Back to Bandon, Oregon… And Its Art

We returned to one our favorite go-to places on the Oregon Coast last week, Bandon by the Sea. The area features the wave-tossed Pacific Ocean, magnificent rock sculptures known as sea stacks and a charming town. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

I’ve blogged about Bandon before. And will undoubtedly do so again. The coast with its crashing waves and towering rock sculptures calls to us. And the town is charming. It comes with good restaurants, fun art, cranberries, cheese, and a bookstore—no town should be without one. While Winter River Books is small and doesn’t include a book-store cat, it is well-stocked for its size.

One of the books I bought was the “Roadside Geology of Oregon” by Marli Miller, a professor of earth science at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Our library includes a number of books from this series on other states as well. If you have ever found yourself curious about the rock formations you are seeing beside the road, these books make wonderful traveling companions.

I am going to do three posts on Bandon this time. The first is on art in Bandon. Next will be the Devil’s Kitchen State Park. There are interesting houses hanging out on the cliff, sea stacks, and forts made of driftwood. I am also going to take a look at what the recent storm tossed up, mainly kelp, piles and piles of it, plus a bouquet of sea palms for Peggy. I’ll conclude the series with a visit to Face Rock State Park and its famous name sake. While there, I will include a number of other sea stacks/rock sculptures that we admire and can never get enough of. As always, our cameras were quite busy!

The art of Bandon: Not surprisingly, it comes with an ocean emphasis.

Meet Nora the Salmon. She is one of a number of sculptures in Bandon made out of trash collected on the beach and created by Washed Ashore, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about all of the garbage we are pouring into our oceans around the world.
A close up. Nora is a fun sculpture with sharp teeth and a serious message.
Henrietta the Rockfish, another fun sculpture by Washed Ashore, was decked out in her Covid-19 mask, bringing us two messages at once.
And finally there is Grace the Humpback whale whose tail tells a tale of trash.
A close up. An information board next to Grace listed a few of the items used in the sculpture. Included: water bottles, hat visors, a toilet seat, golf balls, a cooler, a steering wheel, flip flops, toy wheels, boots, and an umbrella handle. But enough trash talk, there are a number of other art works scattered throughout Bandon. These are from along the Boardwalk.
I’ve always been intrigued by this carved wooden sculpture of an octopus with its waving arms.
And this carved seahorse. I immediately thought of a merry-go-round.
Like so many cities and towns today, Bandon has its share of murals.
This dramatic totem pole was a next door neighbor to the two fish murals shown above.
Main Street, Old Town Bandon, is filled with small shops and restaurants. We always walk along the sidewalk and find something of interest. The book store is a must. But there is also great chocolate to devour, good food to experience, and craft beer to drink.
There is also a toy store that Peggy finds irresistible in her ceaseless efforts to spoil our grandchildren. While she was checking out games, I found this crow. I thought a close up of its beak appropriate for Halloween.
I’ll conclude today with this wild looking fish that was part of a mural. It was my fave!

NEXT POST: Peggy and I visit the Devil’s Kitchen State Park where the ocean crashes against the rocks, interesting homes hang out on the cliffs, forts are made of driftwood, and storm-fared kelp is tossed up on the shore.