All 'Stuff' has a physical presence. No matter what the object someone or something will interact with it. These interactions endow the object with a history and fragments of narrative. The integration of found objects and ephemera into an artwork intrinsically embed those hidden stories as an extra layer of meaning beyond the artist’s intention. Perhaps that is why so many artists are attracted to found objects as material for their creative process.
Beyond the aesthetic and meaning of the whole, the constitute parts bring their own connotations. The original use and history can be woven into the artist’s narrative to provide added commentary on our material world. The most adept artists can exploit these inherent meanings by skillfully adding context. However they also have to except that objects are keys to memories and individual relevance. When a key can open many doors, you cannot control which one your viewer will enter - it is now their adventure.
John Taylor is a self-taught artist. He sculpts intricately detailed ships using scrap wood, computer parts, and other various discarded stuff. He creates the vessels to look like they’ve been excavated from the bottom of the ocean rather than making perfect replica models. The artist’s handing of materials and surface give an appearance of decay. They become artifacts temporarily stopped in time - a documentation of a disappearing history. The fleeting nature of industrialized ephemera created along the way of human development is also implicit in the artist’s chosen materials.
In addition to the found, often antique objects, Kevin Titzer and Morgan Brig incorporate their own hand-crafted elements giving each work a unique presence.
Both bring alchemy to their mixed media sculptures, creating characters that are more than the sum of their parts. Like Geppetto’s Pinocchio, they model the presence of a being from the inanimate.
Kevin Titzer is a sculptor of fantastical wood and metal figures with darkly comic undertones. We are charmed by these creatures with mad macabre smiles and apologetic faces, recognizing a true sense of humanity in their apparent ugliness. This kind of unique perspective brings to mind the works of Hieronymus Bosch, Henry Darger and Goyer, and seems as if it could be from any century.
Morgan Brig’s mixed-media sculptures explore the mysteries of life with a playful and contemplative tone. Drawing on human nature and her daily writings in her journal, she layers themes within the work through symbols, icons, and embedded text. “Rummaging around just under the surface is a favorite past time of mine. Interesting emotions live there which I love to dig up, take apart and reassemble.” The incorporation of found objects provides a sense of familiarity, but the viewer is asked to reconsider the elements within a new context. There is a playfulness inspired by the artist’s love of old metal and tin toys. She explains this as a “need to lay humor right next to truth or fear in my work.”
We are still putting the detail together for our full offering during Stormy Weather Festival, but are excited by what we have confirmed to-date. In the lower gallery we will be featuring the work of mixed media sculptors Kevin Titzer and John Taylor. This is new work and we can't post many images just yet, but will update this post as soon as we can.
In our upper print gallery we will be showing an exhibition of mezzotints by Laine Groeneweg. Laine will also be teaching a two-day class beginning Thursday November 1st and finishing on Friday afternoon just shortly before the opening reception for his show. Hi reception will run 6pm - 8pm
The Festival Reception will be on Saturday, November 3 running 5pm - 8pm.
For Our Spring Unveiling Festival we presented a new series of works by Oregon ceramist, Sara Swink. Sara Swink's ideas evolve through a process methodology that she teaches in workshops and which employs simple and accessible techniques to unleash the unconscious. Omnipresent background concerns take form through an uncontrolled stream of consciousness. This is highly personal grouping of work was conceived following a prolonged period of illness. They represent the shedding of anxiety about mortality through the joy of recovery. They are a celebration of life and renewal. What could be more fitting for Spring.
"I try to stay out of the way, letting ideas flow, selecting the ones that most resonate to bring into clay. I also get ideas from what I’m reading, a phrase or concept that triggers an idea for a piece. I sketch a lot, and one piece often leads to more ideas. There is a thread of personal narrative that runs through all my ceramic work. Reflection and writing help me to recognize and make some sense of the progression. It’s the process of inner exploration that keeps me moving forward.”
Sara Swink moved to Oregon in 2006, where she established Clay Circle Studio and continues to show and teach. In 2013, Sara was featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Oregon Art Beat”. She is a member of Oregon Potters Association and exhibits annually at OPA Ceramic Showcase in Portland.
In our upstairs print gallery we are currently showing and exhibition of work by Michael Barnes. The show will be on through June 10.
Michael Barnes creates intricately drawn, complex lithographs in earthy tones. The work often portrays solitary ﬁgures that exist within vacuous environments. The depicted protagonists display a quiet sense of resignation or despair while exterior elements agitate their predicament. He describes his work as focused, “directly on human nature...The strange hybrid and mutated creatures...are domesticated beyond recognition and beyond any level or self-identity or function.”
Barnes taps into his subconscious by doodling. He doodles a lot - when relaxing, when bored, when at an impasse in the studio, in faculty meetings. These doodles are worked up into detailed drawings that fill numerous sketchbooks. The drawings become a collection of disparate ideas that take form as nonsensical compositions. Passing thoughts, overheard conversation, and random objects that the artist finds interesting are woven into improbable narratives that document the absurdity of the human condition.
The act of translating these abnormal scenes is deliberately vague, leaving the viewer the task creating meaning. There is no key or cheat sheet, because there is none in reality with each of us has a different perception of the environments that shape us. His creatures are trapped and anonymous, left to their own devices in an unfamiliar world.
June 22nd marks the beginning of the 10th and final Plein Air & More Festival weekend in Cannon Beach. Although it is only the second for Imprint Gallery, Mike and I have been involved in some capacity for the past four years. We see it as being the rather awkward pre-teen stepsister to the town's maturer and more confident festivals, Spring Unveiling and Stormy Weather. But there is beauty in awkwardness, and the potential of an idea not yet fully formed.
If you come expecting to experience a traditional Plein Air festival you will not be disappointed, but might be confused to see that Plein Air painting is not the only jewel in the event's crown. Many of the town's galleries, including Imprint Gallery, do not show many Plein Air painters - and so the "& More" was conceived. Cannon Beach's galleries show a great deal of fabulous "& More".
Imprint Gallery has invited Mark Andre to paint during the festival and will exhibiting his work along side a large cast of gallery artists. We will be hosting our annual "Focus on Ceramics". We will be featuring the work of sculptor Karen Croner and introducing jewelry to the gallery for the first time, with works by Catherine Grizes, Kay Seurat and Melanie West.
Mark Andre is happy to carry our banner as a Plein Air painter in the true meaning of the term. He works in situ and captures the sense of a place and a moment of time. I still struggle to call him a Plein Air painter because, for me, the term has become associated with a school of work - one from which his exuberant mark making and vibrant color excludes him. He is not engaged with the true rendering of a scene, rather he communicates the act of being in a place. Although the human figure is isn't visible in the composition, we are aware of the artist presence. Mark will be painting in Cannon Beach during Friday afternoon and all day Saturday during the festival weekend.
Last November we did our first "Focus on Ceramics". This year we decided to bring forward to spring, adding a little "& More" to the festival weekend. We are showing the work of 14 potters and ceramic sculpture by six further artists. Clay is a tactile medium like no other, intrinsically embedding the physical nature of creation and artists touch into every work.
Ever since we opened the doors of the gallery just over a year ago we have been asked if we will be showing jewelry. Cannon Beach is a resort town, and nearly every gallery shows at least some jewelry. I was very sure that I didn't want to show work just to tick a box, and knew that finding the right artists for us was going to take a little time. I wanted the work to fit with the gallery so the artists could be seen within the context of our curated space rather than just an add on. We are delighted to to be introducing the work of Catherine Grizes, Kay Seurat and Melanie West for this festival weekend.
Plein Air & No More?
So what is next for the Plein Air & More Festival? The festival has always had an identity crisis but has demonstrated two important elements of the art scene in Cannon Beach: the diversity of art created and exhibited here through its many galleries, and a desire to hold a festival that connects with Cannon Beach as a place: a special community, an awe-inspiring landscape with a fragile but significant ecology. To continue my earlier analogy, the ugly sister is shedding her braces and losing the Plein Air & More name, is hiring a life coach and will graduate to become a new festival based around the arts and ecology in September 2019. Watch this space.
Imprint Gallery just celebrated its first Birthday and will be launching new collections of work as part of the Spring Unveiling Festival. On the evening of Friday May 4 there will be a reception to mark a new exhibition of lithographs by Michael Barnes and the unveiling of a new series of etchings by Angela Purviance. The reception will run 6pm – 8pm in the second floor print gallery.
On Saturday May 5 the gallery will reveal a mystery sculpture at 2.40pm as part of the festivals walk of unveilings and remain open through 8pm for the festival’s gallery walk. Be sure to pick up the gallery’s new Spring/Summer collections brochure, featuring new work by Duy Huynh, Beth Bojarski, Mark Winters and Sara Swink.
If you prefer a more participatory experience, the gallery’s studio will be hosting a Polyester Plate Lithography workshop led by Michael Barnes on Friday, and Linocut Drop-ins on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival weekend. For more information about classes go the workshops link above.
A Small Selection of our Exhibiting Artists
The body of work Angela Purviance created at Oregon State University earner her a solo gallery exhibition, and established her as one of the top printmakers in her graduating class. Much of her work deals with themes of vulnerability and the precarious nature of both childhood and our natural environment.
Michael Barnes’ work is a reﬂection of his subconscious. The work often depicts solitary ﬁgures that exist within vacuous environments. These beings are bound in solitude, but tempted and agitated by exterior elements. The artist leaves the translation of these abnormal scenes, and creation of meaning to the individual viewer.
Duy Huynh creates poetic and contemplative paintings drawing inspiration from a variety of storytelling formats including music, movies, and ancient folklore. Born in Vietnam, themes of geographical and cultural displacement are prevalent in Duy’s work. Ethereal characters maintain a serene but precarious balance, often in a surreal or dreamlike setting.
Bojarski’s visual language combines a strong sense of tender narrative with distinctly surreal imagery. Her paintings are tempered with satirical commentary, celebrating individuals with flaws. She plays with the dichotomy between pretty and ugly, and weaves curious tales into the fabric of each composition.
Mark Winter studied auto body repair and owned his own auto body business for several years, before directing his welding skills to what is now his full time career - sculpture. Gathering inspiration from music, dreams, art, and life Mark incorporates scrap metal and recycled parts manipulated into sculptural forms.
Sara Swink makes clay human and animal figures from a psychological stance, her aim to marry intellect, self-knowledge and practicality through her work. These hand-built sculptural works impart ideas through stories, often with a humorous edge.
Morgan Brig’s mixed-media sculptures explore the mysteries of life with a playful and contemplative tone. Drawing on human nature and her daily writings in her journal, she layers themes within the work through symbols, icons, and embedded text. Physically, those layers include etched metal, patinated enamel, ceramic, and found objects.
Maggie Taylor grew up in rural Florida surrounded by cows, alligators and birds. Other influences on her visual language included watching situation comedies and science fiction on television. Taylor has a philosophy degree, and a master's degree in photography. Her digital composites fall somewhere between photography, painting and digital printmaking.
Randy Van Dyck
Inspiration for Randy Van Dyck’s work is drawn from the English language, visually expressing phrases that strike a chord with him, often with some humor. Stylistically, Van Dyck is a realist acknowledging traditional landscape and wildlife painting, but there is a sideways surreal shift that makes these works ‘other worldly’.
John Taylor is a self-taught artist, sculpting intricately detailed ships using scrap wood, and other various discarded ephemera. Based on actual vessels, the handling of materials and surface creates the appearance of decaying artifacts temporarily stopped in time - a documentation of a disappearing history.
Michelle Gregor creates sculpture in high fire ceramic. The heavy physicality, and transformative nature of working in clay becomes an ongoing conversation between artist and material. Through the vehicle of the figure, it is her intention “to articulate something of the precious source that animates us.”
Margaret Keelan’s ceramic sculptures confront issues of mortality, decay, beauty, aging and innocence. They are glazed, stained, fired; then glazed, stained, and fired again. The surface has the look of disintegrating, painted-over weathered wood, which she explains as a metaphor for life being lived, and the process of aging.
Two luminaries of the Northwest arts scene, Alfredo Arreguin and Yuji Hiratsuka, will be in Cannon Beach during the first weekend of October. Both artists are represented by Imprint Gallery in an exhibition running through October and November. There will be an artist’s reception at the gallery on Saturday, October 7, 6 -7 pm, and an artists’ talk on Sunday, October 8 beginning at 11am.
Painter, Alfredo Arreguin will be presenting his new painting "Salish Sea". He recently gifted the use of an earlier painting of Haystack Rock to illustrate a poster for Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP), a stewardship and environmental education program whose mission is to protect the intertidal and bird ecology of the Marine Garden and Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge at Haystack Rock. At the Saturday evening reception representatives of the program and the nonprofit, Friends of Haystack Rock, will give a short description of the program and formally thank the artist for the use of his image. The poster is available from the gallery, with all funds going to HRAP.
Printmaker, Yuji Hiratsuka will be leading two, one-day workshops in the gallery’s studio on Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7. Hiratsuka is a venerated teacher at Oregon State University, and has had considerable influence on the development of many young Northwest artists, not least Imprint Gallery’s own studio manager, Alisa Vernon. On this visit, the artist will be teaching a class in stencil cutting and silkscreen printmaking. The class can be booked through the gallery’s website at www.imprintgallery.com
On Sunday, October 8 the gallery will be serving coffee at 11am, and both Alfredo Arreguin and Yuji Hiratsuka will discuss their work and be available for questions.
Alfredo Arreguín was born in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, and has lived in Seattle since 1956. Arreguín’s distinguished career spans four decades. In 1979, he was selected to represent the United States at the 11th International Festival of Painting at Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, where he won the Palm of the People Award. In 1980, he received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1994 the Smithsonian Institution acquired his triptych "Sueño (Dream: Eve Before Adam)" for the permanent collection of the National Museum of American Art and a year later he received an Ohtli Award, from the Mexican government, recognizing distinguished individuals abroad. The Smithsonian has since added the painting "The Return to Aztlán", to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Other awards include: a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Washington’s Multicultural Alumni Partnership; the Tomás Rivera Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of California, and a Timeless Award from the University of Washington’s College of Arts and Sciences. His work is held in many important collections including The Denver Art Museum, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, Chicago, Portland Art Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, Tacoma Art Museum, and Tucson Museum of Art.
Yuji Hiratsuka was born in Osaka, Japan. He studied art at Tokyo Gakugei University. In 1985 he moved to the United States to pursue graduate degrees in printmaking at New Mexico State University and at Indiana University. Hiratsuka has been teaching printmaking and drawing at Oregon State University since 1992. His work is included in many public collections, including: The British Museum, UK; Tokyo Central Museum, Japan; Panstwowe Museum, Poland; Cincinnati Art Museum, OH; Jundt Art Museum, WA and The Portland Art Museum, OR.
Imprint Gallery is planning a monthly program of talks or demonstrations in the gallery by their exhibiting artists. This new program of talks is intended to offer an opportunity for artists to network, to contextualize the exhibited work, and for collectors to meet the artists. Imprint Gallery is a curated space with a strong focus on contemporary narrative art, ceramic sculpture and printmaking. The program is built on partnering with the exhibiting artists, offering a flexible approach to the creation and presentation of new work.
We are launching our first printmaking workshop program. Our studio is a social enterprise offering educational activities throughout the year, aimed at encouraging the participation in and understanding of original printmaking. It is located on the first floor of the Cannon Beach Mall on Hemlock, and is supported by Imprint Gallery. Being the child of a commercial gallery and lacking the credentials of a nonprofit that might allow it to apply for grant funding, the project is currently defendant on this workshop program having a good take up and being self-financing, so we are hoping that you will support us.
We believe that both the creative resident community and cultural visitors will value the experiential opportunities we are creating through this program. For us, the studio embodies our belief that art enriches lives and buildings community. We have chosen to do this through printmaking, because the very nature of the practice is often dependent on the support of others. Printmakers are seasoned community builders and because printmaking is such an immediate way of making an image, it is a great introduction to the visual arts.
The project is not a nonprofit, and we have no plans to go that route. Being able to apply for arts funding is very attractive, but this is very competitive and we think creating more groups would muddy the waters. The town is already well served by Cannon Beach Arts Association and Tolovana Arts Colony. At this point we are just trying to see if there is support for this kind of activity, and if it can be self-financing. We hope people will see the value in what we are trying to do and will support us by participating.
The inaugural workshop program begins of September 15th with a two-day class in the silk aquatint technique led by Jani Hoberg. Other tutors include Yuji Hiratsuka, Angie Purviance, Stirling Gorsuch, and Alisa Vernon. The program takes a tour of printmaking techniques to include relief, intaglio, planographic and stencil printmaking. There is currently good availability in most classes, but class sizes are restricted to six, so early booking is advised. Classes can be book on this website by following the Workshops link to the Fall Workshop Program
We will be having the first of our drop-in printmaking sessions on Sunday April 2. These sessions are intended to give an introductory taste of printmaking. It might be your first attempt at anything artistic or perhaps you are a talented artist looking into a new medium, or even just something to do on a rainy afternoon... Whatever the reason, we are sure you will enjoy this activity.
The sessions last around 45 minutes to 1 hour, and are a demonstration with hands-on participation. Our resident printmaker, Alisa Vernon, with demonstrate the process. You will get to have a go with the tools, ink a plate of your choice and take the print you make away. Each session is $15 per person, no need to book, with up to six participants in each session. Larger groups can be accommodated with a little planning*.
During spring we will be offering the sessions on Saturdays & Sundays and will be demonstrating linocut printmaking. In summer we will add sessions on Friday that will demonstrate drypoint printmaking. There will be three sessions each day starting at 1pm, 2.15pm and 3.30pm.
Drop-in Linocut Printmaking Sessions: April through August
Saturdays & Sundays: Start times, 1pm, 2.15pm & 3.30pm
Drop-in Drypoint Printmaking Sessions: July through August
Fridays: Start times, 1pm, 2.15pm & 3.30pm
Autumn Printmaking Classes: September though November
Program available Shortly.
Once you have seen how great printmaking is we are sure you are going to want to learn more, so we are busily organizing a program of classes for autumn, which will explore different techniques.