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‘Reserve Inspiration’ Reveals Underwater Treasures

A new art exhibition, “Reserve Inspiration,” opens at the Cannon Beach Gallery on May 3 and runs through June 2.

“Reserve Inspiration” celebrates the five Oregon Marine Reserves, areas of state coastal waters dedicated to conservation and scientific research and managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Using vastly different media, each artist in the exhibition has uniquely interpreted the marine reserves to draw attention to their ecological importance.

Artwork that will be shown in the "Reserve Inspiration" Art Exhibition.
Above: “Kelp Forest” by Cynthia Longhat-Adams. Top of Page: “Copper Rockfish” Mixed Media Collage by Victoria McOmie.

“This marine world is largely unseen by the public, but it’s vitally important to the interconnectedness of plants, animals and people in a way we’re only beginning to understand,” says dawn villaescusa, president of the Audubon Society of Lincoln City (ASLC).

Cape Falcon is the northernmost marine reserve. It is located offshore between Arch Cape and Manzanita. Traveling south, the other four sites are Cascade Head Marine Reserve, near Lincoln City; Otter Rock, just north of Newport; Cape Perpetua, just south of Newport; and Redfish Rocks, south of Bandon.

Oregon’s Marine Reserves were recently in the news with Oregon House Bill 4132, which successfully passed in the recent legislative session. This bill implements recommendations to develop management and social monitoring programs to support the marine reserves as a source of data on ocean health and as a legacy for all Oregonians.

Inspired by Marine Conservation on the Oregon Coast

“Reserve Inspiration,” organized by ASLC, debuted in 2021 and has since traveled from Lincoln City up and down the Oregon Coast. Local artists at each of the other locations have augmented the original core of Lincoln City-based artists.

The exhibition opens at the Cannon Beach Gallery (1064 S. Hemlock Street) as part of the city-wide Spring Unveiling Arts Festival. It is made possible by a collaboration between the ASLC, the Cannon Beach Arts Association, and NCLC. The exhibition’s six featured artists include:

  • Julie Fiedler, ceramic artist
  • Bob Kroll, photographer
  • Cynthia Longhat-Adams, fire painter
  • Victoria McOmie, painter/mixed media artist
  • North Sherwood, science illustrator
  • Jill Perry Townsend, plein air oil painter
“November Sunset at Cape Falcon” by Jill Perry Townsend.

To complement the exhibition, Cannon Beach History Center & Museum will feature a presentation by Dr. Lindsay Aylesworth, Program Leader for the Oregon Marine Reserves, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 8.

During this presentation, which will be part of the history center’s regular lecture series, Aylesworth will describe the Marine Reserves Program, discuss the scientific research carried out by ODFW, and look ahead to what is in store for the program now that HB 4132 passed to provide funding. The lecture will take place at the History Center, 1387 S. Spruce St., Cannon Beach.


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