Pacific City’s Rowboat Gallery honors late artist

After losing one of the county’s most prolific artists, John Stahl, a showing is open now at Pacific City’s Rowboat Gallery.

By Brian Cameron
To commemorate the large body of work Stahl created during his lifetime,
the showing features Stahl’s art, as well as celebrates
the life and times of Northwest artist – who died Jan. 20.
Stahl is well known in the regional Northwest art scene for his expressive paintings that span from photo-realistic hunting and game to mixed media abstraction
aimed at eliciting a deep emotional response from the viewer.
Stahl attended formal art education initially in 1962 at Ferris State College
in Big Rapids, Mich., which is now known as Ferris State University. Shortly after, he attended a two-year Associates program with the North Central Michigan College. During his youth in Michigan
he made the acquaintance
of a young Janet Blondell, whom he asked to join him in marriage in 1957 and the two began to form what would be a long and loving partnership together.
Ten years later, the two decided to embark upon a new adventure to the Pacific Northwest where Stahl attended the Museum Art School in lower northwest
Portland. There he continued his fine arts education
and studied under notable regional masters such as Louis Bunce, Bill Givler, George Johanson, Jack McLarty, Mike Russo and Harry Widman. Stahl received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Museum
Art School in 1971 and went immediately into a busy art-exhibition schedule. Not too long afterward the two once again took an adventurous whim and found a nice piece of land to start their new lives together on the shores of Netarts Bay.
“John was well known in the arts here in the Pacific Northwest,” said Janet Stahl. “He did every available medium of art aside from welding.”
Once established along the Oregon Coast, Stahl began to utilize his time in his studio to build a body of work to show in galleries
all over the Pacific Northwest, as well as take on an instructor’s position with Tillamook Bay Community
College. According to Janet Stahl, her husband was the first official art teacher for the college.
Known to be an artist of versatility, Stahl practiced with acrylic and watercolor
paints, printmaking, collage, sculpture, woodcarving,
stone sculpting and even tried his hand at sculpting and painting his own duck decoys for hunting, an activity Stahl enjoyed when he wasn’t creating art.
The Rowboat Gallery in Pacific City is hosting the showing it will run until Oct. 31. The Rowboat Gallery is located at 34950 Brooten Road in downtown
Pacific City.
A memorial fund in John’s name can be sent to: John R. Stahl Memorial Fund, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University,
900 State Street, Salem OR 97301.