Gallery celebrates and challenges

The Columbia Art Gallery has settled into its new space at 101 Fourth St., and it’s as inviting — or more so — than its former digs on Second Street.

The artwork on exhibit is a bit more crowded in the smaller space, but the high-ceilinged, well-lit gallery shows it off better.

“We have an incredible variety of original artwork displayed, nearly all of it from local artists,” said Bill Sturman, chairman of the gallery board. The December show includes both decorative and functional pieces, with prices ranging from $2 to $1,100, according to Sturman. Gift possibilities run the gamut from crafted cribbage boards to stained glass, from lamps and keepsake boxes to carved wooden mirrors.

The gallery hardly skipped a beat when it moved from its long-time home at 207 Second St. earlier this fall after losing its lease. The gallery’s monthly shows carried on and Sturman and the gallery board are well into planning for next year’s exhibits.

“The first two shows of the new year are ones that all local artists are invited to participate in,” Sturman said. The January show is entitled “Celebrate the Gorge,” and artists are asked to create pieces that depict or are inspired by the Gorge. Interested artists can pick up a response form at the gallery for submission by Dec. 20. Each artist may submit two works by Jan. 3. The opening reception for the show will be Jan. 9.

The February show is the “challenge show” for 2004 and carries the theme, “Lonely Hearts.” All artists wishing to enter this show will dip into a container of “lonely hearts” ads and blindly pick one. They will then create art in response to the ad.

“All mediums are welcome and your interpretation of the ad is the challenge,” Sturman said. Artists can pick up their ad until Dec. 24. The show will be hung on Feb. 3-4, with the opening reception scheduled for Feb. 6.

The Columbia Art Gallery is open every day until Christmas: Monday through Wednesday from noon to 5 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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