Ashland galleries are helping people celebrate fall and get in the mood for Halloween with a few fun exhibits in October.
Gathering Glass Studio, at the corner of A and Pioneer streets, is featuring handmade glass pumpkins and gourds in a variety of shapes and colors in its gallery.
The studio began making artful pumpkins and gourds, a tradition among some glass blowers, at the request of customers.
Last weekend, the studio's back parking lot was filled with 2,000 glass pumpkins as part of a fundraiser for Mobility Unlimited, which helps adults get mobility equipment such as wheelchairs so they can succeed in the workforce.
More than $4,000 was raised at the event, said Keith Gabor, a glass artist at the studio.
This weekend, Gathering Glass' Scott Carlson is displaying the shop's work at the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch in Palo Alto, Calif.
More than 30 prominent artisans are showing 8,000 glass pumpkins and other glass art objects. Proceeds benefit the artists plus various arts organizations, according to organizers.
To make glass pumpkins and gourds, Gabor said Gathering Glass artisans begin with a glob of clear glass known as a "gather." Crushed up colored glass is added to the molten clear glass.
Artisans create a bubble in the glass mass and blow it up. Molds are used to give the blown glass markings that replicate the ribbing on pumpkins.
After the pumpkin body is created, artisans curl more glass around a metal rod to create curlicue stems.
For anyone who wants to take a look at the colorful creations, Gathering Glass Studio is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Artisans aren't sure yet whether the studio and gallery will be open for Ashland's First Friday Art Walk on Friday, Oct. 5.
Concetti Fine Arts, at 40 N. Main St. in Claycomb's Plaza Mall, will be open until 8 p.m. for the Art Walk.
During October, the gallery is honoring the Mexican holiday of El Diá de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.
The public is invited to attend Concetti Fine Arts' Fiesta Grande on the evening of First Friday and wear either a mask or full costume to celebrate El Diá de los Muertos and Halloween.
Mexican hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served.
Concetti Fine Arts will feature visual arts and assemblages that relate to El Diá de los Muertos, a colorful celebration in which families welcome back the spirits of departed loved ones.
Ashland Art Works, located in an idyllic setting along Ashland Creek at 291 Oak St., isn't focused on Halloween for October. But it's worth stopping by because the little cluster of galleries and working studios is holding an October fundraiser for two worthwhile organizations.
Local artists and students have painted handcrafted wooden stools and serving trays for the "Step-Up to Help-Out" fundraiser benefiting The Maslow Project and the Southern Oregon Humane Society.
The Maslow Project provides services to help homeless and at-risk students finish their education, while the Humane Society aids animals in need of care and homes.
For information on more October exhibits and First Friday Art Walk events, visit the Ashland Gallery Association's website at www.ashlandgalleries.com and click on "Events."
Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.