An Article in Sunset Magazine from 1992….
A bit of history:
Carol Selberg: “I started landscape painting at 14, as a scholarship student at the Des Moines Art Center; I studied with Dixie Lee Ray. My fundamental interest is in documenting the immediate landscape, to create a sense of place. I wanted to share this experience, by taking Dorothy Matthews and Debi Mandigo with me to Finley. I painted the house that afternoon and when we peeked in the cellar, there were large logs, covered with edible mushrooms! to paint one summer afternoon. Dorothy had not painted in the landscape before, and she was really delighted, it was so much different than studio painting! She said, “We need to get a lot of artists to experience this”. With her contacts: Alice at Airily and Margi Buchanan at Tyee, plus my contact with Springhill –Mike and Karen McLain, we began to set-up painting on location sites.”
Dorothy Mattthews: “What I remember is that it was first suggested by Alice Preedy from Airlie Vineyards. We started by painting at Airlie during their wine festival. At the time the Willamette Valley Vineyards were just starting to work together marketing their wines. And at the same time Tyee Vineyards, Margie Buchanan, was looking for an artist to do the lables for their wines. I got her connected with Rainier Native artist who subsequently created images for their lables. Alice was instrumental in getting about 6 wineries to work together. I created the first map/brochure for them. You were familiar with the folks at Springhill and got them involved.
That same year some artists associated with Pegasus were just starting to explore the joys of painting on location “en plein air” at sites around Corvallis – Marys Peak, the riverfront, Findley Wildlife Reserve, and various view pull-offs on roads around town. At the same time the Benton County Wineries were just getting going and Carol Selberg had met the owners of Springhill Winery. They soon invited us to paint. Tyee Winery worked with Pegasus to find an artist to create their label logos, and that connection resulted in an invitation to the artists. Then I (Dorothy Matthews) helped create the first brochure marketing Willamette Valley Wineries. Some of them invited artists to show at festivals or paint on location. So, within a short time, artists had various new opportunities to work on location at wineries and other beautiful sites throughout the valley. As the Willamette Valley wineries’ marketing association grew, so did the artists’ involvement.”
Bill Shumway: “As best I recall, Dorothy Matthews, who had assumed ownership of Pegasus Gallery in 1985 and I, then owner of Pegasus Frame Studio and a gallery consultant, formed a “Sense of Place” group of en pleine air painters. We were intrigued by the idea of seeing how present day artists would portray the coast range mountain we presently know as Mary’s Peak. This mountain was previously part of the mythology of the area’s original inhabitants, the Callapooia, and was known as Tcha Teemanwii (translated by Canadian trappers as Chintimini).
We made hundreds of images of the coast range’s highest peak during those first few years. Very early on, Frank Hall and his wife offered their historic expertise in researching the oral traditions of the Callapooia as related to the mythological stories of Tcha Teemanwii. They also encouraged our image making by initiating an annual award for the most creative image of the mountain. In those early days, we also put together a theatrical performance of the Tcha Teemanwii mythology, in which local writers, mask and costume designers, dancers and story tellers produced and performed the work. Ted Cox, owner of the Old World Deli, narrated the Majestic Theater production in English and Callapooian. The video of that production is available at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath. I’m quite sure that the Tcha Teemanwii story telling event in this county that still happens every year was an offshoot of this early research and portrayal in paint, drama and song of the mythology of Mary’s Peak.”
This fundamental philosophy holds true today:
Dorothy Mattthews: “A critique was an important part of the lunchtime break. Each week a different artist would lead the discussion/critique. Everyone would look at and talk about the paintings or drawings one-by-one. The process at that time was to provide a comfortable opportunity for everyone to work, develop skills by associating with artists who worked in various media, get to know each other, and find new paths to improvement – whether the artist was a beginner or a professional.“