The autumn months are the perfect time to come discover an up-and-coming vibrant arts scene in Lewis County! Every third and fourth weekend of September brings forth the ARTrails of Southwest Washington, an event that showcases dozens of artists' work at venues throughout Lewis County and beyond. ARTrails serves as the single largest gathering of artists in Lewis County, and the public is welcome to visit the annual ARTRails Studio Tours! In 2017, more than 40 artists in 18 venues are showcasing a variety of works, and there are hands-on activities for all families! For more on ARTrails' 2019 Studio Tour, click or tap here. Let ARTrails be your grand introduction to the arts scene, then keep these venues in mind throughout the remainder of the year! Artists' cooperatives throughout Lewis County, specifically in Toledo, Centralia and Morton, offer the public a great chance to view, appreciate and even buy some art. Let's take a brief look at a few of Lewis County's best art galleries!
When it comes to the arts in Lewis County, the Morgan Arts Centre comes front and center. For 26 years, the Morgan Arts Centre in Toledo has been South Lewis County’s prime outlet for artists in the area. Toledo art teachers Mike and Di Morgan established this space as a creative outlet in 1991, and it’s been going strong ever since! Hosting events such as Camp Picasso, the Children’s Theater Workshop, art fairs, Santa’s Workshop and more, the Morgan Arts Centre continues to be a vital part of the Lewis County art scene. It is also locally famous for having hosted the Plomondon Independent Film Festival, which brought together aspiring filmmakers from all around to enjoy a fun night of viewing short films and more. Morgan Arts Centre is located at 190 Plomondon Road in Toledo. Visit their website for a full list of upcoming events, classes and more!
The brainchild of the same folks behind the Morgan Arts Centre, the Gallery 505 Artist Cooperative showcases monthly themed exhibits from various artists on a wide variety of media. Everything from paintings to sketches, sculptures to mixed media — you name it, you’ll see it at Gallery 505. Exhibits in the past have ranged from the seasonal to scenic to whimsical. Just this year alone, exhibits have centered around our National Parks, the grand summertime and the ever-ongoing search for Bigfoot! Art Gallery 505 is open every Wednesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Stop into their location at 205 Cowlitz Street, say hello to the folks there and enjoy the exhibit of the month. There’s no charge for admission, and it’s a perfect place to stop on an excursion to Mount St. Helens. For more on Art Gallery 505 including information on current and past exhibits, visit their website here.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Centralia, Rectangle Gallery is Lewis County’s newest art gallery. Its wide open floorplan showcases a variety of work from a co-operative of artists, and the Rectangle is fast becoming an arts go-to for the Hub City. In addition to displaying art, the Rectangle hosts a wide range of classes for artists from beginner to expert. Rectangle also hosts Third Thursday in Downtown Centralia, a brand-new gathering of live music, art and more on Tower Avenue. One of the more notable events Rectangle holds is an event for kids of all ages to showcase their work, with most wall space being dedicated to youth art (as pictured above). The Rectangle is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit their website.
Celebrating its 10th year of showcasing art in east Lewis County, the Barbara Clevenger Johnson is one of the Fire Mountain Arts Council’s trifecta of arts venues in Morton. Each Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the BCJ Gallery opens to the public and displays an impressive array of artwork in a variety of media. The BCJ Gallery adjoins the Roxy Theater, which shows first-run movies, community theatre events and much more! The Barbara Clevenger Johnson Gallery is located at 231 W. Main St. in Morton. Visit their website for more details on upcoming Fire Mountain Arts Council events.