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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 9, 2017)
4 // COASTWEEKEND.COM
Visual arts, literature,
theater, music & more
When all the pieces come together
Kai Raden, mosaic artist and
teacher, opens Creations Studio
and Gallery in Astoria
needed to get out of the house and live again.”
A recent widow, Horvath showed up at her
doorstep at the Art Loft for her ﬁ rst class and
fell in love with it. “I went to a second and then
third class, and then just started hanging out,”
Raden herself ﬁ rst discovered mosaic art
for similar reasons back in Arkansas. During a
difﬁ cult time, a friend she was commiserating
with told Raden about a “new studio in town
that lets you break things.”
“I thought, ‘I need that!’” Raden remem-
bered. She took to the art form immediately and
became fast friends with the owner.
“When I was having a bad day, she would
just stack up a bunch of tiles for me, give me a
hammer and let me go. I’d just sit over in the
corner and bash tile,” Raden said with a laugh.
Pomeroy-Crockett said Raden is a “very
helpful, patient, encouraging and supportive
teacher,” and when she worked with students at
Knappa High School, “the results were spectac-
By HEATHER DOUGLAS
FOR COAST WEEKEND
our years ago, mosaic artist Kai Raden
suffered a panic attack while contem-
plating her decision to move across the
country from Arkansas to Astoria. Her best
friend suggested she write down the answer to a
simple question on a piece of paper: Where do
you see yourself in a year?
She wrote down her goal — and then
promptly forgot about it.
Last month, Raden, who also teaches the art
of mosaic, held the grand opening of her new
Astoria studio, Creations Studio and Gallery
(1390 Duane St.), where people can show up
and learn to make mosaics themselves.
After the opening, Raden unexpectedly
found that piece of paper with the goal written
on it: to live and work in Astoria as a full-time
artist, and to open her own studio.
Raden’s ﬁ rst stop in the Paciﬁ c Northwest,
however, was Portland, where she met her
ﬁ ancée, Eric Coburn. But when the big city
became too expensive, the couple moved to
The decision seemed like a natural one. Ra-
den had explored Astoria while visiting a friend
who lived on the Long Beach Peninsula.
“She took me to all the galleries in Cannon
Beach and Seaside. On the way back, we drove
through Astoria,” Raden said. “I thought, ‘This
is the most amazing, cute, cool, quaint, funky
little town.’ I love Astoria. I’ve always wanted
to be in a small community where everybody
waves to each other in the morning.”
A forgiving art form
Permission to break things
Once in Astoria, Raden began her quest to
ﬁ nd a studio and an opportunity to share her
love of mosaic art.
The Art Loft, co-owned by Jeannette Davis
and Jo Pomeroy-Crockett, helped Raden get her
start as a local art teacher.
“I kind of feel like they nurtured me along,”
Raden said. “I was a baby bird in the nest when
I ﬁ rst started — and now I’ve launched.”
Debbie Horvath, one of Raden’s ﬁ rst stu-
dents, found her classes on Facebook.
“I did it for mental therapy,” Horvath said. “I
HEATHER DOUGLAS PHOTO
ABOVE: Kai Raden, a mosaic artist, shows oﬀ one of her pieces in her new Astoria studio,
Creations Studio & Gallery
COLIN MURPHEY PHOTO
TOP: One of Kai Raden’s mosaic pieces hangs in the window of Creations Studio and
Gallery in downtown Astoria.
After outgrowing her space at The Art Loft,
Raden wanted to create something different
than what she had been doing before.
At Creations Studio and Gallery, she has
created a workshop environment instead of
scheduled classes — anytime she’s there and
the doors are open, it’s class time.
So, for people who have perhaps an hour
one day, then ﬁ ve another day, they can work it
into their schedule.
In addition, Raden has the tools — glass,
buttons, shells, beads — and instructions, and
she works with patrons one-on-one. “It’s very
casual and laid back,” she said.
Raden does have a few rules: No politics or
negativity walks through the door; only positive
energy is allowed.
She extends this mindset to everyday aspects
of running a new business, down to her walk to
work every morning.
“I wave to other shop owners on my route
every morning,” she said. “It’s a dream come
Raden has words for people who claim they
don’t have an artistic side.
“That whole ‘I’m not artistic’ thing doesn’t
really apply. Mosaic is a very forgiving art
form,” she said. “Bring your imagination and
your creativity. I’ll teach you how to do the