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Bits ‘N’ Pieces: Glass Artists Meld Talents for Online Show

August 22, 2008

W hen Vancouver fused-glass artist Eric Argo moved from Hawaii to the mainland, he didn’t leave his aloha spirit behind. Argo and his Key West, Fla.-based sister, fellow artist Mary O’Shea, have teamed up for an online show featuring wall art, plates, platters and ashtrays depicting tropical images such as flowers, toucans and sea turtles.

The pieces reflect a shared love of Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures, and Argo describes them as colorful, fun and lighthearted.

“As far as I’m concerned, art should put a smile on your face,” he said.

For his creations, Argo cuts up to 1,200 bits of glass, then fires them in a kiln heated to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit to meld the segments together. Once the many pieces become one, Argo employs various techniques to add texture and depth or create a functional form.

Called “Tropical Tiki Modern,” the siblings’ show is at keywestglass.com . Argo also exhibits during Vancouver First Friday Art Walks. He’s currently using gallery space in the Main Street Theatre, formerly occupied by Arts Equity. He also shows by appointment. For information, e-mail argo8890@comcast.net .

Riding the wave of a dream

Pamela Sherman of Vancouver doesn’t usually dream. Then one night, a story about an island full of fairies and ancient seashells played out in her head. She’d always wanted to write a romance adventure novel, and the dream provided the perfect story line.

It took two years to write and refine, but “Sea Shell Island” is available through Publish America and Amazon.com.

Sherman, 62, said the book, written for young adults, is the first of a trilogy and will be somewhat of a family affair. The books in the trilogy will be illustrated. Each of the fairies was drawn in the likeness of one of her 12 grandchildren. The fairies in “Sea Shell Island” are based on her grandchildren in Arlington, Va.

Sherman, who writes under the pen name P.J. Victor, said she started writing at the encouragement of friends who enjoyed her letters.

In 2001, she was in a car accident; while recovering she started to write.

“I wanted to do children’s books that taught Christian values,” Sherman said.

In addition to “Sea Shell Island,” Sherman has had two children’s books published, “Whale Tails, Meet the Whales,” and “Whale Tails, Adventure One, Truthfulness.” She also wrote a spiritual recovery book, “Wounds of the Soul.”

No obscuring new record

Drawing inspiration from Pink Floyd and the psychedelic music of the ’60s and ’70s, local band Obscured by Clouds is releasing its second album, “Psycheclectic.” It features eight tracks written by William Weikart of Camas, the progressive rock group’s guitarist, keyboardist and lead vocalist.

This album is more layered than the group’s first effort, “Bleed,” said Weikart, 42, who works as an investment adviser in Vancouver. “This has much more complexity in songwriting, much more instrumentation. There is a thematic flow that runs from song to song.”

Obscured by Clouds first formed in 1997, though members have come and gone. In addition to founding member Weikart, the group currently features Vancouver resident Ian Wengs, as well as Portland- area musicians Kevin Cozad, Reinhardt Melz and Matthew Bradley.

Psycheclectic Records, Weikart’s label, officially releases “Psycheclectic” on Oct. 14. The album is already available at concerts and Music Millennium in Portland. For information, visit the band’s Web site, obscuredbyclouds.com .

Bits ‘n’ pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. If you have a story to share, contact Features Editor Elisa Williams at 360-735-4561 or

elisa.williams@columbian.com

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