Uncommon art at Lents Commons – by East Portland artists

See some of the local artists who had their work on display – and for sale – at this great hometown coffeehouse event …

Lents Commons Coffeehouse owner and barista Ryan Cloutier brews another shot of espresso, as the informal art show gets underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
More than simply being purveyors of java in the Lents Neighborhood, owners Ryan Cloutier and Alex Amen of the Lents Commons Coffeehouse have worked to make their café a neighborhood event center.

  • Read why they were presented a 2012 Spirit of Portland award for it: CLICK HERE.

They were at it again on November 17, when they hosted what they hope to be an annual art show with local artisans.

“I got the idea to do this, because I have a lot of artist friends and artists who come here,” Cloutier explained. “I thought it would be a good opportunity for them to meet more people in the community – and introduce more people to our coffee shop. It’s fun to get ‘neighborhood things’ going, here in Lents.”

As many as a dozen artists were there, during the day, to display their handicrafts.

Crafty Carrie Goolsby shows some of the hand-made fingerless mittens she’s brought for sale.

“Today I brought in crocheted fingerless gloves,” said Carrie Goolsby. “I’m also an artist who works in pastels and acrylics. But these – I hand-knit all of these myself. I’ve seen other people’s patterns, and put my own flair on these gloves.”

While she sells her artwork online at her website (CLICK HERE to open her home page), Goolsby says she also enjoys her “day job” – working as a certified veterinary technician.

“The best part of my artistic side,” Goolsby explained, “is that that I can just focus on doing this, and not worry about what’s going on around me. And, it’s fun to see the finished object you’ve created.”

Showing two styles of her artwork – tiny photos and linoleum prints – is Stephanie Szabo.

For the last decade, full-time student Stephanie Szabo says she’s enjoyed making printed crafts, including books, miniature photos, linoleum prints and handmade Christmas cards.

“It seems like I’ve involved in art my whole life,” Szabo smiled. “I do this because when I am creating, I’m happy. I’m kind of ‘in the zone’ when I’m making things.”

At her website, “HeartFeltNotion” at Esty.com (CLICK HERE to open it), visitors will discover a wide selection of her original art work.

Photographer Jeffrey Harding shows one of his favorite images at the Lents art show.

Our final stop was a visit with Jeff Harding. “I do, primarily, landscape photography. I do some other interesting things, but primarily landscapes.”

Capturing images photographically gives Harding a welcome break from his day job of providing users with computer technical assistance, he said.

“My favorite part is combining photography with traveling,” Harding added. “And then, it’s the memory of that trip that the photos give me – for years. I can look at the photo, and it brings it all back. And, it’s great that other people seem to enjoy sharing my photos also.”

Want to see more? Check out and buy some his stunning landscape images at his website: CLICK HERE to see it.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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