March Shows: Dennis Peterson & William Liu and Wayne Jiang & Virginia McKinney

MAIN GALLERY (February 27-March 24)
ARTIST TALK: March 14, starting @2pm

William Liu is a watercolorist specializing in Southwest landscape painting. Slot Canyon is the subject for this show. “My family immigrated to the United States and I would be alienated from art for close to half of a century.  But the love to relive hiking in the Southwest eventually brought me back to the original brushes I brought to the US. Painting scenery from slot canyons, arches and geological wonders of the southwest becomes a way for me to indulge in the hikes. These are virtual trips, of course. But selecting the family photos to watercolor and studying the techniques to recreate the picture bring me back every bit of fond memory and joy as the actual hikes.”

Dennis Peterson creates the surprising and intrinsic personalities of aged and decayed wood. The medium is oil on wood. “This work is my interpretation of the internal and external power and diversity that consumes those who enter the untouched influences of nature.” The title of the series is “The Center of Things”  Peterson received his MFA from Portland State University (Oregon Honors Scholarship) and was instructor at PNCA, PSU and PCC.

FEATURE AREA (February 27-March

Wayne Jiang uses an acrylic technique that references old dutch masters, 19th and 20th Century American Realism, and modern documentary photography. The fundamental nature of his aesthetic rests in the use of simple, quiet compositions that visually communicate emotion within the precepts of narrative realism: intimate unusual renderings of ordinary objects, subtle glimpses of everyday life. These images are collectively reflected on stillness, solitude, and mystery; yet with an element of comfort and familiarity. With his restaurant paintings he seeks provide comfort, nostalgia, and cultural identity in relationship to food. “In my effort to bring together traditional and contemporary design practices, I strive to create works of art that retain a timeless quality while incorporating contemporary subject matter.”

Virginia McKinney’s work is hand forged and fabricated steel with earthenware clay. She does all aspects of the process – from the designing of the pieces, to the clay production and all the metal work. “I am inspired and loosely referencing dwelling forms in my work. The home, habitat, abode, residence – more than architectural terms, these forms of shelter and refuge are both personal and universal. I sometimes perch them on pedestals or have them sprouting legs. Adding small openings that appear as windows or doorways, they become animated and take on delightfully odd personalities. I am also fascinated with the ladder as a metaphor for movement and change and frequently use it along with the dwelling forms. The combination of the steel and clay work beautifully together – the textures of the dark hammered steel compliment the warm surfaces of the clay.”