Public domain

Maybe you're the kind of person who needs coffee and/or orange juice before the creative juices start flowing.  You can change, you know. 

Danny Gregory, who comes across like walking caffeine, shares his energy and enthusiasm about creativity in a book called Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are

He joined us in 2015, and we happily revisit our interview, filled with ideas for squeezing some time out of our schedules to express our creative sides. 

Italo-Europeo, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It seems only appropriate that a town that reveres and is supported by Shakespeare should have an affinity for London.  The British capital and its arts scene are highlighted in a series of plays and operas projected at the Varsity Theatre in Ashland. 

Nothing too tricky about the name for the series, it is called "London Live in Ashland."

The preliminary schedule for the season features events into the month of June, on Sundays and Mondays. 


Audiences have drawn sharp breaths upon seeing some of the plays and operas directed by Peter Sellars, a professor at UCLA.  And upon occasion, the sharp breaths are followed by people walking out. 

Sellars pushes the boundaries, staging plays in swimming pools and in complete darkness, among other settings. 

He visits Southern Oregon University to talk about Shakespeare and the interpretation of his and other plays. 

Wikimedia/Public Domain

The work of Chinese superstar artist and dissident Ai Weiwei is currently part of the collection at the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The display features the 12 figures of the Chinese Zodiac, cast in bronze. 

They can be enjoyed on several levels: as art, as animal heads, and as a statement about looting and repatriation.  The Zodiac heads are recreations of figures that once stood in Beijing and were looted by British and French troops in the 19th century. 

Eugene Ballet

The days are short, the nights are long, and the weather is often too lousy to go outside. 

In other words, December is a GREAT month for events in the arts!  Indoor events, we stress. 

Plays, concerts, gallery shows, and ballets about kitchen appliances abound. 

We welcome them all in our First Friday Arts segment, built entirely on listener phone calls. 

Got an event in your town?  Tell the Exchange audience about it by calling 800-838-3760.

Fc Nikon, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Wow, that was fast.  Is summer over already? 

Not quite, but it is September already. 

And on the first day of the month, we roll out our First Friday Arts segment. 

It's a celebration of the arts in all of their forms... music, dance, painting, sculpture, theater... you name it. 

And you make the segment by calling 800-838-3760 with information about arts events coming to your town in September.  There's no guest other than our callers. 

Steve Sutfin/Camelot Theatre

Wow, it's August already?  And it's time once again to take stock of arts events coming to the region's stages and galleries in the week ahead. 

The Exchange gets in sync with the many First Friday art walks around the region by offering up our own First Friday Arts Talk. 

Simple recipe: six phone lines, 25 minutes or so, and all the calls we can fit in that time. 

Call 800-838-3760 to take part and talk up an arts event in your town.

June is busting out all over.  Yes, we borrowed the words from "Carousel," but it's true... arts events break out all over as summer approaches. 

One example: the outdoor theater at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival opens for the summer. 

So does the grassy hillside at the Britt Festivals in Jacksonville. 

Our First Friday Arts segment returns to take an audio tour of the arts events in the region in June.  At the center of it all is our on-air phone number: 800-838-3760. 

RV Symphony

The days are longer, the evenings warmer, and the arts scene heats up further in the month of May in our region. 

We track the arts scene in our First Friday Arts segment, a free-for-all featuring phone calls from around the region boosting arts events for the coming weeks. 

Listen for details of arts events in your town...

Frank Miller for Oregon Arts Commission

The term "ecology" tends to spur thoughts of environmental sensitivity and conservation. 

But people in the visual arts world use the term, too.  And the Oregon Visual Arts Ecology Project provides a web page to let people explore the visual arts in the state, without having to travel to every museum or gallery. 

Meagan Atiyeh is the visual arts coordinator at the Oregon Arts Commission. 

Eugene Ballet

April is here, and now come the warmer days of enjoying evenings outside, outdoor concerts and more. 

Well, we can HOPE, anyway.  Offerings in the arts tend to expand in the warmer months. 

We track the arts scene in our First Friday Arts segment, a free-for-all featuring phone calls from around the region boosting arts events for the coming weeks. 

JC Concerts

Spring has sprung.  Okay, we're getting a LITTLE ahead of ourselves; the actual astronomical equinox is still more than two weeks away (March 20th).  But winter is surely coming to an end, and the arts scene will warm up with the weather. 

We track that arts scene in our First Friday Arts segment, a free-for-all featuring phone calls from around the region boosting arts events for the coming weeks. 

Listen for details of arts events in your town... or if you have them handy, pick up the phone and call 800-838-3760 while the segment is on the air. 

What Happens When Art And Politics Collide?

Jan 25, 2017

Art reflects the times of the artist.

What will contemporary artists have to say about the age of Trump? Artist Richard Prince recently denounced his portrait of Ivanka Trump, in a case of satire doubling down on itself, or perhaps, meeting with sincerity.

We talk with artist Kelly Worman about what to make of that: art, politics and how the lines blur. Worman is a guest curator at Southern Oregon University's Schneider Museum of Art.

First Friday Arts For A New Year

Jan 5, 2017
Benjamin Esham/Wikimedia

The Christmas decorations are coming down and the nights are still long and cold. 

All the more reason to get off the couch and burn off some holiday pounds enjoying some of the region's art happenings. 

Our First Friday Arts Segment returns for the first time in 2017, taking stock of events ranging from musical theater to gallery displays. 

And it is a listener-driven segment, composed entirely of phone calls from around the region plugging events in the coming weeks.  Those go to 800-838-3760. 

Eugene Ballet

Christmas trees, holiday plays, art sales... and there's GOT to be a Nutcracker or two on stage this month. 

December is a HUGE month in the arts world, and we dedicate our First Friday Arts segment to listing as many events as possible.  We meaning... you. 

First Friday is all about the phones... grab one and call the show at 800-838-3760 to talk about the arts event you care about. 

It's a big party, and the more events, the merrier. 

AIS Facebook page

Art is not just for artists, and it has other uses besides hanging on walls. 

These are some of the thoughts behind this weekend's Art Inspires Ashland (November 11-13).  As the name implies, the idea is to use art as a catalyst in community building. 

This is work Milenko Matanovic does all the time, merging art, collaboration, and community building. 

Turkey Time! First Friday Arts For November

Nov 3, 2016
Camelot Theatre

First Friday is a big deal in our region. 

Several cities celebrate the occasion with First Friday art walks; we mark the day with the return of our First Friday Arts segment. 

It's a virtual party, with arts groups and performers from around the region calling in with news of their arts events, ranging from wall art to modern dance and beyond. 

Politics + Puppets at SOU

Sep 20, 2016

Presidential candidates aren’t the only ones hitting the pavement until November, trying to understand what Americans are thinking and how to reach us in the most private of spaces: the voting booth. 

 Mike Schlitt is also on a national tour timed with the election, sharing his art in each town along the way. The LA-based writer and performer visits Ashland this week with free shows and workshops at SOU. 

Jack Ohman Draws Us In

Sep 15, 2016

Jack Ohman took his considerable skills in art and satire right past us. 

He was the Oregonian's political cartoonist for years, then skipped to the Sacramento Bee

We've admired his cartoons for decades, even the ones that didn't make the wolf OR-7 look so darned cute.

There are cartoonists, and then there are New Yorker cartoonists. 

Getting a cartoon into the famous magazine is a mark of success, one Matthew Diffee has received many times over.  He is also the winner of a Reuben Award, something like a cartoonist's Oscar. 

Matt Diffee and his new book Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People show up together at the Eugene Library on Saturday at 2 PM.