Plein air watercolor painting during Colony Days

The many visitors to the Old Aurora Colony Museum’s courtyard on the Saturday of Colony Days last year probably didn’t realize that they were helping to evaluate an artistic experiment.  That day, Jude Welter led a group of her students in the first-ever plein air painting event at the Museum.  It culminated in one work from that day being awarded the — also first-ever — Museum Curator’s Prize.  Bsed on the all-round interest and enthusiasm shown, the experiment was deemed a success.

So this year’s Colony Days will feature an expanded plein air event.  Aurora Arts Association and the Museum will once again collaborate.  Painters will work at the Museum as well as throughout “downtown” Aurora, and there will be opportunities for all that day’s work to be shown and enjoyed by Colony Days visitors.  And the 2nd annual Museum Curator’s Prize will be given.

All watercolorists interested in plein air painting — no matter how much expertise or experience — are encouraged to take part.  Click on the “Call to Artists”, “Rules” and “Entry Forms” buttons above for all the details.


Aurora Colony Days Art Show and Sale

All the information you need to know about this year’s Aurora Colony Days Art Show and Sale is right at your fingertips — just click on the tabs on the masthead above for the Call to Artists, the Rules and the Entry Form.

We look forward to having your work in the show!  It’s a wonderful community event and celebration, a real showcase of local creativity — and it will not be the same without your participation.

And if you’re not an artist — please come and enjoy — we love visitors.

Call to Artists

You are warmly invited to enter the 50th Anniversary Art Show and Sale at the Woodburn Art Center, May 14-15, receiving May 6-7. Full details at

Aurora Colony Days Art Show 2016

Heads up!  August 12-13-14 are the dates for our 2016 Art Show, taking place as part of the Aurora Colony Days celebration.  (A big celebration this year, as it is Aurora’s 160th birthday.)

Watch this space for all the information you’ll need to enter — and enjoy — the show.

Aurora Arts members in action

— Mary Weil’s first-ever show (“Time and Place”) of her pastel paintings — Chehalem Cultural Center at 415 E. Sheridan in Newberg. The opening is Friday evening 5-9 and the shows runs until March 5.

— Jude Welter’s “Christmas at Crabapple Creek”, at her studio at 15881 S. Wilshire Circle in Oregon City (Saturday and Sunday 10-4).

— Three Rivers Art Guild’s “Holiday Show and Sale”, at the Pioneer Community Center at 615 5th Street in Oregon City (Saturday 10-5:30).

Mutual support among artists is the way to go!

Aurora Arts in Canby

Several Aurora Arts members are also members of the Canby Arts Association and take part in that group’s Art in Business program, displaying their work in various Canby businesses throughout the year. As you shop, look for paintings by Gordon Rastad, Ron Pomeroy, Jan Glenn, Bryn Carter, Leta Bunnell, Tennie Bottomly and Susan Black.

Ginny Stevens WSO

Congratulations to Colony Days art show ribbon-winner Ginny Stevens, who has obtained the respected status of “Active Membership” in the Watercolor Society of Oregon. This status requires the submission of 3 paintings that are judged on technique, composition and artistic interpretation. It also means that Ginny can add “WSO” to her name when she signs her work. Here are the paintings for all to enjoy.

At the shore

At the shore

Perching Pelicans

Perching Pelicans

Steens Mt Cowboy

Steens Mt Cowboy


New watercolor prize awarded

Updating the August 23 and July 20 posts about plein air painting at the Museum during Aurora Colony Days …

IMGP2184-2The Museum asked to display 3 paintings from this day — the Steinbach Log Cabin — at the 48th annual Quilt Show (featured theme: the log cabin pattern) that concluded last weekend. So we invented a new prize. The Museum Curator’s Choice will henceforth be given at the conclusion of Plein Air Painting Day at the Museum, which will take place annually during Aurora Colony Days. The winner of the first annual Museum Curator’s Choice prize is John Miller. All 3 watercolors will be on display at the Museum until the end of the year. Congratulations to John and thank you to the Museum (esp. Patrick Harris and Kathleen Mason), to Jude Welter (who led the plein air project), to all the watercolorists and to Larry Townsend (for this photo).


And a good time was had by all

Numbers tell some of the story of the 2015 Aurora Colony Days Art Show.  55 artists from 18 locales submitting175 works of art.  There were 42 watercolor paintings — 25 acrylics — 25 oils — 23 photographs — 60 mixed and almost every other medium.  13 of the artists — 24% — with sales of their work.  50 volunteers to plan, set up/take down, cook, staff, entertain and more.  An estimated 500 people visiting the show, from the Friday evening reception through late Sunday afternoon.  40 children taking part in our week-long, first-ever art camp and Sunday printmaking workshop.  In another first, 15 “plein air” artists painting and sketching at the Museum and on streets filled with Colony Days celebrants.

But the larger story is one of community.  Aurorans and honorary Aurorans came together to  work, to celebrate and to appreciate each other, in this art show and in all the other Colony Days festivities.  Thank you. K7A4A955D78EEF_1000119 K7A4A955D78EEF_1000129 K7A4A955D78EEF_1000120 K7A4A955D78EEF_1000118 K7A4A955D78EEF_1000115K7A4A955D78EEF_1000129 K7A4A955D78EEF_1000107K7A4A955D78EEF_1000118K7A4A955D78EEF_1000093 K7A4A955D78EEF_1000099K7A4A955D78EEF_1000111K7A4A955D78EEF_1000101K7A4A955D78EEF_1000109K7A4A955D78EEF_1000103K7A4A955D78EEF_1000108K7A4A955D78EEF_1000116K7A4A955D78EEF_1000114K7A4A955D78EEF_1000088K7A4A955D78EEF_1000091K7A4A955D78EEF_1000096K7A4A955D78EEF_1000113K7A4A955D78EEF_1000108K7A4A955D78EEF_1000121K7A4A955D78EEF_1000123K7A4A955D78EEF_1000105.

See you next year!  Second weekend of August!

Wait, wait — there’s more!

This updates the August 21 post about Urban Sketchers in Aurora —

20120833503_0868323339_z 20121093563_2ca7696052_z
More feedback from Urban Sketchers Portland from the August 8 Colony Days visit! Including the words ” … residents of Aurora were very kind to us while we were there, as well – two people walked up and told me how grateful they were to have artists out in their streets!”