Newport gallery highlights two artists

The artwork of Mark Cheney is being featured in a show at the Yaquina Art Association Gallery in Newport. Also featured are photographs by Denise Darby. (Courtesy photo)

The Yaquina Art Association is featuring the artwork of Mark Cheney and photographer Denise Darby at the YAA Gallery, located in Newport’s Nye Beach at 789 NW Beach Drive. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. 

Before retiring from the title insurance business in 2007, the only artwork Cheney had done was to make an occasional piece of jewelry from findings and a tumbled stone. He has had many magazine articles published and has completed an historical novel on the subject of the ancient Maya, his hobby, but had not done much visual art. His novel, “Mark of the Jaguar,” was published in 2014.

Moving to the Oregon coast changed his focus. He began finding driftwood on the beach that fit together in the shape of fish, which he found to be very interesting. As he continued beachcombing, Cheney found more and more pieces of wood that had the “essence of fishiness,” and his pieces became larger. He has since sold numerous pieces from five inches up to five feet long, often using jewelry wire with shells, agates and selected beads as eyes and shells for fins. He calls his creations “Fish Stix.” His latest work uses driftwood, stones and other objects in frames to create what he calls “Stix & Stones,” a three-dimensional art form. 

As vice president of the Yaquina Art Association, Cheney continues with his driftwood and stone art, does some hand-built clay work and explores various photographic opportunities, as well.

Darby is a photographic artist who specializes in landscapes and travel photography. Born in Portland, she has had a love of the arts and photography from a young age. She recently retired and is loving her new life, having fun re-inventing herself and discovering new adventures every day.