Even if the rain is blowing sideways and the wind bends the trees outside, Debra Carnes will weave a little magic during the Stormy Weather Art in Action dinner and auction on Saturday, Nov. 5.
With rattan, and maybe some curly willow and birch bark — or possibly beach rope, metal or sea grass — Carnes will weave a basket that could ultimately be 3 feet tall — and filled with her imagination.
In fact, imagination and creativity will infuse Cannon Beach for three days during the 29th annual Stormy Weather Arts Festival Friday, Nov. 4 through Sunday, Nov. 6.
In addition to the annual dinner and silent auction, other activities will include concerts Friday night and Sunday, artists demonstrations and receptions hosted by local galleries, street-corner musicians, a fashion show and a three-woman play.
“This is a traditional event,” said Court Carrier, director of the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the festival. “The arts are an incredible part of Cannon Beach, and this is a celebration of the arts.”
With at least one new event — the Blues, Brews and Barbeques lunch Sunday in the chamber’s community hall — and a few twists in the annual offerings, the festival is a little different this year.
“It’s like Disneyland when it has a theme park,” said Carrier. “To keep bringing people back, they freshen it by adding a new ride or changing it up.”
Carnes became intrigued with basket weaving when a friend in Michigan taught her 30 years ago.
“There are no rules — you don’t have to follow patterns, and I don’t like to follow rules,” Carnes said. “But there are endless possibilities.”
She uses a variety of materials.
“Everywhere I look, I find something to work with — trees, the ground and the beach, for sure. I started working with metal last year.”
Carnes’ brightly colored, hand-dyed basket fabricated with rope found on the beach won her the Steve McLeod trophy presented this year by Cannon Beach’s Earth Day Committee. The trophy was named after the late Steve McLeod, a local painter and sculptor who used beach debris in his work.
Carnes and seven other professional artists will demonstrate their techniques by creating art during the annual dinner Saturday night. Some of their works will be for sale.
Participants in the silent auction can bid on Cannon Beach experiences, travel packages and other items. Proceeds from the auction will pay for scholarships for children attending the Coaster Theatre Kids Camp, the Sea Ranch Children’s Summer Music Camp or the Cannon Beach Arts Association’s Arts Camp.
“The scholarships help kids maintain their interest in arts,” Carrier said. “Last year we sponsored scholarships for nine students.”
Other festival highlights include:
Storm clouds will blow away when Grammy-nominated blues singer Ellen Whyte kicks off the festival at 7 p.m. Friday in the Coaster Theatre Playhouse. Hailing from Oregon City, Whyte is in the Oregon Music Hall of Fame; she performs vocals for blues, pop and jazz and plays the rhythm guitar.
“Ellen Whyte is a great musician,” Carrier said. “This will be a night of fun, entertaining music.”
The best thing about stormy weather is the clothing — the stylish coats and cute rubber boots for outdoors and the cozy sweaters and comfy clothes for indoors.
The “Dancing in the Rain” fashion show at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Coaster Theatre is free, but donations to CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), which assists foster children, will be accepted.
Local residents will model, said Dena Draxton, owner of Dena’s Shop on the Corner and fashion show organizer. “We will be showing very wearable things, both indoor and outdoor apparel.”
In addition to Dena’s, participating stores include Maggie and Henry’s, La Luna Loca, Cannon Beach Leather and Paolas Pacas, an Italian designer from Portland, whose woven pieces are displayed at EVOO Cooking School.
Rain or shine, the streets will be filled with music from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, as local and regional musicians play tunes throughout town. From blues to classical guitar, with some folk and Americana thrown in, there’s bound to be something for everyone to listen to.
“Half or better of these musicians have played Stormy Weather before,” said Paul Dueber, who, along with “Bobcat” Bob Rice, also will perform. “We always go back to these folks because we like their quality. They’re good to listen to, and their music fits.”
Each outside location downtown and in midtown has a back-up indoor space, in case of rain.
“We don’t even have to even bother to look at the weather,” Dueber said.
It will be a tempest of talent when three local actors tackle the play “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]” at the Coaster Theatre. The shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12.
“ Everyone and anyone is invited to attend this free event,” said Katherine Lacaze, who, along with Ellen Jensen and Emily Estrada will perform the play.
Even if there’s a raging windstorm outside, the atmosphere will be tranquil inside the community hall Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the festival’s new event, Blues, Brews and Barbeques. Three Stormy Weather beers, designed especially by Pelican, Public Coast and Bill’s brew pubs, will be paired with pulled pork and eggplant sliders prepared by chef John Sowa. Steve Cheseborough will play the blues.
“This is our send-off luncheon,” Carrier said. “We thought people might want to stay an extra day in town or spend more time on Sunday and take a leisurely trip home in the afternoon.”
Twelve local galleries and some shops are planning a whirlwind of activity with artists’ demonstrations, receptions and music throughout the weekend. The weekend also will mark the opening of a new space for artistic endeavors on the second floor of Sandpiper Square. It will be the site for demonstrations by artists from the Primary Elements gallery during the festival.
“It will be an education and work space for artists,” said Jane Brumfield, director of the Cannon Beach Arts Association, which is opening the space.
Future workshops on printmaking, basketry and bookmaking are planned for the space, as well as free lectures by artists on Thursday evenings, Brumfield said.
The Cannon Beach Gallery also will be open during the festival, and a reception will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday. “It will be a prelude to the Art in Action gala, so the crowd can move from the gallery to the Surfsand ballroom,” Brumfield said.
If you can’t fight the weather, you might as well make the most of it, noted Carrier, and that’s what the Stormy Weather Arts Festival does.
“It’s an event that draws all parts of the town together,” he said. “To celebrate what’s so special in Cannon Beach is important.”