Downtown Throwdown, a new food competition, will shake up Third Friday's art walk beginning July 17 in Medford. Restaurants — including 38 Central, Elements, Downtown Market Co., Jackson Creek Pizza and Deli Down — will offer tasty bites of summer cuisine made with fresh summer squash from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Rogue Gallery, Facets Jewelry, Terra Firma Home, Molly Reed and My Daughter's Closet, respectively.
"It's all about trying to heighten awareness about what's happening in the downtown area," says Nora LaBrocca, an interior designer at Terra Firma and owner of Downtown Market Co. "We have wonderful restaurants and beautiful shops here. The Third Friday art walk has successfully drawn many people, and we'd like to offer them something more."
The food competition will take place each month during the art walk, and the fare will feature seasonal ingredients. Along with the new exhibits, live music and wine-tasting offered, it adds up to more fun for visitors, who will be able to vote for their favorite dish.
Medford artist Millie Clarke will be featured at Art du Jour Gallery. Clarke began painting with acrylics about two years ago after being inspired by the works of Picasso and Van Gogh. Her original still-life paintings are filled with a textural technique that brings an added dimension to her work.
Artists at Art du Jour, 213 E. Main St., also include Jennifer Eufusia, Margo Garnett, Edna Hanscom, Judy Hubler, Ruth Heath, Yvonne Kitchen, Ginny Matheson, Margery Mercer, Lori Paxton, Carol Eaton-Preston, Ruth Hickok Schubert, John Strain, Carol Oline Stavik, Dick Woods and Shari O'Neal Young. Sterling silver jewelry by Bob and Carol Sharp also will be displayed. A reception for the artists will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Call 770-3190.
Oregon artist Stacie Smith's exhibit at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center will feature ethereal, whimsical portraits in watercolor and oil that were inspired by old family photographs. Subtle faces carved into alabaster and self-portraits by Smith, along with photographs, also will be displayed. A reception for the artist will be held at the gallery, 40 S. Bartlett St., from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibit is sponsored by the Rogue Gallery & Art Center's board of directors. Call 772-8118.
Here's a look at what's happening elsewhere on Third Friday:
- Tabletop art will be at 38 Central, 38 Central Ave. Call 776-0038.
- Hair extensions and wigs will be modeled at A Sheer Vision, 14 N. Bartlett St. Call 772-0733.
- Artwork by Gerald Armstrong, Janet Blight, Chuck Anderson and Loretta Sias will be at Central Art Supply, 101 N. Central Ave. Call 773-1444.
- Photography by Ken Deal will be displayed at Corks Wine Bar, 235 Theater Alley. Call 245-9802.
- Art by Jolen Gibson and other artists and photography by Ali Wols will be at Downtown Grounds Coffee Bar, 38 N. Central Ave. Call 245-9355.
- Paintings by Paul Bunch and Kelly Anderson will be at Facets Jewelry Studio, 301 E. Main St. Call 734-0930.
- Impressionistic abstracts by Miles Frode will be at Grilla Bites, 226 E. Main St. Call 245-9802.
- Live music, the art of German paper-cutting and small bites from Tastefully Simple will be at Lawrence's Jewelers, 232 E. Main St. Call 772-2986.
- Digital art by Robert Sharp and jewelry and mixed media by Carol Sharp will be at Medford Interiors, 323 E. Main St. Call 772-2503.
- Watercolor paintings and cards by Alice Stambaugh will be at Molly Reed, 237 E. Main St. Call 770-7103.
- Millinery by Lynn Aiello, paintings by Chloe Howard and gently worn fashions will be at My Daughter's Closet, 16 S. Bartlett St. Call 499-0882.
- Tie-dyed clothing by John Lucas and handmade jewelry by Shirley Lucas will be at Schroeders Furniture, 220 E. Main St. Call 779-9991.
- Artwork by Cesar Augusto Nava Martinez and Nathan Willard, along with live music and poetry by Daniel Allan Morford and Rick Fjellman, will be at Suzanne's, 30 N. Central Ave. Call 618-9182.
- Artwork by Alice Stambaugh, Melanie Rhoades, Rose J. Nelson, Isabelle Alzado, Barbara Harvey, Jinny Brown, Thomas A. Bayne, Larry Safley, Rick Hazen, Don Schmidt, C.C. Nesberg and Brian Zastoupil will be at Yesterday's Blossoms, 275 Theater Alley. Also, there will be live music by fiddler Don Maddox of the Maddox Brothers and Rose and appetizers by Grilla Bites. Call 772-3484.
Other downtown businesses that support the art walk include Dance Arts Center, home of the Medford Civic Ballet, 9 Hawthorne St.; Fringe Hair and Body Boutique, 319 E. Main St.; Gervais Day Spa and Salon, 111 N. Central Ave.; Hot Pots, 217 E. Main St.; Lotus Hair, Body and Soul, 10 N. Central Ave.; Oh's Osaka, 35 N. Central Ave.; Red Rock Italian Eatery, 17 W. Fourth St.; and Shenanigan's on Main, 410 E. Main St.
Look for the Constant Tourists, featuring Nate Sanchez on guitar and Cassie Kantor on trumpet, accordion, keyboard and vocals to present live music in Theater Alley, along with drive-through sculpture by John Statler. Drummer Michael Sorensen and guitarist Michael Lennon will roam downtown Medford during the art walk.
Maps highlighting the participating venues are available at any of the stops along the art walk. Parking in downtown Medford and in the parking structure on Sixth Street is free after 5 p.m. weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.
Artists working in all media are invited to participate in the Third Friday art walks. See thirdfridayartwalk.org or call 890-4940 for details.