Category Archives: Current Show

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

 

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MAIN GALLERY (June 30-July 24)

Betsy LeVine "Before Me" oil

Betsy LeVine “Before Me” oil

Betsy LeVine paints in oils on birch panels. Her concept for this show, “Beauty Is Before Me”, concerns flora and mirrors. She carried a small circular pocket mirror and photographed flowers. As she puts it “flowers discovering their own vibrant reflections.” Betsy LeVine uses her attentive brushwork and keen eye for nuances in light and color to celebrate the natural beauty in the world around her. “When I wander through neighborhoods and on trails in the mountains, forests, and deserts, I find my gait slows and my eyes are everrdrawn towards the intricacies in the plant life around me. It is as if the flowers, leaves and the play of sunlight through them are all calling to me, telling me to slow down, to just look ansoak in the bountiful beauty in every moment. It feels like a joyous lifetime responsibility of mine to take on the role of a mirror for the quiet gorgeousness that surrounds us all the time, to not only reflect appreciation back to the planet for these gifts but also to recreate this beauty on a larger scale in hopes that it will allow others into this worthy world. Beauty Is Before Me .therefore, it is also before you.”

Dennis Floyd "Rose Of Conversano" screen print

Dennis Floyd “Rose Of Conversano” screen print

Dennis Floyd is a screen printmaker who’s subject matter is also flowers. Screen prints are also known as silk screens or serigraphs. His colors are vibrant and intense. He works from his original drawings, paintings and compositions. Dennis does a color separation to make a unique color matrix on his screens for each color. Then each color pass is printed by hand on his studio press. To achieve a full color print many colors are screened separately, making the process complex , with rich results. Creating art for Dennis is the metamorphosis from darkness and despair to light and happiness. To quote Dennis “When I’m lost in my world creating art, I’m breathing in deep one of the most precious gifts that life has to offer and I am happy, powerful, invincible! The darkness in me is the farthest that it can be.”

FEATURE AREA (June 30-July 24)

Jeanne Drevas "Bad Sex" skate board/mixed media

Jeanne Drevas “Bad Sex”
skate board/mixed media

Jeanne Drevas creates sculptures out of surprising materials. She gleans materials that are all around her. For this show she has chosen to use skate boards. She loves the distressed graphics, the strength and beauty of skateboards, the life that these decks once provided to skate boarders and now she is seeing just what they offer to her. “Skate boards were something I’d mostly seen at a distance, as they zoomed along under boys (mostly). But I’d seen enough close up to be fascinated by the distressed graphics on the undersides of the decks, the sides that get marred by all the attempts at curbs, stairs, railings and who knows what. I know, why not just paint a piece of flat plywood and cut it up. Maybe I will do that, but that does not have the feel of the immediacy of distressed decks and where they came from, the streets of any town or city.  I’m honoring all those kids who didn’t know they were creating material for my new exploration.” Jeanne was very drawn to the vessel form and that was the first, and most difficult objects she said made. She will also be showing wall assemblages, articulated figures, Miro-like standing sculptures, jewelry, even a wheeled pull toy.

 

Anne Goodrich & Arielle Adkin

Showing in the Main Gallery February 26-March 24
Artists Talk March 14 @2 pm

Anne Goodrich from the series "Leav" ceramic

Anne Goodrich from the series “Leav” ceramic

Anne Goodrich’s title for her ceramic show is ”Leav”.  To quote Anne, “Many times I’ve found that peace in my life comes from letting go.   The act of letting go enables me to reserve energy for new kinds of enjoyment, fulfillment or growth says Anne.  This is concept is true for the tree as well, letting go of leaves enables the tree to store energy, survive the winter and apply that energy toward new growth when spring comes. The color blue dominates this body of work as blue is, for me, the color of leaving.  A leaf brings nourishment to a tree, but when it ceases to be useful the tree simply lets it go.  I think a lot about how simple the tree makes it look, this process of letting go.”   She cuts slabs of clay into leaf shapes and then manipulated them into sculptural abstractions. By twisting and stretching the clay in the patterns of leaf veins the forms became the weathered, dried out, spent leaves of fall rather than spring.”   Organic forms inspire her work, but leaves specifically inspire this body of work.

Arielle Adkin "Cut" mixed media on paper

Arielle Adkin “Cut” mixed media on paper

Arielle Adkin has created a series of paintings/drawings she has entitled “Peony Violence.”  It is a body of work about the convergence between nature’s graceful softness and nature’s violent destruction.  These peonies are about the romance of a bouquet given while the heart bleeds.  A firework exploding as petals fall.  Arielle explains, “Traditionally, I am an oil painter. However, I produced this series in colored pencils and gouache, both light materials, in order to emphasize the delicate quality of these flowers.  My work explores Nature’s ability to evolve in a modern man-made world, with an emphasis on creating a beautiful and palatable aesthetic.

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.

Sidnee Snell & Deborah Unger

Showing in the Main Gallery
July 31-August 26

Sidnee Snell "Waiting" textile/fiber hanging

Sidnee Snell “Waiting” textile/fiber hanging

Sidnee Snell is a textile artist who uses photo manipulation and stitching to create fabric paintings that reflect her diverse interests; lively cityscapes, quiet still lifes and the unexpected beauty found at the intersection where mother nature meets manmade objects. An electrical engineer by training, Sidnee came to art making via the domestic craft of quilt making. Sidnee s larger pieces combine photo manipulation with a unique appliqué technique and a heavily stitched surface. The appliqué process includes manually transferring a computer generated placement and stitching guide to a foundation, then attaching and trimming individual pieces of solid colored, hand dyed fabric to construct the desired imagery for the top. The top is then layered with cotton batting and backing, heavily stitched and washed to produce a highly textured surface. Her smaller pieces utilize photo transfer, manual color enhancement and light stitching. Sidnee explains Photographic images are the basis of my current work. I don t always know what it is about a particular image that draws my attention until I begin to work with it; I only know that it calls. The process of making art is important to a means an end result. I am artist and an engineer. I love playing with my tech tools. At the same time, the tactile nature and physical processes of creating with fiber,dyeing, painting, cutting, and manipulating the textiles inspire me.

Deborah Unger "The Changeling" wood/mixed media

Deborah Unger “The Changeling” wood/mixed media

Deborah Unger‘s sculptures are, at first glance, seemingly simple dolls, but on further examination the carved figures, each set in a special environment or vignette, evoke unsettling, nostalgic and thought provoking emotions. They can be interpreted as ironic, metaphoric or amusing. Unger’s introspective images use metaphor to describe personal and relational conflicts, making them reminiscent of what one might experience in a dream. She carves her figurative sculptures from basswood. As the human figures emerge from the wood; they became the soul inhabitants of their environment. After the carving, she then dresses them in clothes she sews. Using both hand and power tools, the dolllike figures are carved in components in order to accommodate the clothing. They are then dressed and arms or legs attached and the clothing sewn closed. The figures generally exist with or in structures, of which houses are a reoccurring element, employing a hierarchy of scale. Their postures and their trappings tell an intricate and compelling story.