By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

It'll be an artistic wonderland in Willamina

Kay Hotaling is among the artists featured in the 2012 Coastal Hills Art Tour.

WILLAMINA — Charlyn Pranger is no artist. She admits she isn’t blessed with the talent.

However, she loves to interact with people who are. That’s why she decided to get involved with the Coastal Hills Art Tour when she moved to Willamina seven years ago.

“I thought it was a neat thing they were doing,” Pranger said. “They needed someone to work the information booth the first year I became involved, and I thought, ‘I can do that.’ It’s just grown from there.”

The 21st annual art tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, at four Willamina locations — a significant change from previous years.

Individual artists and several groups will be featured at the VFW Hall on the east end of Main Street, the West Valley Community Campus auditorium, West Valley Fire District Main Station and Willamina Christian Church.

Twenty individual artists from throughout Yamhill County and beyond, not just the West Valley, will show their work. The Art Conspiracy, Coastal Hills Quilters and Grand Ronde Art Guild will also participate.

Individual artists occupied business storefronts in previous years. The VFW Hall, however, has always hosted the Coastal Hills Quilters, a popular group that draws a large contingent of visitors every year.

Why the change in artist locations this year?

“We’ve always given the artists their choice of where they would like to be,” said Ila Skyberg, a member of the art tour committee along with Pranger. “A lot of businesses appreciated being a host, but they didn’t have adequate space.

“We’ve discussed a lot of things over the years. This is a year when we’ve made some changes.”

The West Valley Community Campus auditorium, on the old high school site, is where visitors will find the majority of the artists. There is a parking lot adjacent to the building and some off-street parking.

“It’s a wonderful venue,” Pranger said. “There are going to be a lot of artists under one roof.

“People went from business to business in past years. This is going to allow people who attend to get out of the rain and wind. It’ll make it more pleasant.”

Pranger understands the popularity tied to the Coastal Hills Quilters. It made sense to leave them where they’ve always been.

“They are a huge draw,” Pranger said. “Some people come to the art tour specifically for the quilters. They may or may not see the other artists.”

The group includes first-year participants Linda Eyster, oils and scrubs; Brett Flanigan, glass blowing; Kay Hotaling, oil painting; James Lukinich, chain saw wood carving; Rene Quinones, custom and lapidary jewelry; Lisa Talley, photography; Linda Watkins, oil painting; and April Wooden, fascinators.

Take the Tour cards will be available. Artists will donate a piece of work that will be given away to selected visitors who complete the tour and have their card stamped at each artist’s location. Winners will be contacted following the event.

Visitors can also enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride that will stop at artist locations.

Individuals are also encouraged to visit the Willamina Museum of Local History at 188 N.E. D St., where the A to Z jazz duo will play from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, and Willamina Maley’s Mercantile and Cakery at 188 S. Main Street, where tea and fresh-baked pastries will be served.

Proceeds from the sale of items go toward the art tour.

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