By Marjorie Woodfin

Pilot staff writer

The Second Annual Art Studio Tour began at 6 p.m. last Friday evening, July 11, with a Black Tie and Tennies Reception at the Manley Art Center, followed by the open studio tour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Friday evening included sparkling champagne, musical entertainment by the BIGs, a festive feast, a lively auction, and a special surprise guest, celebrated pilot Chuck Yeager.

Yeager and his wife accompanied auctioneer Dan Brattain and his wife and parents to the reception. Yeager donated a print to be added to the tennis shoe auction.

The auction of tennis shoes decorated by members of the Pelican Bay Arts Association (PBAA) plus Yeager's print netted approximately $800.

According to PBAA President Bobbie Geney, auction proceeds added to tour-book sales raised about $2,300 to support PBAA programs and supplement the Manley Arts Center building funds.

Geney explained that, with the completion of the exterior renovation, the group is now looking forward to refurbishing the interior of the center with a new coat of paint, plus looking toward replacing the roof.

The weekend tour featured the work of 24 different artists at 12 open studios, from Jean and Oscar Johnston's gallery just across the border in Smith River to Audi Stanton's gallery on Holmes Drive.

In between, open studios included those of Nancy Moore-Hope on Sandpiper Place, Jean Beebe on Oceanview Drive, Kandi Legg on Short Way shared with Diana Pierce and Janeen Vick, Len and Vi Burton on Mountain Drive shared by Lynn Benton, Jim McCarten and Jewell Johnson, Billie Ruth Furuichi on Spruce Street, Kara Roberts Hoepner on Railroad Avenue, Christina Olsen on Jodee Lane, and Better Sherbourne on Ransom Avenue.

Artists Maryjane Carlson, Lorraine Reinmuth, and Deborah Dudley all entertained guests with discussion and display of their art at the Manley Art Center.

Dusanka Kralj and Barbara Kennedy welcomed visitors at their Eye for Art Gallery on Chetco Avenue where their work was displayed.

Art on the tour included paintings in all media, sculpture, boxes made of exotic woods, dried floral designs, silk painting, ceramics, photography, and jewelry.

Len Burton said that they enjoyed a 30 percent increase in number of visitors this year over last year, 44 guests compared to 34. Numbers were different at each studio, ranging from 19 at the Johnston's to the Burtons' 44.

Burton said the visitors were all enthusiastic about the tour. andquot;They told us that they really enjoyed going around to the studios, seeing where the artists work and learning about their ideas.andquot;

Plans are already under way for next year's studio tour. Planners said they will not schedule it again on the same weekend as the Relay For Life.

The Pelican Bay Arts Association is an artist-owned and operated nonprofit organization that sponsors classes, demonstrations, art displays, and other activities at the Manley Art Center, 509 Pine Street. The center is open to the public, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The public is welcome to attend the monthly meetings, held the second Thursday of the month at 11 a.m., followed by a pot luck social at noon and an artist demonstration as 12:30 p.m. The telephone number is (541) 469-1807.