Author Archives: Donna Guardino

Michele Collier & Michael Vos, Andy Kennedy & Penda Diakite

Artist Talk: September 15, @ 2 pm

MAIN GALLERY (August 30-September 25)

Michele Collier "Tempest" cerami

Michele Collier “Tempest” ceramic

Michele Collier is a ceramic artist that stretches, compresses twists and tears the clay to match the image in her imagination. She works to preserve the fluidity of the slab while manipulating it to express the figure in motion. The clay remembers every touch and each piece faithfully preserves the evidence of its birthing process. “I look for the edge where consciousness leaves judgment behind. I want to cultivate that moment in the creative process when I trust my inner self completely. I draw upon my own feelings and memories to create art that connects with the viewer in a way that is uniquely intimate. I plan each piece with a series of sketches before ever touching the clay. Only once I can feel what I want, do I dig in and set about creating it. I start by rolling the clay into a slab. I tear away large swaths and add them back again as I keep working. When the slab has taken on the right energy, I begin my unique construction process. As I stretch and compress the clay, I feel as though it comes to life. The surface of the slab becomes the very human-like surface of the sculpture.

 

 

 

 

Michael Vos "Dead cities series"

Michael Vos “Dead cities series”

Michael Vos has developed an ongoing body of work entitled Dead Cities, which is a documentation of abandoned and forgotten places across the world. Dead Cities is predicated on the idea that if humans collectively disappeared suddenly and mysteriously, what would the world look like without us? My answer to this question is a visual narrative that uses literary inspirations such as magical realism, subtle horror and alternate history. My work documents houses, schools, factories, towns, zoos and everything that has been cast aside and forgotten. When I photograph an area I’m very careful not to tamper with the already existing atmosphere; I leave whatever I find exactly as it had been for both ethical and artistic reasons. The intention is to immerse the viewer into an alternate history of the world, one that exists without direct human influence, and one that is difficult to place in the timeline of human history as we know it. This body of work stands as an abnegation to the idea that desolation is inherently distressing. As nature reclaims these forgotten places we slip further away from the fog of the past and our civilization is fully enveloped in the wild embrace of chaos.

 

 

 

 

FEATURE AREA (August 30-September 23)

Andy Kennedy "Listen" ceramic

Andy Kennedy “Listen” ceramic

Andy Kennedy crafts portraits in clay. His busts look different at different times, expressions change with parallax perspective. This comes from working in a style of cartoonish, primal  impressionism, but also from the clay body itself. “Clay has a dynamic structure that flows and settles and flows. The observer can be directly involved with their own energy, biography and sensitivity. This dance becomes solid and the layers of glaze become a play of light. When I give myself space and permission, there’s endless possibility. Clay becomes a vessel for everything ugly and beautiful in my world resolving into objects that I can share. I’m worrying less about my place in the world, as my artwork is flourishing. The more complicated things are getting, I am letting go of control and presumption, becoming a clearer witness. The clay figures seem at times to be the work of a madman, and I think this is a good thing. The glazing process has become a practice of multiple perspectives converging in the studio and then totally surrendering to the unknown, and somehow this means my glazing is better than ever.

 

 

 

 

Penda Diakite "Ivy" collage

Penda Diakite “Ivy” collage

Penda Diakité is a collage/mixed media artist. She grew up between Mali, West Africa & Portland, OR.  As a result, she meshes the vibrant colors and patterns of her Malian side with influences of her urban upbringing. Her artwork is a reflection of these blended cultures, as her pieces often illustrate a visual commentary on historical West African tradition and how it co-exists among popular media’s portrayal of people of color. Her mixed media work is usually comprised of a mixture of spray paint, acrylic and collage (a blend of modern and classic mediums which reflect the traditional and contemporary theme of her work). She literally cuts and pieces together old and new aspects of her cultures, each art piece telling a story about identity & humankind. She often adds her experiences as a bi-cultural woman of color into her word.

 

 

 

 

 

WINDOW GALLERY

Day of the Dead Preview Window

Day of the Dead Preview

Day of the Dead Preview

 

12th Annual Day of the Dead

DAY OF THE DEAD SHOW  (September 27-October 21)
The 12th annual “Day of the Dead” show at Guardino Gallery is not to be missed. This year 55 artists are asked to interpret this Latino tradition and make it their own. This show features paintings, ceramics, fabric, wood, embroidery and more. All with the Day of the Dead theme. Opens Last Thursday, September 27, 6-9pm with art, live music, public altars, costumes. The show will run through Oct  21.
This year we will take over the Main Gallery and the Feature Area. It will be the largest Day of the Dead show here with 59 artists. This is a loving celebration about taking away the mystique of death, art raging from lighthearted to deeply profound.
We have added another Public Altar to the show. In addition to the altar for remembrance of our family members and friends, we have added a Pet Altar for our pet companions. Bring pictures, small tokens or add to the growing slips of paper available here. Join in the celebration.

Participating artists this year: Kirsten Bennett,Dave Benz,  Alea Bone, Stephanie Brockway, Nora Brodnicki, Scot Cameron Bell, Ralph Davis, Chris Darr, Michael DeMeng, Austin Eddy, Jaclyn Evalds, Amy Frazer, Michelle Gallagher, Carolyn Garcia, Alison Grayson, Kim Hamblin, Francisco Hernandez, Rebecca Hubbs, Janet Julian, Alicia Justus, Dori Kite, Lisa Laser, Irene Lawson, Mavis Leahy, Celeste LeBlanc, Wendy Malinow, Anna Magruder, Rogene Manas, Maude May,  Jackie McIntyre, Hickery Mertsching. Lulu Moon Murakami, Beth Myrick, Cathi Newlin, Gail Owen, Dawn Panttaja, Stan Peterson, Dan Pillers, Lam Quang, Marlene Robbins, Thomas Rude, Amy Stoner, Teresa Sullivan, Mary Tapogna, Consu Tolosa, Ochid Velesquez, Nanette Wallace, Mike Wellins, Anna Wiancko, Robyn Williams, Chayo Wilson,  Steve Winkenwerder, Karen Wippich, Samyak Yamauchi, Cathie Joy Young & Rachel Young

Virginia McKinney & Matteo Neivert, Dennis Meiners & Steve Winkenwerder

MAIN GALLERY

Virginia McKinney "Briney Remains" steel & ceramic

Virginia McKinney “Briney Remains” steel & ceramic

Virginia McKinney employs several mediums in her work, Blossoms and Bones. “For this show I have combined two important bodies of work that have inspired and intrigued me for years – botanical forms and skeletal forms.” She uses a wide range of materials but primarily steel and clay. Specifically, she uses porcelain, stoneware and earthenware casting slips and clays, natural found materials that she dips in slip and burns out, hand-forged steel, underglazes, washes, glaze, rust and post fired finished and all are electric fired to various temps from cone 04 to cone 10. Both botanical and skeletal forms are amazing complex, and beautifully intriguing inspirations for her work.

Matteo Neivert "Oyster Invasion" acrylic

Matteo Neivert “Oyster Invasion” acrylic

Matteo Neivert’s artwork explores the powerful forces of nature and biology in real and imaginary compositions. A consistent thread in Matteo’s work is the idea of change and evolution. Fragility and strength act as common themes in his work. Images are formed by enlarging small objects in a playful painterly process. Matteo usually starts without a drawing.  He works in a layered fashion to form depth from the back to the foreground layering thick impasto, thin glazes, splatters, and varied brushwork to form shapes. Each piece has a unique palette of color to imbue an emotional quality to the object and its relationship to its environment. Matteo paints these objects floating, dancing, cuddling, skating, flying, and skidding across the canvas to form movement, whimsy, and playfulness.

FEATURE AREA

Dennis Meiners "Bottle" Mishima ceramics

Dennis Meiners “Bottle” Mishima ceramics

Dennis Meiners uses an ancient technique called Mishima to apply imagery to ceramic surfaces that, in his case, involves incising lines into still-wet clay, laying a slip into the lines that contrasts in color to the clay, then cleaning off the excess to reveal the line; much like etchers do in their printing process. This makes it possible to make a very crisp line. “My variation on Mishima involves coming back into the outlines with thin washes of the same slip to create texture such as fur or feathers, and I use all this to make drawings that I hope show my outlook on our present time. I use a lot of animal imagery that I juxtapose with industrial imagery. While each image very much stands for itself, each is a metaphor that stands for whatever the viewer sees, and I hope gives the viewer an opening to a new story, one that may have not been evident without encountering the piece or pieces I put out into the world.”

Cary Weigand & Andie Furtado/Karen Russo & Jacquline McIntyre

MAIN GALLERY
June 28-July 24

Cary Weigand "Golden threads" ceramic

Cary Weigand “Golden threads” ceramic

Cary Weigand creates delicate yet striking ceramic figures. They conveys narrative and spirituality through the juxtaposition of human and animal figures. ”In my work, my figures represent the dream world. The forms of the figures are opportunities to express our interconnectedness, the hand-positions might be like a beak ready to pluck the fruit, or maybe the hand is morphing into drops of water as it reenters the sea of conciseness. Each piece comes with its own story,” she says. “Each story feels like a poem that does not have to make logical sense but engages the senses with inspiration that comes from the impenetrable shadows of madness, or from the liquid flow of existence, day after day after day… “ Her pieces are filled with symbolic elements and explore death, rebirth, transition and/or innocence. “Sometimes I cut and fold the clay, like wet origami, to relieve stress in the clay that would come from pushing it out. The clay is worked in variations of slabs, from thick to thin, building upward and pushing outward. The figures originate from the torso, getting built out in both directions at the same time. An arm is two slabs made circular, cut and attached. Joints are puzzled together with smaller triangular shapes, moving into the hands and face to build up the surface outward until small details are smoothed out, creating the final finished surface.

 

 

 

Andie Furtado "Skins" oil on canvas

Andie Furtado “Skins” oil on canvas

Andie Furtado is a oil painter exploring themes of gender and identity. Her current series, VEIL, revolves around gender dysphoria and the idea of identity as fabricated. Although these topics can be dark, which is a quality apparent in the series, the pieces also carry tender moments that bring optimism and beauty into them. Instead of focusing on the overwhelming nature of the theme, she pushes the viewer to explore the fine, colorful details and view the body as a work in progress. VEIL is about the body as a platform for change, growth and liberation from its limitations and imprisoning aspects. This collection of work is an anthem for those relinquishing the imposed responsibility to make others more comfortable. Her The Tattoo Series, focuses on women. It draws from photo-documentation of tattoos and tattoo culture past and present while using the pulling and smearing of the medium to  create dimensionality, weight and movement into the work. This collection of work also carries tones of empowerment through its rejection of societal ‘beauty’ and gender constructs and shines a raw light on the femme and queer body in contemporary tattoo culture.

 

 

 

 

FEATURE AREA
June28-July 22

Karen Russo "Hope & Despair" ceramic

Karen Russo “Hope & Despair” ceramic

In Karen Russo’s most recent ceramic work, “Hope & Despair,” each sculpture responds to a world out of balance. Their bodies, bent arms, backs, and legs, are weighed down by their posture. Floral patterns both obscure and highlight their emotion and spirit. But as women connected by a common thread, their kinship rises above their own isolation. Vulnerability inspires resiliency. She uses clay to expresses a deep connection to nature. Her subjects are women from different eras and origins, all exploring feelings of strength, sensuality, and contemplation. Beginning with stoneware or earthenware clay, she hand-builds each sculpture from coil, slabs, or from a solid mass of clay. As she works, she constructs an internal armature to support the piece until it’s finished. Once the sculpture is fully formed, it is cut into multiple sections, hollowed, and compressed before being reattached. Patterns and textures are carved and painted onto the surface. Her color palettes are specific to places steeped in nature. The finished work may have layers of oxide stains, underglazes, clay paint and encaustic wax. “I hope to express an eternal optimism regarding the human spirit. When confronted by the over-shadowing darkness of our country and world events, I seek light, hope, love and compassion-a counterbalance to hate and violence.”

 

 

Jacqueline McIntyre mixed media

Jacqueline McIntyre mixed media

Jacqueline McIntyre works in several mediums; oil, cold wax, assemblage and collage.  Each medium gives her a different voice to express herself. With her “Birds with Words” series she started by watching crows prancing around in the rain outside her studio window. “They began to fascinate me and I learned just how smart they were and that began my first series of crows in the rain. I photograph the birds and look for a photo that captures the more whimsical side of the of the birds. I enjoy the challenge of painting their personalities and antics. When I began painting the bird pieces I started to incorporate collage elements on the bottom or side of the painting.  I am also a collector of things; all of these parts to my life lead to me creating assemblages as part of each bird painting.  I wanted the objects in each assemblage to try and tell a story about the bird.” In another series her work uses oil along with cold wax. Her paintings are usually about nature, in particular Flowers, Crows and Birds.  “I find myself fascinated by the forms, colors and uniqueness of flowers whether they are living or dried.  When dried the petals curl and twist in so many interesting shapes, sometimes forming beautiful abstract patterns, it’s almost as if they have danced into their new form.”

Consu Tolosa, Helen Kaufman, Hazel Glass & Rosey Covert

May 31-June 26
Reception: Thursday May 31, 6-9 pm
Artist Talk: June 16 @ 2pm

MAIN GALLERY

Consu Tolosa, mixed media paintings

Consu Tolosa, mixed media paintings

 

Consu Tolosa is a painter of bright and dynamic mixed-media abstracts, exploring and depicting the complexity of emotions contained in human relationships. She has created “Pleasures + Perils” as a visual exploration of relational and emotional landscapes. In this collection Consu uses color and shape to investigate and depict moments of human connection. Each piece a small window to the inside, a visual representation of the connections we make with ourselves, one another and the world around us. Feelings and relationships show up as a range of hues and a variety of brushstrokes converging, conflating, diverging, and rearranging themselves to mirror our internal landscape. Consu originally trained as an Art Therapist and is interested in the relationship between psychological processes and creative expression. Her art practice is fueled by curiosity, experimentation, discovery and the pleasure of the process itself. She born in Uruguay, Consu calls Portland, Oregon her home.

 

 

 

Helen Kaufman, "Curl" carved ceramic

Helen Kaufman, “Curl” carved ceramic

 

Helen Kaufman works in clay and identifies her work as carved ceramic. Helen describes it best, “This latest manifestation is expressed through hours in the studio, sculpting, carving, working intimately with the clay as it hardens and challenges me to bring out more and more of its potential. Upon entering the studio, as I uncover the work from the last session, my mind’s eye sees the next step as I reach for the tool that will define the contour…slowly carving, moving more rapidly as the process takes over and leaves my everyday self behind.  An hour, two or three pass…challenges me to remember to stretch, relax my arm and shoulder, take a break.Each time I begin a new piece by choosing a size and shape of moist clay. My fingers, hands and sponge begin with a shape, line or opening and one motion leads to the next as the clay takes shape and the form emerges from the solid. As the clay dries I use wire sculpting tools to further define the form.  Over time I have experimented with how much clay can be removed from the interior creating a deeply carved, complex three dimensional form.”

 

FEATURRE AREA

Hazel Glass, "Oxidized Copper" hand cut paper

Hazel Glass, “Oxidized Copper” hand cut paper

 

Hazel Glass creates layers of intricately hand cut paper. She discovered paper=cut art, most of what she saw was made out of single sheet of black or white paper. Hazel immediately pushed those boundaries, by using color and multiple layers to create interwoven contrast and compositions with depth. Firmly believing that bigger is not better, she finds both the meticulous technical challenges and resulting delicacy of working small too intriguing to ignore. Using an x-acto blade, she hand cuts each layer separately, building them up from a 2D drawing into intricate bas-relief sculptures. Her inspirations range from the meditative symmetry of illuminated manuscripts and Islamic art, to the organic patterns of nature. From textiles and tiles, to sediment strata, rusted metal and weathered wood grain, Hazel strives to reinvent them with nothing but paper. The results are precious windows into abstract worlds. Whether the palette is vibrant or muted, it is an integral part of the work. And while the design is what Hazel’s art is saying, color is the tone of voice through which each piece speaks.

 

 

 

Rosey Covert, "Fulicrum" woven willow

Rosey Covert, “Fulicrum” woven willow

Rosey Covert weaves willow into what she calls woven sculpture. “My first year weaving I tried everything, any class I could get my hands on, and many different styles of weaving. In my second year of weaving I began to learn to harvest and process different plants.  In the second year of weaving I explored my way past the delicious hunger to try everything while figuring out what I like and don’t like, into an exploration of what it looks like when I weave from my own imagination and wandering. They begin in circles, overlapping and intertwining. They are made of pathways, they feel like rivers to weave. These sculptural pieces, loosely called baskets, are made from red osier dogwood that I harvested from the Hoyt Arboretum in February of this year. Also the ones I’ve been working on this winter are from the trees in my neighborhood, willow from a local farm and red osier, again after the harvest. Playing with lines and shapes in this organic branch twisting way has been dreamy and wild and sometimes frustrating and wonky.”

Brad McLemore, Reed Clarke & Ralph Davis

April 26-May 29
Reception Thursday, April 26, 6-9 pm
Artist Talk: May 19th @2 pm

MAIN GALLERY 

Brad McLemore "Bear Up" ceramic

Brad McLemore “Bear Up” ceramic

Brad McLemore’s ceramic works are made of stoneware and porcelain clays imbued with ash and atmospheric deposit—a record of the several days-long firing in wood-fueled kilns. A trust in formal strategies guides his choices in the composition of these pieces—activating interest or rhythm in a form through repetition and variation of elements; the tactile quality of surfaces.”In this work, I offer a fiction of hand-hewn conviction and archaic engineering—perhaps a fragment of a greater, discarded system—a relic of industry and discovery. The object is organized to implicate utilitarian reasoning, yet a certain awkwardness of form offers ambiguity of purpose, at best. Vaguely familiar structures provide some clue to the reasoning within, yet coarse materials and an aging firing process erode our certainty.”

 

 

 

 

 

Reed Clarke "I Can Help" oil

Reed Clarke “I Can Help” oil

Reed Clarke is a oil painter who concentrates on faces and figures. “The question of what it means to be human haunts me and forces its way into my work. On the one hand, I want to portray people in order to show their unique presence, but also to somehow allude to the underlying mystery of what it means to be human. The idea of having a human subject and the discipline that imposes on the composition of a work is something I value. Once a painting is begun I’m soon lost in the actual process of the interplay of color, line, volume, value and other visual challenges that must be dealt with before the finished painting begins to emerge. In the end, I hope for a balance between the subject of the painting and actual quality of the paint on the canvas. I hope to create in the viewer a desire to continue to experience the painting over time, as with someone who he or she feels they would like to know better.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURE AREA

Ralph Davis "Pleiades" acrylic

Ralph Davis “Pleiades” acrylic

Ralph Davis is a painter who is interested in the combination of the hard-edged otherworldly formality of the geometric figure with the less formal organic soft-edges of the natural world. Ralph explains “This tension between the soft form and the hard edge or the natural and the formal may be extended to a similar tension between the finite and the infinite, or, in Plato’s terms, the earthly realm of coming to be and passing away, and the eternal, unchanging realm of Forms. These geometric constructions often convey to me a sense of discovery, of being in the presence of something significant, or on the threshold of a complex realm of things not well understood. My intention has been to avoid cognitive contrivance and the domination of linear thinking and to elicit more complex responses on both a conscious and unconscious level.”  

Christopher B Wagner, Paul X Rutz, Amy Ruedinger & Stirling Gorsuch

MAIN GALLERY: DISTORTIONS

Christopher B Wagner "Blue Lean"

Christopher B Wagner “Blue Lean” carved reclaimed wood

 

 

Christopher B. Wagner creates figurative sculptures carved from reclaimed lumber. He has developed a personal style that uses lessons from folk art traditions.​ “I have long been interested in distorting the human figure. Changing proportions, stretching or squashing the form in order to evoke a base response from the viewer. The stylizations I use are intended to emphasize the spiritual or intellectual longings of humans. This can be seen in the elongation of limbs or the extending of necks meant to show a yearning to extend beyond ourselves.” Many of these gestures are borrowed from wide ranging religious traditions. Even the basic solitary presentation of each figure is more reminiscent of an icon than portraiture. “My sculptures begin with points of inspiration. These can drawn from my own imagination or specific references I encounter in the everyday world. Many of the carvings for this body of work were inspired by the distorting of a human figure’s shadow as the sun moves across the sky. I’ve taken pictures of these shadows and used them as the silhouettes of my solid wood carvings.”

 

 

 

 

Paul X Rutz "Portrait of Painters Workshop: Kitchen Utensils"

Paul X Rutz “Portrait of Painters Workshop: Kitchen Utensils” oil

Paul X. Rutz is a painter with a twist. He also carves the panels he paints on. “No matter what we do, we do it moving. Lately I’ve been borrowing sculpting moves from my collaborator, Christopher Wagner, carving into wood panel to distort the traditional rectangle that paintings usually occupy. By puncturing that rectangle, rounding its edges and adding to it here and there, I’m making something viewers can literally move around and animate with their own bodies, watching how the shadows shift on the wall in parallax behind the paint. Painting the warp in a glass or the way a t-shirt letter follows the folds is a kind of meditation on the warped, refracted funhouse world all around us.” Paul considers these paintings as carefully designed notes on what deserves extra attention. They help him see the found poetry when our scarfs or t-shirts hit the floor, the potential energy in clean kitchen utensils as we start a meal, or the story suggested by a napkin stuffed in a recently emptied wine glass. I love a good detail—even better, one that’s a little bent.”  

 

 

 

 

FEATURE AREA

Amy Ruedinger "Two Rivets" raised copper

Amy Ruedinger “Two Rivets” raised copper

 

Amy Ruedinger creates intriguing raised copper vessels and forms from a flat sheet of copper. “Hammering copper on steel with steel, I change a hard flat material into an inviting, touchable three-dimensional form. I try to pull out the ‘personality’ of the piece as it slowly develops. Top/bottom, visible/invisible, inner/outer are dualisms that appear in my work. A few of my pieces are made from old copper etching plates. The image mostly gets hammered away but it adds an invisible history, surface texture, and former idea within the piece. Lately, I’m pulling out 3-Dimensional dots from the sides of my bowls-influenced by a polka dot begonia!”

 


 

 

Stirling Gorsuch "End of Summer"

Stirling Gorsuch “End of Summer” relief & monoprin

 

Stirling Gorsuch is a printmaker working in a variety of techinques, noticably, relief printing and monotype. His recent work documents the changing landscape in areas which have been affected by recent wildfires. He often goes hiking in the Cascades and the Gorge, bewildered by how fire has reclaimed these areas in dramatic new ways. For Stirling, these altered landscapes serve as poetic symbols of transformation, and the enduring quality found in the natural world. The inherently slow process of relief printing and monotype forces him to be methodical as he builds up each printed layer. Many of these prints are made over weeks, sometimes months at a time, making his process somewhat self-reflective. “Like reading a journal from the past, my work is a record of my present-day focus and admiration of the world I occupy.”

Rodney C Stuart, Kelly Neidig & Nanette Wallace

February 22-March 27
Artists Talk: Saturday, March 17, starting at 2 pM
MAIN GALLERY

Kelly Neidig, Rainbow Clouds" watercolor & Flashe

Kelly Neidig, Rainbow Clouds” watercolor & Flashe

Kelly Neidig is an abstract painter who works from the memories of places she has lived and traveled. Her new work is inspired by a recent trip to Japan and uses abstract imagery based on everyday encounters in the natural world. Reflecting on the mindfulness that Japanese embrace in their every day life, Neidig approaches these new pieces slowly and by “stopping and listening to my work.” “In Japan I was very influenced by the art of Yayoi Kusama. I loved investigating her technique of layering lines, marks, and dots to create negative and positive space in her paintings. I was also drawn to traditional Japanese calligraphy and and was surprised to notice how each artist has a specific style of mark making that is uniquely their own.” Neidig is fascinated with the the combination art and nature, and of ancient traditions and modern technology in Japan. To create her paintings she first draws rough digital sketches on her phone using a drawing ap. She recreates the digital drawings using a combination of Japanese watercolor and Flashe paint which she applies to the canvas with Sumi brushes she purchased in Japan. “I adopted the practice of digital sketching because I often find myself inspired to create art when I am away from my studio.  Since I always have my phone on me, the drawing ap is the perfect tool.  I love using my finger to draw on the screen and create digital brush strokes then returning to my studio and recreating those strokes with the Sumi brushes.” 

Rodney C Stuart, wood/mixed media

Rodney C Stuart, wood/mixed media

Rodney Stuart creates wood/mixed media sculptor. “Wood has always been a material that I have been drawn to.  In Taiwan where I was an art teacher I collected flotsam and jetsam on the beaches from the annual typhoons. A large amount of that wood was from old fishing boats that were destroyed by the storms. In the Gorge I gather driftwood from storms and branches from my property. I am attracted to how the weather and the aging process have created a patina of colors on materials.” Mannerism in all things living has always fascinated him. Heads and portraits are probably his favorite subjects. “I lean more towards simplicity of mannerism and story line as well as the use of simple materials to create the right face or head.  I like creating heads that have some sense of evil, good and fun. I identify more with folk and funk art points of view, which demonstrate more the artist’s lives, personalities and experiences. My point of view is a sense of humor, senselessness and autobiographical references. I also like a sense of ambiguity and an unlikely mixture of materials and techniques. With my own work I am going back to the characters I read about in books as a child, international toys or things I have picked up from my dreams. I see my role more as a jester, shaman or storyteller. I try to place an importance on play, openness, humor and simplicity. In these creations I have tried to connect with my childhood, which has been a powerful source for my art. Making objects provides me with a way to impact people both through teaching and being a creative individual!”

FEATURE AREA

Nanette Wallace, "Until I Gain Control" monotype

Ff Nanette Wallace, “Until I Gain Control” monotype

Nanette Wallace work is gestural and energetic, consisting primarily of monotypes with a focus on the figure. She often incorporates a limited color pallette on her monotypes consisting of black or sepia ink. This allows her to find purity in the imagery without relying on color to convey mood and emotion. A large component for the inspiration in her work is derived from black and white photographs from the early 1900s through the 1960s. She uses these photos as a starting point, often combining multiple images to create one figure and ghosts of previous figures to inspire the next. While her work has a lyrical quality to it, she is most interested in the viewer finding their own story in her work. Nanette’s Monotype prints are created by inking the entire surface of a smooth plexiglas plate with etching ink applied via a roller. Then using rags and q-tips, ink is removed from the plate to create a subtractive image, e.g. creating lights from a field of opaque color. The image was then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together using a printing press. Monotype printing produc- es a unique singular print; most of the ink is removed during the initial pressing. Although a subsequent reprinting is sometimes possible, it differs greatly from the first print. These secondary prints from the original plate are called “ghost prints”.

Susan Opie, Bryn Harding & Nancy Abens

January 25-February 20
Artists Talk: Saturday, February 17, starting @ 2 pm
MAIN GALLERY

Susan Opie "Dancing with a Frog" bronze

Susan Opie “Dancing with a Frog” bronze

Susan Opie will be showing her bronzes in a show she titles “Animals and Oddities”. “Early on I made abstract sculpture, but soon figurative elements crept in and then figurative took over. I am concerned with the story figurative tells but still remain interested in the way shape and space work together. My figures are often animals, sometimes human and occasionally inanimate objects. I like a sense of motion and action. My figures are doing things, sometimes at their own peril.” While there is often whimsy, especially with the Exquisite Corpse series, look for a darker undertone, of human world versus animal world, technology versus nature. Her process is to hand model the piece in wax, encase it in a ceramic shell mold, burn the wax out of the mold, heat bronze, pour into the molds, knock the molds off, finish and patina. The bronze she use is silicon bronze, a modern alloy formulated with the property of pouring very fine detail and used originally in manufacturing precise industrial components. This bronze is also corrosion resistant and, therefore, a good choice for outdoor installations. The downside is that it is a very hard bronze and the finishing work on the castings is time consuming and wears out tools. All of Susan’s sculptures are one of a kind.

 

Bryn Harding "Ryan" intaglio

Bryn Harding “Ryan” intaglio

Bryn Harding’s print series “Alone. Together.” is simultaneously a theoretical and intensely personal investigation into the impossibility and importance of the portrait. The images are all friends and family of the artist rendered through a combination of different print mediums that result in images that are at once specific and vague, highly rendered and flat and graphic. “The work is based on the belief that we are, each of us, infinite and unknowable–mysteries to ourselves and to those around us, and that the impossibility of ever fully understanding ourselves or others results in a universal sense of loneliness and isolation. These portraits challenge the idea of a core, innate and inexpressible true self which other portrait artist have spent their careers trying to capture. Instead they argue that what can be know of the other, or of ourselves, is only present in discourse, in a shared gaze, in the space in between rather than inside of people.” In a broad sense, Bryn has used the unique language and aesthetics of print mediums to explore the relationships between technique, craft and art, as well as the relationships between pictures, technologies and seeing. Ultimately, Bryn uses images as a way to process and understand himself, the world in which he finds himself and the people around him. 

 

FEATURE AREA

Nancy Abens "Old Roses and Hanoki Spray" photo transfer

Nancy Abens “Old Roses and Hanoki Spray” photo transfer

Nancy Abens uses photography to show the opulence and voluptuous nature of flower arrangements. The rich colors and textures of the backgrounds served as inspiration for these pieces. “I was given 3 calla lilies by a friend. I put them in a vase with a peony that I had  just cut from my garden and added a branch of barberry. It was so beautiful that I decided to photograph it. That was the starting point of this body of work.” She worked as a florist for nearly 12 years. “I thought I could start chronicling my garden by creating flower arrangements of what was blooming throughout the year. I have an abundance of subject matter! The finished mages were then transferred onto painted birch panels using a special transfer film and solution. I thought this technique would be a way to show the arrangements in a new way. I have always been drawn to the flower paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. There is a beauty that is sensual, mysterious, and spiritual in a most profound way.” She uses photography and the camera as a tool for gathering images to create something else. “It is important to me to bring more beauty into this world. I try to do this through growing a lush garden full of flowers, appreciating the wonders of nature, and creating artworks to share that beauty and wonder with others.“

Jerri Bartholomew, Carol Chapel & Paul Griffitts

All the artists this month view the natural world through a scienticfic viewpoint.

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Jerri Bartholomew, "Under the microscope"

Jerri Bartholomew, “Under the microscope”

Jerri Bartholomew is a microbiologist who uses glass as her medium to explore the microbial world. To quote Jerri “In some ways, science is stripping away the layers to reveal what is beneath, while in art, I am building up layers to create something new. Both draw from a creative impulse, a desire to ask questions, to experiment, and to learn from trial and error.” She thinks of her art as collages in glass, combining photographic screen prints with free-form imagery, and using a variety of fusing and cold-working techniques. “In some of these pieces I portray microorganisms as I would see them under the microscope, and with the tools that we use to study them. I want the viewer to feel some curiosity about what they are seeing, but also to appreciate the beauty of things that they can’t see. To this day I rarely sit down at a microscope without uttering a silent “wow”, and I rarely open a kiln without a sense of anticipation at what I will discover.”

 

 

Carol Chapel, untitled drawing

Carol Chapel, untitled drawing

Carol Chapel’s drawings of the “Unseen Worlds” began when friend gave her a microscope. This series of drawings combines her curiosity of those seldom or rarely seen worlds that surround us with “my determination to do the best drawings I can. Paintings have the advantage of re-working. Drawings and prints, not so much. Drawings can be erased but there is something immediate about pencil or crayon on paper, left there. Untouched. That’s how it began. Looking really really close-up at random items. Random items evolved into specific items. I started a series of drawings I call Unseen Worlds. And then the bugs. Gasp! Bugs are complex and I must say, beautiful. I was hooked. These drawings are the bug part of the Unseen Worlds series. I hope I am communicating the essence of the insects I’ve drawn here. I’m no Entomologist. My enjoyment and fascination is discovering the complexity of these creatures. An insect that I would most likely brush aside, I now stop. I pause. There is a beauty there that I won’t quickly destroy. Also, the more I look and the more I see, the more I see that Nature is elegant as well as functional. I don’t find awkward lines in the wing of an Assassin Beetle. I hope there are no awkward lines in my interpretations either.”

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Paul Griffitts. "Destinations"

Paul Griffitts. “Destinations”

Paul Griffitts creates 3D fractal art, which has only been possible since 2009, representing the cutting edge of technology, mathematics, and art. These works are composed of 3d fractal building blocks–mathematical formulas–which I combine together in various ways to express “potentialities.” Since we recognize the beauty of fractals all around us in nature–e.g. ferns, flowers, sea shells, and mountains–these works have a sense of the familiar about them. Even though they may not exist in our reality, and indeed may appear somewhat strange, it’s not difficult to imagine them existing somewhere–perhaps in another dimension. “I prefer a direct head-on view of my “fractal accretions”; a viewpoint which tends to de-emphasize the 3d nature of the medium and results in a more traditional 2d image, albeit with telltale traces of the 3rd dimension.  The mathematical formulas are combined in such a way that they merge with other formulas, and take on some of their characteristics. The fundamental beauty of mathematics, as seen in nature, finds a new means of expression with the aid of advanced technology.”