and Carrie Moore, the best part of the event is that so many local artists, doing so many different kinds of work, are willing to open their studios and share their creativity.

People will “be amazed that so many people have so many wonderful studios. They can talk with that person and make a personal contact,” Merchant said.

Visitors can “experience what an artist’s world is all about, learn how we create and see what we do every day,” Moore said.

Bonnie Merchant

This is Merchant’s seventh or eighth time participating in Open Studios of Beavercreek. This year she will be sharing Studio 10 with Diane Wright, Bunny Lewis and Mary Wonser, since her home doesn’t have a large enough area to accommodate parked cars.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Whimsical mobiles and colorful earrings will be available when visitors meet Bonnie Merchant at Studio 10.Since she is not her in own studio, she will not actually be making her hand-painted paper earrings and mobiles, but will bring some of her tools and raw materials.

Merchant started out making polymer lamps in 1998, then began making metal jewelry in 2000. In the past year she decided to diversify and began making brightly colored, whimsical earrings and mobiles from poster board or watercolor paper that she hand paints, using watercolors, acrylics or colored dyes.

“I start with pieces of paper, cut them into shapes, and then layer one over the other to create a collage. Then I might cut them into geometric shapes or whatever the piece suggests to me,” Merchant said.

Her mobiles, which are similar to big earrings, might resemble the solar system or might be populated by birds or fish, but one thing is the same — they are colorful.

Merchant took a meandering path to get to earrings and mobiles. She has worked in a library, been a member of a trio playing guitar in Portland, and was an actress in the Eddie May Murder Mysteries company.

She looks forward to meeting people at the Open Studios event, and said she loves that the local artists are friendly and sharing.

She added, “Nobody is posing as an artist, instead they are saying ‘We are just folks at home showing you we’re creative, and you are probably creative, too.’”

Merchant’s work also is available at The Grapevine Gallery inside Singer Hill Cafe in Oregon City, at Currents Gallery in McMinnville, and at Guardino Gallery on Southeast Alberta Street in Portland. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Carrie Moore

Moore is looking forward to greeting people in her new studio on Leland Road, and if her artwork isn’t a big enough attraction, visitors can catch a glimpse of her bluebirds nesting nearby.

In fact, Moore’s pastels are mostly inspired by the animals who have visited her yard. Hanging on her walls are large pastels, originals and reproductions, of a noble rooster, brilliant-hued bluebird, and a colorful hummingbird in flight.

She also has a thing about creatures of the sea, and lino prints of salmon abound on her walls, sharing space with leather-embossed sea stars.

Moore makes the lino blocks herself, using battleship linoleum on woodblocks. She then draws on them, carves them using Japanese tools, and prints them on paper. Recently she began experimenting with using the woodblocks to emboss leather, resulting in eye-catching handbags and clutches.

She considers the Open Studios event to be an opportunity to “educate people when they come here,” she said, noting that she will display her woodblocks on the wall, since visitors seem to be fascinated with the printing technique.

Moore has a degree in interdisciplinary studies and communications from Marylhurst University, but said she was always drawing as a child, so art always has been important to her. She took a bit of a break from it, however, for about a year when she and her husband designed and built their new house, barn and studio on Leland Road.

“I am going to teach workshops for kids here and printmaking and embossing for adults. My ultimate goal is to open up this space to other teaching artists so they can take advantage of the view and the light up here,” Moore said.

Why should people come to Open Studios of Beavercreek?

They should take advantage of seeing “such a diversity of artists at work, and the scenery is so beautiful,” Moore said, noting that some of Ben Dye’s metalwork sculptures will be on display in her studio.

Her work also is on display at The Grapevine Gallery in Oregon City. She is a member of Print Arts Northwest, and will have her work at the RiverSea Gallery in Astoria, beginning in late June. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Open Studios of Beavercreek

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 6; Saturday, June 7; and Sunday, June 8

Where: Visit openstudiosofBeavercreek.com to see a map and list of studios.

Participants include: Core group artists: Krista Cary, Ben Dye, Bunny Lewis, Blenda Tyvoll, Connie Veenker and Diane Wright. Guest artists include: Ruth Armitage, Carol Bresky, Robert Bresky, Becky Buchanan, Tara Choate, Jodi Dann, Deb Ellis, Carol Ellison, Donna LaPlante, Darla Lynn, Bonnie Merchant, Frank Meyer, Jill Montgomery, Carrie Moore, Jerry Myra, Lance Smith, Jim Spillman, Cherilyn Sunridge, Jude Welter and Mary Wonser.




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