Mike Southern & John Mayo

Showing in the Main Gallery October 30-November 23

Mike Southern "Out after Dark" oil

Mike Southern “Out after Dark” oil

Mike Southern is an painter whose work has evolved from black & white etchings to large full scale oil paintings.  He has also moved from landscape etchings to landscape oils with figurative element. Mike says it best  “The introduction of the figures is a new development but it is part of the same investigation into finding our place within the world.  The old mythology and religious paintings of the Renaissance and Baroque are a huge inspiration for this work.  The figure in the landscape inherently alludes to narrative. I view the characters depicted in this body of work as players in a new mythology.  At their heart, these new images are an attempt to sort through our relationship to the land, to the world and to each other.  That has always been the crux of my art-making.”

 

John Mayo, bronze

John Mayo, bronze

John Mayo works in bronze.  The body of work that he is exploring is partially based on his experience as an artist-in-resident in Western Australia. During that international residency he worked alongside marine archeologists and conservators looking at the wrecks and remnants of Dutch spice traders that tragically wrecked on the west Australian coast in the 1600’s.  “Artifacts held in the sea for 300 years are very powerful to me. They are full of meaning and story but often we can only guess about the very real lives and stories that were fatally intertwined with these objects. Bronze is a powerful material for these sculptures as it is both inherently valuable and the best preserved man-made material in the sea over time.” Some of these bronze sculptures represent fantasy artifacts imbued with a secret story and meaning. In other cases he is exploring the vernacular of ship design and the culture of exploration.

Stan Peterson

Showing in the Feature Area October 30-November 22

Stan Peterson "Galapagos" carved & painted wood

Stan Peterson “Galapagos” carved & painted wood

Stan Peterson carves wood.  He has titled his show: “What the Whittler saw”.  To quote Stan “I walk a lot. I started off as a postal carrier out of East Portland Station many years ago.” Urban neighborhoods, sleeping dogs, casual encounters over fences intrigued him.  “I get ideas taking walks, doing sketches at night, and the memories which won’t go away become carved wood sculptures. Those semiconscious morning dreams are like mixed media sketchpads. I like to draw from them.”He uses animal forms as a vehicle to explore human interaction. Animal persona can shift back and forth between animal and human according to Stan. It gives him a range of characters to draw from.  After spending some time in the Bay Area, Stan is back in Portland full time.  This has opened up a virtual waterfall of the creative process for this casual walker.