Imprint Gallery Participates in Earth & Ocean Arts Festival September 20 - 22
As part of Cannon Beach Gallery Group, Imprint Gallery is proud to be participating in the inaugural Earth and Ocean Arts Festival this September. The gallery will be hosting two exhibitions, “Habitat” and “Menagerie”. “Habitat” is a group show, bringing together the work of six Northwest artists in a celebration of the diversity found in wildlife and the natural environment. The artists include Molly Cliff Hilts, Andrea Benson, Kamala Dolphin-Kingsley, Karen Croner, Randy Van Dyke and Bethany Rowland. “Menagerie” showcases hand-colored etchings by Briony Morrow Cribbs.
Bethany Rowland, "Red Wings Make Their Own Decisions" (Detail)
Both exhibitions open with a reception on Friday, September 20, 5 – 8pm, and continue through October. We will also have artist demonstrations by Karen Croner, Kamala Dolphin-Kingsely, Briony Morrow Cribbs, and Jani Hoberg will be our printmaker in residence in our studio over the festival weekend.
Earth and Ocean Arts Festival is a new event organized by Cannon Beach Gallery Group, happening on the September equinox, September 20 – 22. It is a celebration of landscape, wildlife and the natural environment through the arts. It also aims to encourage responsible engagement with our environment; recognizing the diligent work of environmental organizations, and raising funds for the important work they do in the stewardship and protection of Oregon’s North Coast region. Funds will be raised for Friends of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, Friends of Haystack Rock, North Coast Land Conservancy, Sea Turtles Forever, and Wildlife Center of the North Coast through the purchase of a $50 three-day festival event pass. Pass holders receive a tote bag with festival goodies including a ticket to prize drawings, including: two $300 gift certificates redeemable at any participating Cannon Beach gallery, a two night stay at a local vacation property, a boat tour of the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, a guided hike with the North Coast Land Conservancy, dining gift certificates, a whiskey tour and tasting, and more.
In addition to gallery exhibits, artist demonstrations, and environmental presentations, we are excited to welcome Artichoke Dance Company to be the festival headliners. Serving as ambassadors for the intersection of art and activism, this environmentally focused group is believes in the power art to effect positive change in people’s lives and communities, especially in regard to plastics pollution.
Cannon Beach is a jewel of a small town set on the rural Oregon coast. The special nature of this place is in large part the product of two things: its location on one of the most beautiful coastlines on the planet, and its development from an artist’s colony. The legacy of these creative founders is evident in the cultural vibrancy of the town. The town boasts over a dozen fine art and craft galleries, a theatre, a library and a museum. It still boasts a larger share of artists and creatives within its population than most other towns of its size. Artists continue to be drawn to Cannon Beach because of its beautiful landscape and coastline.
Cannon Beach is one of most photographed places on earth, drawing tourist from across the world. It is also a unique ecosystem that requires protection. Much of the work in stewarding this natural resource is provided by nonprofit organizations, and armies of volunteers. It should be noted that this monumental task is preformed by dedicated teams drawn from a small resident population - proving again that it is the combination of place and people that makes this community so strong. Earth and Ocean Arts Festival brings together these threads of community engagement and a sense of place.
We picked April 1 as our official birthday because it seamed just right for the happy lunacy it takes to run and sustain an art gallery. This April 1st will be two years since we cut the red ribbon and opened the doors. Last year we celebrated with an open day, serving refreshments all day and offering a 10% Birthday discount off anything. This year it falls on a Monday, so we are planning a weekend of events through Monday.
On Friday 29th March we will have a reception 6-8pm to open a show that focusses on the happy and bright celebration of life featuring new artist Judith Sander whose work is illustrated above, new painted bas relief carvings by Keaney Rathbun, Keaney's silkscreen prints in our printmaking gallery, and monotypes by Marie Powell.
We are on our trip through California on an extensive studio tour, collecting work for the gallery as we go. We will return on March 1st and embark on a big redisplay of the gallery with an opening focussing on ceramic sculpture on March 8th. I'll be updating this blog post with images of the new work as we go.
Just before we set off Julie clement sent us a quick selection of images of some of the work we will be collecting from her (shown below). And we took a delivery of work from Kelsey Bowen from Montana (illustrated above), This will be added to this focus on ceramic sculpture show, along with all the work we collect enroute.
Today we had our fist studio visit with Cary Weigand. She lives and works down a windy, forrested road, on the south Oregon coast. She works in quiet contemplation, combining a love of ceramics with other sculptural and painterly concerns. She refines her imagery with acrylic and oil paint glazes following the initial glazing stages. She also use fragmentation and visible reconstruction to add to an already fragile aesthetic.
Faith, family, self-improvement, hard work and above all… kindness – these are the ingredients that combine to create Emily C. McPhie’s compelling paintings. The daughter of artist James C. Christensen, she is the product of a happy family that encouraged the development of imagination, self-reflection and the pursuit of knowledge. She explains, “In my childhood home, Imagination was touted as the most precious faculty one could foster. I was raised under the influence of my dad’s “Land a little left of reality.” It’s a wonderful place where imagination is king.”
The desire to become an artist was assured by childhood visits to art museums, watching her father work, and early recognition of her work in high school. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2001. She now has her own family and hurriedly interprets the emotions of motherhood and the ever changing relationships with her children. "Translating those thoughts and emotions into images gives me clarity, and I find I want to document them before my perception changes."
Her work uses symbolism and is of the magic realism tradition, but it is also rooted deeply in fundamental shared truths. It explores experience of family, relationships, and establishing ones own persona within the world. Who am I? How do I fit in? What is important to me? She often uses the direct gaze to connect the viewer with the work, which gives us mixed signals of familiarity and separateness. She describes the activity of painting as a necessity. “I need to create, to imagine, and to make intangible and ineffable ideas and experiences touchable, viewable, and beautiful.”
Michael Southern is a Northwest painter and printmaker. Much of his work is about finding our place within the natural world. He is drawn to landscape and the human experience of place. More recently he has introduced the hitherto unseen figure to the landscape, giving them physical presence. Renaissance and Baroque allegory painting has informed his approach, and there is a very definite neoclassical feel about his work.
“The old mythological and religious paintings of the Renaissance and Baroque are a huge inspiration for my latest figurative work. Much of the imagery made during this historical era in the Western world possesses an optimism about humanity that feels lost in the current day. In addition to the usual suspects of Western mythology and religion, I am referencing the mythology and storytelling of indigenous cultures. So many of these current and past civilizations have the earth and nature itself as the centerpiece of human creation and spiritual rebirth. These new allegorical images are not without an agenda. They are offering a way forward and through our current stasis. The characters depicted in this body of work are stage actors in a new mythology.”
As the paintings have evolved the figures have become more prominent within their environment and the narrative traveling a more specific path. He explores the primacy of feminine power, spiritual and corporal identity and ritual adornment. He is aware of issues surrounding the male gaze in contemporary art. His standpoint is to bear witness rather than placing his female protagonists into the role of artist’s muse. The most recent works have been distilled down to a single dominant figure as the largest part of the composition.
Reflective An Exhibition For Spring Unveiling Arts Festival May 3 - 5
This exhibition is a magical journey of imagined and actual reality, born out of authentic experience. Our intention is to engage the visitor in thoughtful contemplation of the work, the world, and ourselves. Imprint Gallery is split on two levels, the ground floor showing contemporary narrative art, and the upper gallery focusing on original printmaking. For our Spring Unveiling Arts Festival show, “Reflective”, we are mining the depths of quiet and gentle expression, proving that the loudest voices are not always the most enduring.
The contemplative nature of the exhibiting artists is evident in their use of color, surface and subject matter. This body of work satisfies our lust for beauty, but is in no way sweet. The artists avoid sentimentality and encourage us to discover hidden depths through a tranquil aesthetic. Their quiet voices seduce us, and we listen. While there is some commonality in approach, and all the work culminates in a desire to document human interaction with the world and each other, the individual narratives are as unique as each of the artists.
In our printmaking gallery we will be showing new work by Yuji Hiratsuka. Born in Osaka, Japan, Yuji has been teaching printmaking and drawing at Oregon State University since 1992. As a venerated teacher, his influence has been considerable on the development of many young Northwest artists. His reductive copperplate etchings meld a visual language informed by his cultural background with western popular culture.
The ground floor gallery has a mixed display of painting, ceramic and mixed media sculpture. For this show we are introducing the work of three new painters. Laurie Lisonbee and Mary Alayne Thomas have a sense of being out of time. There is a definite nod to art histories and traditions in addition to their person stories. Laurie’s work has a renaissance gravitas, while Mary Alayne incorporates art nouveau flair. In contrast, Andrea Benson’s work is about this moment - the moment in which we recognize beauty - beauty in the monumental and in the mundane.
Also new to the gallery, we will be premiering enamel wall pieces and jewelry by Jessica Calderwood and ceramics by Kensuka Yamada. Jessica’s work is introspective while Kensuka’s is inspired by universal experience. Both play with humor and irony, encouraging us to reflect on our relationships and place in the world.
The exhibition will also include a new body of work by Duy Huynh. His poetic and contemplative paintings draw inspiration from a variety of storytelling formats. Born in Vietnam, themes of geographical and cultural displacement are prevalent. Ethereal characters maintain a serene but precarious balance, in a surreal or dreamlike setting.
Spring Unveiling Arts Festival is a town-wide festival in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Imprint Gallery is a curated space, working with artists to provide a flexible way to display and create new work. “Reflective” will show, as conceive, through out the festival weekend, but may evolve as new works and collections are added to the gallery.
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.”
Friday, November 2, 5.30pm - 7.30pm Reception: Exhibition Opening for Laine Groeneweg
Saturday, November 3, 5.30 - 7.30pm Reception: Festival Reception
Imprint Gallery’s Stormy Weather Arts Festival exhibition brings together an eclectic range of collections by regional and national artists. The gallery is known for quirky and original work with a strong narrative element.
In the upper printmaking gallery there will be a solo exhibition of maritime themed mezzotints by Laine Groeneweg. Laine is from Hamilton, Canada. He received his BFA from York University and then trained as a professional printmaker at Fondazione Il Bisonte Per Lo Studio Dell’Arte Grafica in Florence, Italy. He is widely recognized for his work in mezzotint & etching and has exhibited in Canada and Internationally in Australia, Japan, Italy, Russia, Taiwan and the United States. The exhibition opening will be on Friday, November 2nd 5.30 – 7.30pm.
The ground-floor gallery will have a strong emphasis on sculpture with artwork from mixed media artists Morgan Brig, Kevin Titzer, John Taylor and the award winning artist, Karen Croner. We will also be introducing the work of ceramic sculptors Kelsey Bowen and Cary Weigand. This work compliments current gallery artists Keith Schneider, Margaret Keelan, Aggie Zed and Michelle Gregor.
In addition the gallery will be showing new paintings by Mark Andres, and Maggie Taylor’s Alice Through the Looking Glass series of digital composites. Both bodies of work depict figures in intriguing interiors lit by rich saturated colors. We will also be introducing Molly Cliff Hilt's work to the gallery, with a series of monumental bird portraits. The festival reception with be on Saturday, November 3rd, 5.30 – 7.30pm.
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 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.