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An invitation to Insanity

This art exhibit by the Wy'east Artisans Guild accompanies the SAT play
by: contributed by Becky Hawley In this creative piece entitled “Escape,” artist Becky Hawley interprets the exhibit theme (Insanity) with symbolism, with a woman behind bars wearing a veil of tears and a woman on fire beyond the bars.

One of the ways the Wy'east Artisans Guild tries to fulfill its goal of promoting local art is through exhibits.

In addition to the exhibit currently at the Sandy library, the Guild's latest display will appear in the lobby of the Sandy Actors Theatre (SAT) for a 6:45 p.m. opening Thursday, April 7. After the art showing at 7:30 p.m., those present will be treated to a free preview showing of the SAT play - set to open the following night, April 8.

For each of this season's plays, the Guild has produced an exhibit that matches the theme of the play on stage, says Guild President Becky Hawley.

This month's play, 'The Curious Savage,' is paired with an art exhibit titled 'Insanity' because most of the comedy/drama is set in a sanatorium with people just a few degrees left or right of reality.

There's a little bit of each of these people in all of us, so everyone can identify with some of the characters on stage as well as the art hanging in the theater's lobby.

The art exhibit is aptly entitled 'Insanity,' and Hawley says its pieces span the spectrum from abstract to (almost) reality.

That spectrum varies from the colorful abstracts of Eileen Holzman of Troutdale to the creative symbolism of Hawley's oil on canvas to Rod Stroh's photo illustration he calls 'Out of My Mind.'

Some of the exhibit's pieces cannot be described, Hawley says, because they are still being created in local artists' studios. But there will be paintings in several media, representing each artist's interpretation of 'Insanity.'

Stroh also will show his creativity with a torch and recycled copper wire. No, he's not an electrician. He twists the wire in various shapes and then heats the creation with one or more different types of torches (different flame temperatures) and quenches the piece when he reaches the peak of his creative expression.

The pieces - in his Crazy Copper Creations collection - are marketed as jewelry, mainly pendants, but some are pins.

Stroh says each piece is unique because the process does not lend itself to reproduction of any specific shape.

'I have tried having something in mind when I started on a piece,' he said, 'but you can't do that. It's difficult to control what's happening when the wire is melting and when you quench it.'

In his other entry into the show, Stroh offers a photo illustration he calls 'Out of My Mind.' In that art piece, in which he 'paints' digitally with pixels, he pictures himself looking at his hands extended in front of his chest, holding a brain.

In this creative and unreal scene, he takes on a shocked, appalled and questioning facial expression. 'Is that really my mind?' he asks himself.

One of Hawley's entries in the exhibit is purely symbolic, and is called 'Escape.' The art piece includes a woman seemingly behind bars wearing a veil of tears along with another woman on fire on the near side of the bars.

'This (art) represents a woman coming out from the bars of depression,' Hawley says, 'and becoming the woman on fire.'

Hawley says she wants to invite people to come to the artists' reception for this exhibit beginning at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, April 7, especially people who haven't been to a theater.

This is a free ticket to see excellent theater, she says, as well as a professional display of art - all in one place.

'Insanity' may be seen in the SAT lobby free, during play hours until May 7. The theater is at 17433 Meinig Ave., behind Ace Hardware.

For more information, call Hawley at 503-668-5590 or the theater at 503-668-6834.