When Nola Range moved to Brookings in 2007 she saw local art everywhere she went – restaurants, businesses, a title company – but every time she tried to look up the artists online there was no information.
She said “this is wrong.”
One year later, she started the website wildriverscoastart.com.
The purpose? To give local artists visibility.
“I wanted to make a website to give these artists exposure online,” Range said. “It’s a way they can show their art to whoever they want to.”
Eclectic visual artist Audi Stanton appreciates Range’s work.
“What was nice is, she decided that she wanted to take this project on, and wouldn’t accept any money for it, so all of the artists are benefitting without having to pay,” Stanton said.
Stanton has had a lot of inquiries, and uses the website to showcase her work.
She has a show in July, and will put some of those pieces on the website.
“I’m pleased with what she does. She does a great job,” Stanton said.
Expressionist Christina Olsen is pleased with the website as well.
“I just feel like for all of us, all of the local artists, it gives us more exposure and captures the liveliness that we share,” Olsen said.
Slowly, Range started adding other pages to the website.
Today there are 11 pages: art news, Brookings, Crescent City, Gold Beach and Port Orford artists, Chetco Photographer’s Association, Art Associations, Art Festivals and Events, Art Galleries on the Coast, Art Workshops and Classes and Public Art.
The pages are full of photographs and/or images of artists’ work, biographical information on artists or the featured towns, and contact information and newsletters for art associations and galleries.
“I try to cover as much as I can,” Range said.
Eventually, the news page became the central part of the blog.
It is full of pictures and posts about the monthly art walk, brochures on upcoming art shows and concerts, the details of drop-in art workshops and classes, and audition dates for community theater productions.
“I think it’s very informative because it covers so many areas that it’s like a central location where we can obtain information on events happening in Gold Beach, Port Orford, Bandon, everywhere,” Stanton said.
Olsen shares a similar view.
“The website is a good archive of what’s going on in town,” Olsen said. “You could almost print it out as a book.”
For the Pelican Bay Arts Association, the website is a great tool because it helps promote its events, President Cilde Grover said.
“It’s a great place for us to tell people what’s happening locally in the area,” she said.
Range has been involved in the arts for the greater part of her life.
She majored in Visual Communication while studying at the University of Delaware, and while she didn’t pursue Visual Communication as a career, she used the skills she learned to put out a newsletter.
Then, she took a TypePad class at Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC), Gold Beach Campus to learn how to design, make and update a website.
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Range couldn’t say how many hours she spends working on the website each day or week, but said she does something on the site each day, and usually posts something on the site every other day.
“If somebody sends me something to put up, I do,” she said. “It’s fun to do. I really enjoy it.”
Her peers describe her as “one of our unsung heroes,” complete, detail-oriented, efficient, energetic, hardworking and a “very generous supporter of the arts.”
“It’s her donation to the community, which is great that she’s so community minded,” Stanton said.
Range is an artist in her own right, and has taken classes with Stanton and Sara Broderick.
In her spare time, she likes to garden. She takes the Master Gardener class at SWOCC, Gold Beach Campus, and does the advertising for the Coastal Garden and Art Tour. She also compiles the newsletter for the Pelican Bay Arts Association.
“I enjoy knowing the people who are the artists in the community,” Range said. “I just enjoy doing whatever I can to promote them as artists.”