Art at the Oxford

(Artwork above: Old Mill District Sunflowers by Joanne Donaca)

The Oxford Hotel presents Joanne Donaca’s oil paintings of Oregon landscapes through October 26.

A native Oregonian and noted Central Oregon artist, Joanne Donaca recalls the influence of women in her family on her fascination with art. Her paternal grandmother, an expert in embroidery and crochet, began painting in her elder years. As a young child in second grade in Ontario, Donaca observed her grandmother applying craft paint from dispensers (later adding brushes) to create landscapes reminiscent of the “folk art” of Grandma Moses.

Her mother, innately talented, was similarly attracted to art although more to fine craft. Becoming an expert seamstress and making her own patterns, she used these or altered other patterns to create garments for clients. Donaca, having learned embroidery from her grandmother and sewing skills from assisting her mother, made her first skirt complete with an embroidered pocket at age nine.

From her freshman through junior high school years, she studied painting with an inspirational and thorough teacher, Roger Ashby. He instructed students in the basics of art: shapes, light and shadow, and color theory; mediums of pastel, pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic, oil and others; and predominant styles beginning with calligraphy and advancing to principally figurative, realistic and impressionistic forms. Donaca excelled in all and furthered her love of art.

Early in her senior year, upon the sudden and saddening death of her mother, she, her father and two young adult sisters moved to Bend. Completing her senior year in Bend, she was awarded Salutatorian of her class given her outstanding scholarship in both Ontario and Bend.

She continued her education at Central Oregon Community College with a major in business and economics. Upon graduation, she began working in business and met her future husband, Richard Donaca. Although she continued painting, her marriage and three children consumed considerable time. In the mid-90’s, following the graduation of her youngest son from college, she resumed her painting in earnest.

Now a recognized and respected artist, her art has been shown throughout the Northwest with exhibits in Seattle, Lawrence Gallery near Portland, Madras, Redmond, Pendleton, Boise, Sun Valley and other locations. She has studied with well-known artistic instructors Delbert Gish, Kevin MacPherson, Jan Kunz and many others.

Donaca is recognized in the Northwest through her signature membership in the Watercolor Society of America, the Pastel Society of America, the Northwest, and of Oregon, as well as her membership in the Oil Painters of America. An award winner in several mediums, her paintings appear in numerous corporate and private collections including Scottish physicians, Pronghorn’s Golf Resort and Sunriver Resort where she was previously honored as the poster artist for the Sunriver Music Festival. Donaca also received the honor of poster artist for the Cascade Cycling Classic, ’94.

Billye Turner, art consultant, coordinates the hotel’s exhibition schedule. For more information contact her at 503-780-2828 or

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