Artist Michelle Griffin organizes ‘studio-hopping’ event to highlight local artists
BATTLE GROUND — Michelle Griffin remembers having all of her work in the car. She was just about to head out to McMinnville, Ore., for an art show.
This was back in March.
Remember March, right? The world had not completely changed … just yet.
Griffin was getting in her car when she got the call.
It was just the beginning, too, for Griffin and other area artists.
“My business relies heavily on art shows, festivals, large gatherings,” said Griffin, an artist who lives in Battle Ground. “Of the 16 shows I signed up for, I’m doing zero of them. Every single one of them was cancelled.”
The spring and summer gatherings so important to artists were wiped away by the government’s restrictions due to the pandemic. Artists had nowhere to take their work to showcase to the public.
Griffin, though, had an idea. How about the public coming to the artists?
She has organized the Battle Ground Open Studio Arts and Crafts Sale, taking place at various locations Saturday.
“I was trying to think of a way that I wouldn’t be creating large crowds,” Griffin said. “How about each person just opens their garage or their driveway to display their artwork?”
As of last week, more than a dozen artists have joined with Griffin. Their work will be on display throughout the Battle Ground area. Call it a “studio-hopping event” if you will, with seven locations.
Artists and their work will be at those locations from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7. The plan is for the work to be in garages, driveways, or open studios. Safety protocols will be required.
The long-range forecast for Saturday is a high of 47 and mostly cloudy skies.
“The cold is fine,” Griffin said. “Rain would be a bummer. Hopefully, rain or shine, people will come out and support Battle Ground. I’ve been to plenty of art shows when it was pouring rain and done really well. We do have a good support system, people who love (art).”
Griffin’s expertise, under the studio name One Little Blackbird, is woodworking and mixed media wall art of recycled wood and metal. Her specialty is birdhouses.
“I knew nothing about woodworking,” she said, looking back at when she first started, initially as a hobby, 15 years ago.
She found her niche, though. Today, she is a full-time artist who sells 400 to 500 birdhouses a year.
Of course, it has been a struggle to show, and sell, her work this year. She and her colleagues are looking forward to Saturday’s event, a chance to celebrate the world of art.
Besides One Little Blackbird, here are the other artists/studios that are expected to show their work this weekend, grouped in each location.
(Note: Art lovers do not have to go in order. These are just listed in the numbers associated with the gatherings on the event’s map.)
Jules Koch — Mosaic items, wool rugs, knits, and Chrstmas decor.
Intuit Designs — Connie Ford creates baskets, woven rocks, felted wool, brooms, dragonflies, and spiders
GloriaJeanCrochet — Crochets and knit beanies, scarves, ornaments by Ally Brusseau.
Eco Prints from Nature — Kim Wessa with printed scarves, wall hangings, table runners, and other textiles using natural flowers and plant material.
Suziie Q 2U Designs — Mosaics, stained and fused glass, ornaments, and magnets from artist Susie Guirsch.
Sari Lynn Wermlinger — Upcycled feed bags.
Sunset Falls Studios — Fresh-cut flowers.
Playful Designs at Literary Leftovers — Decorative painting on wood and metal, Santas, snowmen, and other home decor by Joanne Stambaugh.
Battle Ground Barkery — Laura Walsh runs a non-profit organization to support students with disabilities by baking doggy treats.
Lemonwater Creations — Pam Thornton creates aprons, potholders, shams, coasters made from vintage linens.
At Wits End — Vera Slaughter with her outdoor, durable garden art.
One Little Blackbird — Coordinator Michelle Griffin shows off her birdhouses and other wood/metal work.