Category Archives: Events

April Featured Artists: Bonnie Phillips & Tamarah Phillips

Two outstanding artists, Bonnie Kramer and Tamarah Phillips entered Backstreet’s Little Dickens Show in December, winning 2D and 3D Best of Show awards.   Size was not a limitation for their representation in this show.

Bonnie Kramer & Tamarah Phillips

Bonnie Kramer & Tamarah Phillips

           Coming to  Florence for 35 years before leaving Los Angeles,Bonnie settled here seven years ago. She came because of, “ the sweet people, all the water, the forest, and the ocean.”  Bonnie earned a master’s in Gerontology at USC and Clinical Psychology master’s at Antioch University.  She put this expertise into teaching at Emeritus College, SMC, subjects from social ethics to home repair, auto safety and maintenance, and led bereavement support groups.   However, Kramer has always been interested in creating since she majored in art during high school. Retirement offered her an opportunity to put her energy into art.  While she has dabbled in a variety of the arts including wood-working, fused glass, and ceramics, she now aspires to hone her skills as a metal artist.  Being drawn to metal work, Bonnie completed welding classes at the Community College in Coos Bay.  Taking found metal objects and sheet metal she creates the innovative assemblages and fashions the amazing sculptures that this show features.  Of her art Kramer says, “I love the creativity, the imagination and the thoughts - it’s like music for me.”


painting by Tamarah Phillips

painting by Tamarah Phillips

           Tamarah traveled around much of her life when her father was in the military and later when he took a job in Nuremburg, Germany.  This adventure, walking with her father in the forests there, sharing history, myths and fairy tales has influenced her art today.  Phillips has been interested in art all her life since she was caught drawing on the walls and floor with lipstick. Her art has come a long way from then to now. Art and writing capture much of her free time when not working at Bon Jour.  Patterns, light and darks, in ink, watercolor, colored pencil  and especially oil set Tamarah’s unique otherworldly style apart from other artists.  These distinctive pieces often depict women’s faces. Her images tell a story, “human figures changing into something magical: dancing, nymphs, and hidden symbols.” Influenced by Daisetsu Suzuki, she strives for her art not just to be technical, but to grow from her unconscious creations.  Inspired by working with bright, vibrant color Phillips says of her work, “Wherever the muse speaks, I follow.”

            Come enjoy these two talented artists’ work for the month of April and celebrate them at their reception on April 12th from 3-5pm.








St Clair March’s Featured Artist

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Award winning wood carver, Akos St. Clair, is Backstreet Gallery’s featured artist for March. You’re invited to a reception held in his honor, during the Second Saturday Gallery Tour, on March 8, 2014.

Akos takes a specially selected piece of wood, wields hand-held rotary power tools, razor knives, scalpels, and sandpaper then finishes the piece with Danish oil. The result is one-of-a-kind detailed relief wood carvings. Years of practice have contributed to the finely tuned skills he applies today.

St. Clair’s art reflects the influence the Northwest Coast Native art tradition. After numerous visits to Washington and British Columbia, Vancouver Island, he developed a great respect for the Native artisans he observed at work. Much like those Native artists, a good deal of St.Clair’s work illustrates a deep interest in the birds and animals that surround us.

While most of his carvings are beautifully hand-framed wall hangings, other pieces, such as bowls and boxes, might be functional as well. His small pieces may take as few as 10 hours to carve, but most take 20 to 40 hours to finish.

St.Clair’s work has been shown at various venues around Florence, including The Siuslaw Public Library, Celebrate Arts, Empty Bowls and the Rhododendron Art Show.

With all the hours he puts into his art, he still finds time for playing tennis and reading, two other interests he pursues.

 “I really enjoy being part of Backstreet Gallery, being inspired by other artists, and having such a beautiful venue where my work may be shown and appreciated.”

On March 8th, 3-5 PM, come by Backstreet Gallery where you will find his distinctive art joining the other 28 local artists’ work and also enjoy great refreshments.











February’s Featured Artists: Welzel & Manzanares


Ramona Welzel & Jacklon Manzanares

Ramona Welzel & Jacklon Manzanares

Ramona Welzel is a versatile artist who excels in three media. She enjoys layering in all three arts to create depth and dimension.  When Ramona walks her black and white dogs, her neighbors have dubbed her The Black and White Lady, maybe not knowing that Ramona also creates detailed, and stylized black and white ink drawings. Her pen and inks utilize a combination of gray washes and linear blacks that result in the illusion of depth.

Getting Ready by Ramona Welzel

Getting Ready by Ramona Welzel

A signature creation of Ramona are her “Paper Quilts.  Using angular shaped, hand-painted and textured pieces of paper, she carefully stitches and folds the papers together forming a unique “quilted” work of art. Her latest is stunning in many shades of white.

Winning awards at Celebrate Arts and the Rhody Festival, Welzel is known for subtle, abstract, layered watercolors with interlacing forms.  However, her recent watercolors are precision renderings of the Siuslaw Bridge. Resembling skyscrapers, she focused on the spires, an architectural study viewed from a unique angle.  She said, “As a former resident of New Jersey, who viewed the New York skyline for years, I feel an affinity for skyscrapers.”


Jacklon Mazanares brings an elegant touch to Backstreet Gallery with dramatic jewelry. Her pieces are worn from California to New York, to Paris, also in Japan and Canada.  A friend once gave Jacklon some beads, saying, “I know you can do something fabulous with them.” Her jewel case is filled with sophisticated “fabulous” jewelry.

Necklace by Jacklon Manzanares

Necklace by Jacklon Manzanares

Jacklon loves traveling and shopping, especially when her excursions take her to bead and design shows. She personally selects the natural gems that make up her collection of jewelry. “I prefer to handpick my stones so that I’m sure of what I get.” She often sees exactly what will make the ideal piece.  Come see what her latest trip to a bead show in Pasadena brings to Florence.

 At home, she can pull together stones and metals much as you would when you dress and put an outfit together.  She uses fine quality crystals, lamp work beads, dichroic glass, pearls, and other gemstones.   Combining these with sterling silver, brass and copper, she twists, hammers and wraps, converting raw materials into wearable art that transforms an ordinary outfit into stunning.

Come to Backstreet, view their innovative work and enjoy
a spread of delicious refreshments from 3-5 PM, February 8.


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