Heather Soderberg cast her first bronze piece before she started kindergarten and was achieving renown by the time she was six. Teen-age rebellion led her away from art for a while. She got a degree criminal science and was ready to join the Coast Guard in Hawaii until a diving experience caused her to reassess her life. She found her way back to art and the peace it brings her and she hopes it conveys to others. She recently relocated to Cascade Locks and opened a foundry. The next OREGON ART BEAT visits her studio, filled with life-size sculptures in clay, and discovers more about her background and inventiveness. Tune in to the stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting on Thursday, August 18 at 8pm.

Portland bow maker Michael Yeats creates each piece by hand – and they are popular with musicians in symphonies and orchestras across the country. Yeats started out building musical instruments over 30 years ago. The process was like putting together a puzzle, but when he discovered bow making, he discovered the ultimate puzzle. He said the best bows were made in the 1860s, so making a great bow naturally includes a lot of study and imitation. Yet, every bow is different. Every one has its own personality, and that keeps Yeats from getting bored with his work. There is no guarantee that any one bow will work for an instrument, but when you find one that works, he said, it awakens and transforms the instrument.

Gene Gill is one of Portland’s most admired watercolorists. This octogenarian artist specializes in city street scenes, especially rainy ones, and he never tires of walking the streets of downtown Portland for inspiration. Visit Gill in his studio to find out more about how and why he paints the way he does.

 You can watch entire ART BEAT broadcasts at watch.opb.org. Video of the stories featured on ART BEAT can be viewed online immediately following the broadcast at opb.org/programs/artbeat.


OREGON ART BEAT, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Emmy-Award winning local arts series, is in its 12th season. ART BEAT profiles Northwest artists, musicians and artisans — from an operatic baritone to a bit-and-spur craftsman to everything in between. The program airs Thursdays at 8pm and Sundays at 1am and 6pm. In the Mountain Time Zone of Eastern Oregon, the program airs at 9pm Thursdays and repeats at 7pm on Sundays. Funding for OREGON ART BEAT is provided in part by James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation and the Kinsman Foundation. More information is available online at opb.org/artbeat.

About OPB

OPB is the largest cultural and education institution in the region, delivering excellence in broadcasting to more than 1.5 million people each week through television, radio and the Internet. Recognized as a national leader in public broadcasting, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most used and most supported public broadcasting services in the country with more than 120,000 contributors.