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Port Orford Nurtures Vibrant Arts Community

Cook Gallery in Port Orford

Cook Gallery in Port Orford

Julie Sabatier

“Art doesn’t happen on a schedule,” says Port Orford resident and Cook Gallery owner Rick Cook.

Cook, who moved from Eugene to Port Orford in 1976, says he was drawn to the oldest town on the Oregon coast for its scenic beauty and the “live and let live” attitude of the residents.

“Everybody’s laid back here,” he says.”That’s part of the creativity here: no hustle and bustle.

Cook Gallery, one of the oldest in town, is right off of Highway 101 and features the work of other artists as well as his own.

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With 1,150 people, Port Orford has an active arts community with eight galleries showcasing local work in a variety of media from glass sculpture and fine woodworking to abstract paintings and landscapes.

As with Cook’s, most of the galleries in Port Orford are owned by artists. Some, like Triangle Square Art, even have studio space inside.

The Hawthorne Gallery is the largest. Chris and Julie Hawthorne display their own work as well as others’. Iron sculptures and large canvases look right at home in this spacious gallery.

The Hawthorne Gallery

The Hawthorne Gallery

Julie Sabatier/OPB

Artist Rebecca Hargrave Malamud spends her days at Point B Studio and Fine Art Gallery with her two pugs, Tripod and Phineus. Malamud says she keeps busy with tourists and foot traffic in the summer, but the quiet winter months give her time to focus on her own art.

“This is a very vibrant arts community,” she says. “We artists always have interesting projects going on.”

This article is part of Think Out Loud‘s Our Town series, in which we go beyond the daily news cycle and into the places some OPB listeners call home, including La Pine, OntarioBendRoseburg, Lakeview, WoodburnWarm Springs, MonumentAstoria, Camas and Port Orford.

Correction - November 26, 2012: An earlier version of this article misstated Port Orford’s population as having 11,000 residents. Port Orford’s population is 1,150.

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