Karen Croner, Gay Freeborn, Kelli MacConnell & Yelena Roslaya

MAIN GALLERY (May 26-June 28)

Karen Croner "Hear that?" mixed media sculpture

Karen Croner “Hear that?” mixed media sculpture

Karen Croner creates mixed media animal sculptures. Her current work is inspired by old folk tales and fables. Each piece is her interpretation of forces and emotions that drive those stories: mystery and menace, loyalty and betrayal, mischief and humor. Karen’s one-of-a-kind sculptures begin with a wire armature and papier-mâché. She uses paper clay, fabric, plaster, and acrylic paints to create unique textures and features. As Karen puts it, “The tension between these humble materials and my ultimate vision for each piece — that’s what motivates me to explore and innovate. Trying new things, pushing and refining what I’ve learned over many years keeps me passionate about the work.”

Gay Freeborn "Confidante" oil on canvas

Gay Freeborn “Confidante” oil on canvas

Gay Freeborn will be presenting oil paintings of animals and their relationship with man and each other. She has two series: Love Story and Odd Couples. In Love Story the human/animal bond is explored. It is beyond images. It can only be described as love in it’s completely unconditional, trusting form. To quote, “These paintings portray the intimate conversation between species; the human offering a safe place to rest and trust shown through the eyes of the creatures in their arms.” The Odd Couples concept began while walking in the woods with a pair of dogs, oddly matched as friends because of their size difference. It evolved into small daily paintings of animals I put together just for the fun of it. The possibilities are endless! “But in all of my work, I try to notice those unexpected things that occur when paint is applied to canvas. That might be the color I didn’t expect to pick up from my pallet but just works at the time or the spaces surrounding the subject which is as interesting as the subject. When I “stir the pot” in the painting process it all comes down to ingredients. the concept, the composition, the colors, and the medium.

FEATURE AREA (May 26-June 26)

Kelli MacConnell "Hazelnut Orchard" relief print

Kelli MacConnell “Hazelnut Orchard” relief print

Kelli MacConnell’s current body of work focuses on the expansive, diverse environment of the Pacific Northwest landscape. MacConnell’s chosen medium is linocut, relief printmaking. She explores the outdoors with careful observation, translating her natural surroundings into richly detailed linocut prints. Her relationship with nature and love of the outdoors is the inspiration for her work. She captures the essence of the majestic trees ever present in the landscape, whether they cling to a high cliff beside a waterfall, form soft, serried ranks in a quiet orchard, or provide a leafy framework to an industrial structure. The story of her experience unfolds as she carves into the block, leaving the raised, un-carved areas to represent a mirror image of the final composition. She prints mostly with black oil-based ink, with a minimal use of accent colors. With the simple use of contrast and minimal color, as well as line manipulation, “I strive to create exhilarating compositions inspired by the natural world.”

 

Yelena Roslaya "Untitled" ceramic sculpture

Yelena Roslaya “Untitled” ceramic sculpture

Yelena Roslaya creates exquisite ceramic donut configurations to explore with glazes and the sculpture form. The donut shapes are slip-cast and are stacked vertically to pour crawling glaze experiments on them. To get such astounding variation, she adds color pigments to different crawling glaze recipes. Other times, she paints a donut glaze test with an underglaze color first and then pours white crawling glaze on top. She prefers contrast between a subdued color and the white crawling glaze to make the surface pop on the form. Sometimes, Roslaya fires her forms several times before getting the desired result. She places each donut in gesture form to show personality, communication, and relationship between her small sculptures. Even though they are simple, their glaze and personality show otherwise. They may be leaning against each other or having a casual conversation. Whatever it is, can be up to the viewer’s imagination.