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2023 Art for the Heart Winners Announced

News, Heart Health

The Community Celebration of the Heart and Artist Reception took place Sunday, Feb. 5, in Nehalem and launched the month-long Art for the Heart exhibit. Hosted at North Coast Recreation District (NCRD), the event featured live music by Ivan Danilich, guitarist, artwork for sale by local artists and delicious heart healthy refreshments from Wanda’s Café + Bakery.

The Art for the Heart exhibit will hang at the NCRD gallery through the month of February, and artwork can be purchased at the NCRD office.* Stop by NCRD to enjoy the exhibit, and see the wonderful variety of submitted artwork by local artists. Art pieces will be marked as sold and may be taken home Tuesday, February 28 or Wednesday, March 1, during NCRD business hours, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

We appreciate the artists that participated in this year's event and their interest in supporting heart health awareness. Congratulations to this year's exhibition winners! 

*Ten percent of proceeds from art sales will go to support fitness scholarships at NCRD to contribute to the heart health of our North County neighbors. Thank you for your support!

Exhibition Winners

1st place — From the Heart

Painting by Becky Chappell

From the Heart, painting by Becky Chappell, all rights reserved

2nd place — Cape Meares Sunset

Photograph by Don Backman

Cape Meares Sunset, photograph by Don Backman, all rights reserved

3rd place — Sunflower

Mixed media by Glenna Gray

Sunflower, Mixed media by Glenna Gray, all rights reserved

People’s Choice Award — Tweeter Pated

Mixed media by Melonie Ferguson

Tweeter Pated, Mixed media by Melonie Ferguson, all rights reserved

Youth Award — Wondering Eyes

Charcoal drawing by Sammy, age 16

Wondering Eyes, charcoal drawing by Sammy, all rights reserved

History of Art for the Heart

The first Art for the Heart gallery event took place in 2014, becoming a much-anticipated annual event until cancellation of the 2020 show due to the COVID pandemic. We are excited to bring this community event back in 2023.

Art for the Heart celebrates the strong arts community in Tillamook County and is held annually in February during National Heart Month. Local artists of all ages share their passion and creativity through a multitude of mediums to help raise awareness about heart health.

Le Pain Dur is an original painting depicting a sutured heart by American artist Fred Bixel (1924-2019) and has been used on all marketing collateral for the event from the beginning. The piece now hangs in the home of Tillamook County Commissioner, Mary Faith Bell, a strong supporter of, and the original project manager of the Art for the Heart event back in 2014.

Fred served in World War II in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater in the battles of Rome-Arno, North Apennines and Po Valley. He was captured on a mission in Italy by the Germans and held in a POW camp until the end of the war.

Le Pain Dur (Hard Bread), painted in 1993, reflected Fred’s experience in World War II. The heart in the center of the painting is cut, the canvas is patched and sutured closed. The hard bread of the title may represent the bread of life, and it may also refer to hardtack biscuits, which soldiers relied upon for sustenance. The French text circling the heart on three sides, roughly translated, reads:

And our loves, must I remember them

The joy always came after the pain

Vienna, the night strikes the hour

From the collection of Mary Faith Bell