n a Saturday afternoon during the Stormy Weather Arts Festival, rain didn’t stop visitors from perusing Cannon Beach galleries to admire new work, observe demonstrations and interact with artists.
The 29th annual event, organized by the Chamber of Commerce, brought arts, music and steady business to Cannon Beach from Nov. 4 to 6.
“We always know it’s going to be busy because it’s got such a great tradition,” the chamber’s Executive Director Court Carrier said. “The planning that went on all year long truly paid off.”
Artist Scott Johnson offered a watercolor demo at White Bird Gallery before the “Art in Action” banquet and auction. Johnson was among the artists who created works of art available for purchase during the event.
“It’s fun meeting all the other artists,” said Primary Elements Gallery artist Sharon Abbott-Furze, who demonstrated oil painting outside of Cannon Beach Arts Association’s Creative Coast Project Space. “The locals are very supportive.”
Lori Baker and Karin Miles, friends from Long Beach, Washington, were among the group gathered to watch Abbott-Furze paint an ocean landscape. Both first-time event attendees are watercolor painters.
“I’m fascinated by techniques,” Baker said. “When you’re around other artists, it’s always inspiring. I want to go home and get my paints out.”
“It’s all a challenge, but that’s part of the fun of it,” Abbott-Furze said.
The festival included a concert by Grammy nominee Ellen Whyte and her band. A limited number of visitors were able to purchase original artwork by John Ebner, the Stormy Weather poster artist. A new event, “Brews, Blues, and Barbeques,” featured musician Steve Cheseborough and catering from local chef and Iron Chef Goes Coastal winner John Sowa. Bill’s Tavern, Public Coast Brewing and Pelican Brewery created Stormy Weather-inspired brews specifically for the event. “The day was fabulous,” Carrier said.
A “Dancing in the Rain” fashion show showcased fall and winter lines from five local retailers. “It’s nice to see that the fabric arts are included now and getting some great attention from the public,” Carrier said, adding that many clothing shops reported record-breaking sales.
Carrier thanked the Stormy Weather committee and partners who provided items for “Art in Action.” A portion of proceeds funds scholarships for children attending the Coaster Theatre Kids Camp, the Sea Ranch Children’s Summer Music Camp and the Cannon Beach Arts Association’s Arts Camp.
“We raised the caliber and quality of our items and reduced the number and it worked out well,” Carrier said. “The money that we bring in largely is shared with the community in the form of scholarships to encourage them to get involved in the arts.”
With Cannon Beach hotels 90 to 95 percent occupied during the weekend, Carrier estimated that the event brought thousands of visitors to town. The Chamber has already started planning next year’s festival.