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 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.