Summer at the Hallie Ford Museum, and Elsewhere…

Friday night was the opening of the two summer shows at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art here in Salem.  The BIG summer show is the work of Portland sculptor Mel Katz, with also the very fine show of drawings by artists Christy Wyckoff and Tom Prochaska.


Mel Katz was to speak at 5:00 but got caught in traffic, so Museum Director John Olbrantz gamely did some adlib, and then they rolled a video piece on Mel and his work that had appeared earlier on OPB Art Beat….


Mel video

with Mel arriving just in time to catch a glimpse of himself being interviewed…(he liked it)

Mel arrives

Mel then told us about the evolution of his work over the years…process, mediums, steel and plastic and wood and concrete…the origins of his vocabulary, his alphabet…

pattern pieces 1alphabet 3

then off to the museum we went to see the show. (Photo Note: openings are not the best photo ops, so my photos reflect that…just get down to the Hallie Ford Museum and see the shows in person…you won’t be sorry…)

maiin gallery

alphabet 2alphabet 1

pattern pieces

My favorite show though is Christy Wyckoff and Tom Prochaska’s drawing show up in the print room.  The two artists spent a month following “In the Footsteps of Charles Heaney”…driving and drawing in central and eastern Oregon, where Portland painter Charles Heaney (1897-1981) loved to go to work and gather images.


Together they have produced a wonderful body of work that stands alone, but also has many Charles Heaney references.  Curator Roger Hull wrote the text for the show and chose several Heaney prints, a drawing and a painting from the museum collection to serve as a reference point for the Wyckoff/Prochaska work.   With museum staff Jonathan Bucci and David Anderson, Hull organized the display cases and the effect is a fascinating sort of point/counterpoint visual dialog with Heaney’s work…it’s a gem of a show (and I’m not saying that because I’m related to the curator…it really IS a gem of a show!)

Christy and Tom


Heaney town


Christy town

get it?  All of these shows at the opening provided the most valuable moment of discourse with living artists, talking about what they do and why…one of the many reasons that the Hallie Ford Museum is such a treasure.  On Sunday, June 14, 2015, from 2-3 p.m. in the Roger Hull lecture hall at the museum, Christy Wyckoff and Tom Prochaska will talk about the trip and their resulting work.  Don’t miss it…

TomChristy and Michael K.

After the opening gala we were able to catch the last bit of a hotly contested croquet match, watch the light fade behind the mountains, and have dinner with friends…summer…at last.




Today it was hot and bright…perfect day for a Minto Island Growers lunch…

IMG_4376Cartpizza oven


They got a bucket of water out for this small customer, who had brought along his plastic shark collection…


and all we could think of was Italy…where last year at this time we were sitting by a pool…


Summers pile on one another, the twists of life and fate are in the narrative, and we remain thankful for good art, good friends, and good food.



  1. We rushed right down to Hallie Ford as soon as the Christy Wyckoff and Tom Prochaska exhibit opened knowing that we would be out of town on the 14th. You are right, it’s a wonderful show. We especially enjoyed the juztaposition of the Heaney’s placed among the delicate and detailed drawings of Wyckoff and Prochaska.

  2. Love the shot of the lady in the black & white dress standing in front of the black & white piece! What an eye you have Bonnie. And your last words, someone should write music for them. Exceptionly lovely, and with great meaning.

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