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Art as a hobby

Pacific staff and faculty show their stuff
by: Chase Allgood,

Art professors aren't the only professionals at Pacific University who can hold a gallery show. Last week, the Cawein Gallery opened a show including both art professors and other faculty and staff members. The art ranges from mixed media and painting to photography and ceramics.

The show includes mixed media work from Mona Ward, director of human resources; watercolor and oil paintings by Kristin Martin, transfer coordinator; and photographs by Chad Toomey, director of Pacific Outback, just to name a few.

The News-Times caught up with a few of the featured faculty members, who spoke out on their work.

Doyle Wesley Walls

Professor of English

Doyle W. Walls started college as an art major but was drawn away from the world of paintbrushes and easels into the world of words and ideas.

His practical side began to question: 'How is art going to affect change for a suffering world?' The shift to the more concrete art of language didn't completely suppress his desire to create visual art.

Eventually, Walls found the joy again and uses it as a springboard to write.

His series of photos at the Cawein Gallery does just that - hinting at some ideas he wrote in a paper on beauty.

'I happen to think that beauty is discriminated against,' said Walls, who first voted, at age 18, in the 1972 election - the year the Equal Rights Amendment passed in Congress.

Sometimes in the effort to provide fair treatment of the sexes, the movement goes so far as to begin having biases against beauty, said Walls.

Another piece, called 'Hair Shirt Board' brings up its own discussion. The board is a mixed-media representation of the Ten Commandments. The idea came from religious ascetics who would wear uncomfortable fabrics to remind themselves of their sin.

The piece explores each commandment Walls has or has not obeyed during a given year.

John Hayes

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

John Hayes sees the world through the lens of a scientist, but his captured slices of the natural world have caught the attention of the art world, too.

Hayes, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, has spent the last 30 years as a hobby photographer snapping pictures on extended biology field trips.

His photos took a new turn a few years back when he began writing and photographing for New England canoe and kayak guides. The books were in black and white, so Hayes modified his style.

'I'm definitely interested in light and how a lack of light makes things mysterious,' he said. 'I'm not interested in taking postcards of scenery.'

The photos he has on display at the gallery were taken at Lake Lila in the Adirondacks. Hayes shoots his photos from the boat saying, 'if you take a picture from the shore, it looks like you're looking down on the lake.' Instead, his shots look like you're 'embedded' in the water.

Hayes shoots his photos with a Nikon F100 film camera and hires students to do his darkroom developing.