Join the Spring Migration to Florence

2018 Spring Convention and Experimental Exhibition

April 6, 7 & 8, 2018

On-line registration for Convention opens February 11.  Closes March 11, 2018


By Kathryn Damon-Dawson

Migrate with WSO friends to Oregon’s gorgeous Central Coast. Florence, on the Siuslaw River, is your artistic-vacation destination where sand dunes, forests, the Siuslaw River, and rocky cliffs meet the Pacific Ocean shoreline. Fly in on the wing of a migrating bird or catch the fin of a salmon, sea lion, or whale. Tweet your friends and drive west through our moss-laden Coast Range on Route 126 to Hwy 101. Bring your paint and brushes. Bring your gear: binoculars, bikes, hiking shoes, kayaks, cameras, windbreakers, beach shoes, and raingear for an invigorating, refreshing experience.

The Florence Events Center, 715 Quince Street is home base; FEC provides Gallery One and Gallery Five; an auditorium; five spacious rooms; Pavilion Catering; and abundant parking. All activities for the weekend will be held at the FEC except the Meet & Greet. Friday at noon through Sunday morning, the Hospitality Committee and local volunteers will welcome you in the FEC lobby. View an invitational video @ produced by Sean McCann of So N So Productions to get a glimpse of what awaits you.

Friday will be a busy day for the WSO Board; they will meet at the FEC, October 6, at 1:00 pm while enjoying a lunch prepared by Pavilion Catering. Following President Beth Verheyden’s Board Meeting, Liz Walker, New-Member Chair, will host and introduce WSO’s New Members for 2018 at 3:00 pm, at the FEC. All members are welcome to attend.

We will all gather to Meet & Greet on Bay Street. Eight Old Town galleries will host with hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Your registration packet will inform you of your starting gallery. You will meet new and old friends as you migrate from one gallery to the next. Juror Fran Larsen will meet you at Backstreet Coop Gallery, 1421 Bay Street, hosted by owner/members Pattie Anderson and Kathryn Damon-Dawson.

On Friday evening, WSO Board Members will join you for dinner if you make reservations at an Old Town restaurant. The February 2018 Watermark will include restaurant and Board Member host details.  Local musicians will offer soft music for your dining pleasure.

Don’t stay out too late; Saturday morning will come early with a flock of activities at the FEC. You might want to meet early for Saturday Morning Birding with a local, expert birder. Bring binoculars and go to active birding locations to spot migrating and local resident birds. You might catch a glimpse of the elusive Bittern at Dog Pond.

Saturday Morning Paint Out: Vinita Pappas will lead you to a Vinita-chosen, Paint Out location with portable materials that don’t involve easels.

In-Door Break-Out Sessions: 9:00 am through 3:30 pm, rooms 3-5, will be abuzz with artists learning from artist instructors. These are no fly-by-night teachers.

Juror Fran Larsen Critique of Members’ Paintings” am and pm sessions. Pattie Brooks Anderson, Florence artist and 2017 Member, will receive the digital images of participants and will host these two sessions.

Mojdeh Bahar Persian Art and Nature” Demonstration of a beautiful art form that is very near and dear to Mojdeh’s heart.

Ruth ArmitageThree Whites for Watercolorists” Using white pigment as more than an afterthought.

Sally Bills Baily Bold colors, Bold Shapes” Look at subjects with eyes that simplify shapes, then use beautiful, bold colors.

ColArt “Try-It with Amanda Sweet” All materials provided.  Use Winsor & Newton professional paints and Kolinsky brushes on various types of watercolor papers.

Elizabeth Zimmerman “iPhone 101 for Artists” A perfect class for artists too busy painting to learn about utilizing their iPhone. Elizabeth will go over how to edit images in your phone, copying and pasting text, plus a lot more.

Alexandra Eyer and Pat Renner “Live Nude Figure with Tattoos” Expert figure painters who will host and demonstrate.

Panel of 6 WSO Award Winners “Composition Round Robin” Very popular panel, orchestrated by Sharon King.

Rosie HillIntroduction to Zentangle” Rosie, certified Zentangle teacher, lives in Florence and teaches a variety of artistic mediums.

WSO Logo Items and Vendors: All day Saturday, in room 2, Nan Newell and Sharon Hansen will display their recent order of Logo Merchandise items; and Sharon King, Vendor Chair, has invited some of your favorite Art Vendors.

Siuslaw Pioneer Museum Tour: 278 Maple Street. A Museum volunteer will lead a tour of our wonderful pioneer museum,

Artists’ Reception: Saturday, 4:00 pm, FEC Gallery One doors open to reveal Fran Larsen’s juried show of eighty paintings. Show participants will learn whether their painting is among the chosen twenty award winning paintings. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, with punch, coffee and tea, plus a no-host bar. The 2018 Spring Experimental Exhibition of 80 paintings will hang at the FEC through April, in Gallery One and Gallery Five. The first stop for the Traveling Show’s twenty award winning paintings will be at Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay Street, for the month of May.

Awards Buffet Banquet: Pavilion Catering will serve an enticing buffet in the spacious FEC lobby at 6:00 pm. Sand-Dollar table centerpieces, created by Jane Rincon, will add local flavor. A flight of origami cranes, folded over the past two years by Kathryn Damon-Dawson, will migrate into the décor. A No-Host Bar will be available at Pavilion Catering’s window.

Awards Ceremony: Beth Verheyden, WSO President, will MC the evening. Beth Schilling, Artist Awards Chair, will announce award winners as Juror Fran Larsen gives a brief statement about each painting. Becky Meier will announce Merit Award Winners. Kathryn Damon-Dawson, Past President, will announce and present WSO’s 2018 Outstanding Service Award.

Sunday Morning: 9:00 – 10:30 am The WSO Business Meeting in the FEC Auditorium will be conducted by President Beth Verheyden and followed immediately by Artist/Juror, Fran Larsen’s Lecture/Demo 11:00 am -1:00 pm

Other Activities:

Siuslaw Pioneer Museum Tour: 278 Maple Street.  A Museum volunteer will lead a tour of our wonderful pioneer museum.

Where to Stay in Florence 

The Florence Events Center, FEC, is within walking distance and short driving distant of many Florence area motels.  State you are with Watercolor Society of Oregon when making reservations.

Motels closest to Old Town and the FEC are:

 River House Inn, 1202 Bay Street. Forty rooms, half with river views and half overlooking the parking lot. It is close to the Hwy 101 Bridge. Siuslaw Coffee Roasters is next door.

541-997-3933 or 877-997-3933

 The Landmark Inn B&B, off Hwy 101 at 1551 4th Street. Nestled on a steep hill above Old Town and Antique district. Close to the FEC. Reasonably priced, immaculate, and recommended for groups who may want to share a kitchen.

541-997-9030 or 1-800-822-7811

 Edwin K Bed and Breakfast, 1155 Bay Street. 1914 Craftsman Home. Authentic and beautiful inside and out. Six B&B rooms plus a family suite, which sleeps four.

541-997-8360 or 800-833-9465

 Lighthouse Inn, 155 Hwy 101, near the Bridge. Quaint, clean rooms with historic photos of Florence. Mention you are with Watercolor Society of Oregon for a 15% discount on room rate. Nature’s Café, next door, opens 7:30 am, for breakfast.


 Old Town Inn, 170 Hwy 101. Across from Lighthouse Inn on Highway 101. Easy walk to Old Town and the FEC.


Or if you prefer the beach and a drive to FEC:

Driftwood Shores, 88416 First Ave. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 Port of Siuslaw: Campground and Marina, 100 Harbor Street, is within walking distance of Old Town and the FEC.


You can easily determine on your electronic devices, other campgrounds and motels that are located at the ocean or along the Siuslaw River.