"...and Let There Be Wine!" 30x24 acrylic ©Sandi Whetzel

A balmy summer evening in Medord, OR and there's plenty to do. From 5-8 pm you can wander through dozens of venues participating in this month's 3rd Friday Art Walk, August 19. Numerous businesses up and down Main Street and surrounding areas of historic downtown Medford stay open to participate in the 3rd Friday Art Walks each month. The locations are approximately within a six block radius of one another. In addition to the art displays, there are always musicians, dining and shopping available.

Many forward-thinking artists are stepping outside the box to put their art physically in front of people's eyes. They want to give their audience the opportunity to get up close and personal with the art; to see it, touch it and have opportunity to interact with the artist. That is not always possible in a traditional gallery situation. Regularly scheduled monthly art walks hosted by city businesses are a good alternative. The events draw onlookers to the downtown area one evening each month to experience dining, music and shopping at the businesses, as well as experience great art. It's a win for attendees, businesses and the artists.

This month a contemporary artist from Douglas County, Sandi Whetzel, of Days Creek, Oregon will exhibit under one of the10'x20' tents placed in Vogel Plaza, a spacious park-like setting at the corner of Main and Central and next to the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater. Each of Whetzel's acrylic paintings have curvaceous, fluid movement in common. Some of the pieces are fanciful, while others suggest elegant, sensuous qualities. The radiant chroma, stimulating motifs and rhythmic movements throughout Sandi's art works are sure to tickle your senses.

Whetzel is also known for her signature paintings to promote Oregon wine industry events. This month Sandi will introduce Medford to her stunning acrylic wine series originals, high quality reproductions, art magnets, greeting card art and exclusive art inspired wine-theme apparel for men and women. Wine enthusiasts are in for a memorable experience because Sandi's art stands out. Her colors will grab viewers and her content is unforgettable.

Recently Whetzel has shown her art at nearby Ashland, Main Street venues. She currently has art at Ashland's new LOVE Revolution boutique and gift gallery. Some of her wine series will exhibit at Liquid Assets Wine Bar in Ashland mid-September through mid-November and at Ashland's Pangea Restaurant next Spring. You can see more of Whetzel's art here or view a slideshow of her art here.
Although Medford is an hour and a half drive from her home, Sandi Whetzel is anxious to share her art with Medford during the 3rd Friday Art Walk August 19th.

A few years ago a small group of dedicated artists and downtown business owners launched Medford's 3rd Friday Art Walk to help draw more patronage to the downtown art scene. Their vision was to create an event which would revitalize downtown Medford into a vibrant, prosperous place by bringing culture, art and more commerce to Main Street. The hopes and aspirations of these merchants and artisans has grown into a monthly event which has transformed downtown Medford into a walkable art gallery featuring art from many different spectrums, such as paintings, sculpture and performing artists.

Downtown Medford's 3rd Fridays are a production of the Heart of Medford business association and the Arts Council of Southern Oregon. The Art Walks are sponsored by Premiere West Bank, US Bank, Lithia Motors, Old Town Medford and Southern Oregon University. The mainstay of art in Medford is the Rogue Art Gallery which is always open during the Art Walks, plus there are occasional shows at the Higher Education Center just across the street. An additional venue for art will debut in the buillding that housed the former Neoglassic studio, on Middleford Alley this month. In the Middleford space these artists will display:
Cauker, acrylics and watercolors, Chris Licata, mixed media paintings, and prints and Peter Van Fleet, wood assemblage w/ paint and other materials.  In addition to Whetzel's art in the Vogel Plaza, will be art by Linda Evans, oils and pastels; Children's Advocacy Center paintings, ceramic, sketches and music by G.R. Nelson.  Come see what Medford has in store for you in your stroll through the 3rd Friday Art Walk August 19 from 5-8 pm.

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