Pop quiz: What Cannon Beach event has visitors coming from three states and Canada, some making their hotel bookings a year in advance?

Answer: Cannon Beach Gallery Group's Spring Unveiling Arts Festival weekend, now in its tenth year, and now getting ready to spring its 2010 edition from April 30 through May 2.

Clearly, international glory isn't just for sand castles any more. A smart farm girl knows not to put all her eggs in one basket; a savvy marketer knows that to keep a brand fresh and exciting there must be an element of change to overlay an existing product.

Thus did the Cannon Beach Gallery Group form itself just over one decade ago, with the mandate to keep the arts in CB verdant, vibrant, and viable.

In addition to promoting its member galleries, the CBGG created a spring arts festival that proves to be a winner year after year.

"Spring Unveiling is now a keystone event here in Cannon Beach, with many non-gallery businesses and non-member galleries adding their energy to the occasion," says Suzanne Kindland of Icefire Glassworks. "This energy runs the gamut from art to music to Ferraris. I can't conceive that the Cannon Beach Gallery Group would ever consider discontinuing this fun event."

The schedule for the Spring Unveiling, coming hard on the heels of Earth Day events, may at first seem daunting. How to get 'round to it all? How not to miss anything? But Kindland asserts that there is a method to enjoy the merriment.

The member galleries are divided in to geographical groups. Each gallery is assigned a specific unveiling time, and the timing for the galleries of each group is such that attendees may see all the featured pieces at each gallery. Each year, the timing of unveiling is rotated so that no one gallery gets an ideal time slot every year.

And just what is the "unveiling" all about, anyway?

Galleries choose their featured artists with care, and the work that is shown during the festival is new, never-before-seen pieces. Fans of specific artists then have the fun of watching the curtain rise over fresh creations. And artists have the festival as a motivating goal to create anew.

Although many artists may choose the coastal themes for their work, or specific icons of Cannon Beach-such as artist Georgia Gerber's Tufted Puffins, one of three works curated into the Sculpture Without Walls project-you won't be seeing endless renditions of Haystack Rock at every gallery. Each member gallery has its focus, and non-member galleries and artist groups join in the fun as well.

As one local resident says, "It's a great event. I like that part of what my town is about [is that it] fosters the art community. Sure, traffic is worse, especially when all those Ferraris hit town. But we like the buzz. And hey, events like this help keep people working and our town alive."

Bring your walking shoes and an empty stomach, because there is a lot to see from the north end of the business district to nidtown-not forgetting a stroll on the beach to glimpse the puffins. Many of the galleries feature nibbles, and there should be plenty of time for an ice cream stop along the way.

The Sculpture Without Walls project features three entries scattered around the greater Cannon Beach area, so visitors should keep their eyes peeled. Part of the weekend's festivities includes voting for your favorite; the winner of the People's Choice Award is purchased by the city and made a permanent part of the Cannon Beach artscape.

Peruse the schedule in this special section for a leg-up on the no-miss events of this fabulous spring weekend.

Click here to view the Spring Unveiling PDF


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