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Broad strokes of art in Hillsboro

Work from five artists is packing the Walters Cultural Arts Center this month, offering a wide range of expressions and styles across multiple media.

Three artists — large canvas abstract painter Jeff Jurrens, fiber and fabric artist Kim Lakin, wood-fire ceramic sculptor Brad McLemore — present a spectrum of work in the Main Gallery of Walters Cultural Arts Center Aug. 7 through Sept. 25. And downstairs, photographer Tom Jacquemin and watercolor painter Sandra Pearce focus on landscapes that revel in light and color in the Basement Gallery at the center.

Kim Lakin

In Lakin’s latest series, “The Pilings,” she uses quilted techniques to sew simple fascinations of abandoned and naturally deteriorating river pilings in local water landscapes.

She also integrates the unsewn: deconstructing fabric, letting raw edges show and threads hang loose, much like the messy natural landscape of her river piling subjects.

Oppositions create a balance in Lakin’s work. For her, the impossibility of stitching a straight line is as appealing to her as it is aggravating. This becomes visible in her minimal and abstract fabric designs, where her interest in the soft, sculptural quality of fabric contrasts with harder geometric architectures.

Lakin’s work is primarily two-dimensional, but elements in the work, like the giant sky-swirling stitching in the backdrop of one piece, allows for subtle puckering and natural wrinkles in the fabric, elevating it to the third dimension.

Jeff Jurrens

Since retiring from the fire service in 2005, Jurrens has yet to stop painting. A lifelong love and appreciation for art — and a little push from his wife (“If you love it so much, why don’t you do it?”) — was all the motivation he needed to begin filling his studio with hundreds of painted works.

Influenced by the abstract expressionists and the New York School movement of the 1940s and 50s, process and experimentation are big drivers in Jurrens’s work. Using liberal amounts of acrylic or latex paint applied with a squeegee, his strictly non-representational paintings are large, colorful and rich in texture.

“The joy of creation is its own reward,” said Jurrens, but he’s also sold his work to the likes of shoe magnate Steve Madden and his wife, who bought two paintings for their Boca Raton home. His work also appears in Portland, San Diego, New York City and Philadelphia.

Brad McLemore

If McLemore’s sculptures weren’t in an art gallery, they might be scattered about a dusty, apocalyptic wasteland with other remnants of expired technology.

An Alaskan-bred and educated ceramic sculptor with a master of fine arts degree from James Madison University in Virginia, McLemore molds his clay using repetition and texture to form fragments of shape that add allusions to a structure’s imagined purpose.

Titles of his work alone — such as Sluicy, a sculpture of what appears to be giant screw innards, and Strattum, what looks to be a thick palette of chemically-melted shell casings — or paint cans, could be hell-raising cronies in a post-world war fiction of your choosing.

To further obscure any assurance of the object’s real use, McLemore’s near erosive firing technique using wood and sodium on clay gives his forms an archeological quality.

“I like the ambiguity that may exist between the hand-hewn quality that clay records in its forming and the industrial purpose inferred in the forms, composition and components,” he wrote in an artist statement. McLemore lives with his wife, practices sculpture in his studio and teaches art part-time in Portland.

Sandra Pearce

The work of Pearce, an English-born watercolor artist, often elicits one phrase in viewers’ minds: “It feels like you’re there.” For example, in her local city scenes or “wet reflections,” it feels like you’re standing on a street corner, just like the artist was when she painted it.

Like everyone braving the outdoors, your eyes tilt downward to avoid the cold breath of an early Portland spring. The sky glows gray and yellow leaves whip from dead trees. Cars spray mist and their head lights bounce off glossy streets. This is the translucency in which Pearce paints “en plein air.”

“I have painted in pelting rain and high wind (finding partial shelters), numbing cold and blazing sun,” said Pearce, who lives and works from her wooded home in the Oregon coast range. “These situations create vivid memories and some of the best paintings.”

Tom Jacquemin

Jacquemin is obsessed with photography. He told me so in an email. Given that Jacquemin knows and loves his art best, we’ll let him tell the story of

his photo, Sunrays at Camino Island, Wash.

“This photo was taken mid-morning in the fall. My wife and I discovered this park on Camino Island and were fascinated by the trees and quiet. Though the place was serene and peaceful, there was a hint of fog in the tops of the Douglas fir trees.

“I told my wife, ‘It isn’t going to happen.’ She said, ‘Be patient, it will.’ Of course, she was right, as she most always is in my life. The sunrays lasted only about 10 minutes and I took a number of shots but kept looking for one that would show the depth and drama of the forest.

“This was the best of the lot and another good seller for me at the market. To me, it is a spiritual experience to be in that moment and be able to record the beauty.”



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