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'Quick draw' artists to highlight 'A Taste Of Ashland' gala

Fifteen regional artists will engage in the annual "Quick Draw" event at the Preview Gala for "A Taste of Ashland" on Friday, April 27, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the landmark Ashland Springs Hotel.

The Gala features artist and gallery exhibits, student art demonstrations, live music, complimentary light refreshments and a no-host bar. The highlight of the evening, however, is the Artists' Quick Draw and Auction. The fifteen participating artists will start with a blank canvas, paper or other medium, and within 60 minutes, right before patrons' eyes, complete a work of art. The end result, ready for display, will be auctioned to Gala attendees.

"It's an absolutely unique event," said "A Taste of Ashland" Event Coordinator Suzanne Heinrich. "To watch the full array of creativity in action, and have the artists working side by side as they create their individual art, makes for tremendous energy and fun for all."

National award-winning paper carver Doug Roy is one of the featured artists in the "Quick Draw" for 2007. Roy uses a variety of lightfast, acid-free papers, an Exacto knife, Elmer's glue, rulers, one-half of a clothespin and toothpicks to create a detailed, witty and meticulously crafted miniature world. His work has won First Place at multiple International Art Shows and at the Washington, D.C. Miniature Arts Show. A Doug Roy piece is in the permanent collection of the White House.

Adding his flair to the event will be 28-year old artist Gabriel Lipper, a classically trained painter who has caught the attention of galleries and collectors worldwide. Lipper's travels serve as the muse for many of his paintings, and his subjects range from the lonely cobblestone streets of Prague to the romantic architecture of Venice to the hills of his home here in Southern Oregon.

Santa Fe transplant Kevin Christman, whose paintings and sculptures are exhibited at a number of Rogue Valley galleries, will also be part of the instant creativity, as will landscape artist Zoe Alowan.

Ann DiSalvo, Bruce Bayard, David Bjurstrom, Robert Paulmenn, Shoshanah Dubiner, Mitzi Miles-Kubota, Eloise Larson, Inger Jorgensen, Sabina Nies, Kalani Lombardi and Denise Sousa Finney round out the Quick Draw artist lineup. Bjurstrom is also this year's "A Taste of Ashland" poster artist. New to the event this year, in addition to the annual souvenir poster, there is a limited edition fine art print available of Bjurstrom's work in digital photography entitled "Grizzly Peak Meadow." Bjurstrom's Quick Draw creation as well as Artist Proof

1 of his fine art print will be auctioned at the gala. Bjurstrom has a widely established reputation in detailed graphite pencil drawings, but as he explains -"photography has always been a passion of mine. " He was senior photographer for Harry David in Medford for several years before becoming a full time artist and gallery owner in Ashland.

The music for the "Taste" Gala will be provided by the Rutendo Marimba Band, performing the joyful, high-energy dance music of Zimbabwe with marimba, drums and vocals. Members of the band, under the direction of Jan Christensen, are from various Ashland area schools, and are currently raising money to have a set of marimbas made for a primary school in Zimbabwe.

Following the Friday night Gala Preview, A Taste of Ashland continues with a town wide gallery tour that includes "tastes" of gourmet food and wine. Throughout downtown Ashland and the historic railroad district on Saturday and Sunday, April 28th and 29th from noon to 4 p.m., twenty-two art galleries, twenty-five restaurants, caterers and cheese artisans, twenty wineries, three brewing companies, and two chocolate makers will delight the senses of art lovers and epicureans alike.

The Ashland Gallery Association's "A Taste of Ashland," the premier art tour and gourmet tasting event in Southern Oregon, is sponsored in part by the Ashland Daily Tidings, People's Bank of Commerce and Southern Oregon Public Television.

For more information and tickets, go online at or call (541) 531-2012. Tickets may also be purchased at Blue Heron Gallery Gifts, 90 N. Main Street, across from the plaza.