A tour of Battle Ground artwork set for Saturday


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.

Michelle Griffin of One Little Blackbird art has organized a “studio-hopping” to celebrate Battle Ground artists on Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Michelle Griffin of One Little Blackbird art has organized a “studio-hopping” to celebrate Battle Ground artists on Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Remember March, right? The world had not completely changed … just yet.

Griffin was getting in her car when she got the call.

Cancelled.

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?

Bigfoot. Fish. Birds. Michelle Griffin works with them all as an artist. Her work, along with work from more than a dozen artists, will be on display at the Battle Ground Open Studio Arts and Crafts Sale on Saturday at various locations. Photo by Mike Schultz
Bigfoot. Fish. Birds. Michelle Griffin works with them all as an artist. Her work, along with work from more than a dozen artists, will be on display at the Battle Ground Open Studio Arts and Crafts Sale on Saturday at various locations. Photo by Mike Schultz

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. 

Click here for the map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1QT7MDnoGG2FAj2S1RqzwdGgeKIOXj5qc&ll=45.779879194400095%2C-122.5034461&z=12

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.)

Location 1:

Jules Koch — Mosaic items, wool rugs, knits, and Chrstmas decor.

An example of the art from Jules Koch. Photo courtesy of Jules Koch
An example of the art from Jules Koch. Photo courtesy of Jules Koch

Intuit Designs — Connie Ford creates baskets, woven rocks, felted wool, brooms, dragonflies, and spiders

Here is work from Connie Ford of Intuit Designs. Photo courtesy of Connie Ford
Here is work from Connie Ford of Intuit Designs. Photo courtesy of Connie Ford

Location 2:

GloriaJeanCrochet — Crochets and knit beanies, scarves, ornaments by Ally Brusseau.

Some work by artist Ally Brusseau of GloriaJeanCrochet. Photo courtesy of Ally Brusseau
Some work by artist Ally Brusseau of GloriaJeanCrochet. Photo courtesy of Ally Brusseau

Eco Prints from Nature — Kim Wessa with printed scarves, wall hangings, table runners, and other textiles using natural flowers and plant material.

Some work by artist Kim Wessa of Eco Prints from Nature. Photo courtesy of Kim Wessa
Some work by artist Kim Wessa of Eco Prints from Nature. Photo courtesy of Kim Wessa

Location 3:

Suziie Q 2U Designs — Mosaics, stained and fused glass, ornaments, and magnets from artist Susie Guirsch.

A turtle from artist Susie Guirsch. Photo courtesy of Susie Guirsch
A turtle from artist Susie Guirsch. Photo courtesy of Susie Guirsch

Sari Lynn Wermlinger — Upcycled feed bags.

Sunset Falls Studios — Fresh-cut flowers.

Location 4:

Playful Designs at Literary Leftovers — Decorative painting on wood and metal, Santas, snowmen, and other home decor by Joanne Stambaugh.

Some work by artist Joanne Stambaugh. Photo courtesy of Joanne Stambaugh
Some work by artist Joanne Stambaugh. Photo courtesy of Joanne Stambaugh

Location 5:

Battle Ground Barkery — Laura Walsh runs a non-profit organization to support students with disabilities by baking doggy treats.

Laura Walsh makes dog snacks to raise funds for her non-profit organization to help disabled students. Photo courtesy of Laura Walsh
Laura Walsh makes dog snacks to raise funds for her non-profit organization to help disabled students. Photo courtesy of Laura Walsh

Location 6:

Lemonwater Creations — Pam Thornton creates aprons, potholders, shams, coasters made from vintage linens.

Here is some of Pam Thornton’s work from Lemonwater Creations. Photo courtesy of Pam Thornton
Here is some of Pam Thornton’s work from Lemonwater Creations. Photo courtesy of Pam Thornton

Location 7: 

At Wits End — Vera Slaughter with her outdoor, durable garden art.

Artist Vera Slaughter’s work for At Wits End. Photo courtesy of Vera Slaughter
Artist Vera Slaughter’s work for At Wits End. Photo courtesy of Vera Slaughter

One Little Blackbird — Coordinator Michelle Griffin shows off her birdhouses and other wood/metal work.

Michelle Griffin said she did not know much about woodwork when she started as a hobby. Now a full-time artist, she sells 400 to 500 birdhouses a year. Photo by Mike Schultz
Michelle Griffin said she did not know much about woodwork when she started as a hobby. Now a full-time artist, she sells 400 to 500 birdhouses a year. Photo by Mike Schultz
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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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