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“Yaquina Bay” by Marcy Baker

A public opening reception on Saturday, Aug. 10, will celebrate the current Oregon Coast Council for the Arts exhibition, “Ode to the Tides,” in the Upstairs Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center.

Sponsored by The Wetlands Conservancy, the exhibit includes more than 90 Pacific Northwest artists working in an array of mediums, all exploring or depicting Oregon’s coastal estuaries, tide pools and the organisms that inhabit these ecologically important areas.

The Wetlands Conservancy and other project partners organized “Ode to the Tides” to highlight the beauty and ecological and economic value of near-shore coastal habitats. Estuaries are the rich mixing zones where freshwater from the land meets salt water from the sea. The blend — known as brackish water — creates an environment with abundant life and is a critical link to ocean health through their role in providing high-quality water, fish and shellfish rearing, refuge and production, and habitat for a host of wildlife and plant species. Oregon’s 22 major estuaries are essential for many fish and wildlife species, including salmon, herring, flounder, crab, oysters, clams, wading birds and ducks. Estuaries gather nutrients from both land and sea, forming an ecosystem that contains more life per square inch than the richest Midwest farmland.

Lincoln County artists participating in the exhibit include Duncan Berry of Otis, Carol Cassidy, Roy Lowe and Mark Williams of Waldport, Michael Gibbons of Toledo and Nora Sherwood of Lincoln City.

“The ‘Ode to the Tides’ exhibit is a critical part of the VAC’s artistic celebration of the Oregon coast during August and September,” said visual arts center director Tom Webb. “We thank The Wetlands Conservancy — including Sara Vickerman Gage, Esther Lev and Paul Engelmeyer — for bringing the artistic creations to Newport and the central Oregon coast.”

For more information, go to https://wetlandsconservancy.org/stewardship/ode-to-tides-art-exhibit.

“Ode to the Tides” is part of OCCA’s larger program at the visual arts center, “Art 363: Representing the Oregon Coast.” Saturday’s opening reception will run from from 1 to 6 pm, with organizers and artists speaking at 2 pm. The exhibit runs through September 26, available to view from noon to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

• Pieces from “Ode to the Tides” will be also on display at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, 333 SE Bay Blvd, and the Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 SE Marine Science Drive. The Pacific Maritime Heritage Center will hold its own public reception from 1 to 3 pm on Sunday, Aug. 11.

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