VAC hosts ‘Jaf Works: Creations by Jimmy Frankfort’

“Jaf Works: Creations by James Frankfort” will be on display in the Upstairs Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center from Dec.1 to Jan. 27. (Courtesy photo)

The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is pleased to present “Jaf Works: Creations by James Frankfort” from Dec.1 to Jan. 27 in the Upstairs Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center.

“Jaf Works” is a look back at James Frankfort, an artist in the central Oregon coast region from the early 1980s through the late 1990s. The exhibition will focus on Frankfort’s drawings, prints, cartoons and other works on paper, along with representations of the artist’s paintings and mixed-media work.

An opening reception for “Jaf Works” will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with relatives and friends discussing his work at 6:15 p.m.

Belgium born artist James Frankfort (1930-2005) was raised and educated in New York City. After graduating from the Parsons School of Design in 1950, Frankfort began to attract frequent assignments as an illustrator and cartoonist from such publications as the Saturday Evening Post, the Saturday Review, The Nation, Harpers Magazine and the Village Voice, where for 15 years he maintained a position as editorial cartoonist. In 1968, the family moved to the southern Oregon Cascades and eventually settled on the central Oregon coast in 1973. He continued to publish drawings for the Village Voice until 1974, when the paper was sold. Frankfort remained creatively active until his death in 2005.

A member of the Beat Generation, Frankfort was an active and seminal artist during his time on the central Oregon coast. In 1995, he founded the “PushPin Show” at the Newport Visual Arts Center, which continues through today, and he spearheaded the “Coastal Recycling Artists Project, or ‘CRAP’” exhibition at the Newport Performing Arts Center in 1996.

Frankfort was involved with other important regional shows, such as the “Human Form” exhibit and the “Between the Tenants” exhibit at the Nye Beach Store in 1991. “Between the Tenants” was seen as a transformative exhibit for the area, bringing more challenging artists before the public. Frankfort exhibited his work in solo and group shows at the Seal Rock Gallery, the VAC, Cosmo Café, Triad Gallery (Seal Rock), the and the Jaf Gallery itself (Seal Rock).

“Jimmy Frankfort represents an important transitional art figure for the coast region,” said Tom Webb, VAC director. “And not just for a more contemporary artistic vision, but for a new generation moving to the Oregon coast. We are pleased to look back at Jaf’s creative work and contributions to the creative community.”

“Jaf Works” will include historical works not for sale, as well as prints and other works that will be available for purchase.

The VAC extended special thanks to Michelle Frankfort, Jaf’s daughter, for helping to curate the exhibition. She encourages Frankfort’s many friends and co-creators who remain in the region to attend the opening reception.

The Upstairs Gallery is open is open Tuesday through Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. The Newport Visual Arts Center is located at 777 NW Beach Drive.