Artful Dreams

When the Silver Heron Gallery opened in Depoe Bay in 2006, owner Talley Woodmark always visualized something inspirational among the paintings and hangings adorning its vertical surfaces. Her artist's eye perceived a space filled with works by artists younger than one usually finds exhibiting in art galleries; artists whose extraordinary talents belied their age. Talley always dreamed of creating a permanent installation of such works within the Silver Heron. Those "Artful Dreams," as the exhibit is titled, are now becoming a reality.

"Artful Dreams" was originally founded by Ms. Woodmark's mother, Norma Talley, back in the early 1970's, as a theatrical production company formed for children ages 5 through 18.

"Every child has said to their friends at some point in their lives, 'Hey, let's put on a show!'" Ms. Woodmark reminisces. "In my neighborhood, my mother made it possible to actually occur!"

Mrs. Talley would help to write, direct, and sponsor these top-notch productions, with lighting, set designs, costumes, make-up, etc. She would invite an audience of VIPs, from CEOs of corporations, actors and studio executives, and high-ranking military officials, both foreign and domestic. Many times, these ladies and gentlemen would turn out with hammers, saws and paint brushes, producing the most architecturally-creative sets one could imagine. The productions were performed in Virginia, California and Texas backyards, school auditoriums, barns, vacant lots, corporate meeting rooms … wherever there was space available and volunteers to make it happen.

"It was every child's artful dream to be a part of one of these productions. Every child who wished to participate, regardless of age, aptitude, or capabilities, contributed to the show," Ms. Woodmark remembers fondly. "Eventually, both my parents were involved with staging shows of every description so all could take part in the fun."

It is something Ms. Woodmark has never forgotten, and pledged to continue as an adult, but in her own inimitable fashion. Beginning in 1999, she facilitated 40 students to follow their "artful dreams" by sponsoring them to attend the Niemi-Talley Outdoor School program hosted by the Newport Middle School. Ms. Woodmark and her husband, John, continued to fund the experiential school until 2007, when the program recessed. Ms. Woodmark then began to scout new areas where "artful dreams" could be encouraged.

With the opening of the Silver Heron Gallery, that dream materialized when the Artful Dreams exhibit became a reality – one which continues to grow and evolve as more and more young, talented artists are discovered and their artwork is added to the display.

For more information, please contact Talley Woodmark at