February Shows

Main Gallery: Consu Tolosa and Tamae Frame
January 30-February 25

Consu Tolosa is a painter and illustrator from Montevideo, Uruguay who moved to Portland in 1997, fell in love with the rain, and has never left. In this vibrant  collection of mixed media abstracts. Consu plays with soft and hard edges as she explores the idea of going beyond our limitations.  Consu takes inspiration from her work as an art therapist, where she gets to witness folks pushing through all kinds of edges to emerge a new version of themselves. Ideas of resilience, reinvention, curiosity and play express themselves visually in bold and colorful pieces. “I enjoy being in the role of the observer, and my favorite thing to observe people. I am visually processing what I see unfolding in the world around me. ”Her day job as an art therapist informs much of her artwork. In the studio she is not consciously thinking about the issues and problems, but themes of resilience, change, growth, and endurance emerge in her writings. Her abstracts are a metaphor and testament to tiny bits of the human experience.

Tamae Frame is a ceramic sculptor . working with female figures. Since her inspiration comes from her own inner experiences, it is a natural choice for her to use the female body to convey the messages in her pieces. However, her work has shown signs of change in her depictions of figures.  In the past few years, she realized her need for expressing the psychological aspect of her yang (male) side. Hence she has made some personified imaginary figures that were either boyish or genderless in her new work. Tamae was born and raised in Japan and a cross-cultural integration has occurred within her consciousness. Her work exhibits the subtle synthesis that is expressed by the absence of any nationality.She has a strong inclination to juxtapose dissimilar elements in her sculptures. Tamae has extended this concept by incorporating found objects, and her aim is to create enigmatic aspects in her sculptures.

Feature Area: Marie Noorani and Karen Russo

Marie Noorani is a papermaker inspired by the vague boundary between brokenness and wholeness, the uneasy tension between order and chaos, and the poetic coincidence of beauty and coarseness that characterize the human experience. “I am compelled to both create and destroy, to take apart and reassemble.My process mirrors these oppositions: it is driven by impulse but  tempered by self-restraint. I  create paper from natural fibers, recycled material, and small organic matter. Then, I destroy it. I spray it with ink, soak it in wax, tear it by hand, and cut it with razors. It is subjected to heat, held under weights, pierced with wires.Yet, moved by the inherent fragility and vulnerability of this medium, I compassionately and imperfectly reassemble the parts into my own ironically beautiful Frankenstein. 

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Karen Russo is a figurative sculptor who has chosen clay as her medium for its malleability and transformative nature. Her subjects are of women from different eras and origins, exploring feelings of strength, compassion  and contemplation. Karen works with paradoxical themes – youth and aging, joy and grief, instability and equilibrium – embodied in maternal archetypes. Beginning with stoneware or earthenware clay,  Karen hand-builds each sculpture from coil, slabs, or from a solid mass of clay. Patterns and textures are carved and painted onto the surface. Her color palette is specific to places steeped in nature. The finished work may have layers of underglazes, clay paint, casein and wax. In her most recent work, “Luminary”,  Karen contemplates the Spirit of those who have traversed from this earth plane into the great mystery. They are the Navigators of the unknown and the Ancestors of transformation who illuminate hope, infinite possibilities and wonder.

“By making this work, I hope to express an eternal optimism for the human spirit in this beautiful, delicate and chaotic world.”

ARTIST TALK for Consu Tolosa & Karen Russo Saturday, February 15 @2 pm