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Artists snag March show in Hillsboro

Sequoia gallery showcases Forest Grove, Gales Creek and Banks artists


Jane Vanderzanden paints what she likes. Fran Richards’ reflects on the visual beauty of water. And Beth O’Mahony’s reveals what’s happening in her life.

Sequoia Gallery + Studios, 136 S.E. Third Ave. in Hillsboro, is showcasing works by three Forest Grove, Gales Creek and Banks artists in March.

Painters Vanderzanden and Richards and ceramics artist Beth O’Mahony will be displaying and selling their work at Sequoia this month.

Beth O’Mahony

O’Mahony, of Banks, uses a variety of recycled materials and ceramics to create “life totems,” blocks that fit together decorated with “symbols that relate to life.”

Her first totem is more serious, thoughtful and contemplative, O’Mahony said, but her totems reflect a wide range of facial emotions from sadness to joy to wonder to peace. The artist grabs inspiration from her life circumstances and feelings she’s sorting out.

“I’m definitely a 3D artist,” said O’Mahony. “I learned to sew before I could read or write.”by: COURTESY PHOTO - Beth OMahony works in ceramics to reflect what shes thinking about and feeling in her life.

O’Mahony’s sculptures can be displayed indoors or outside, she said, and can be stacked together and combined. They feature faces, handprints and everyday life images, and O’Mahony uses common objects to make patterns, spirals and swirls — chopsticks, for example — or one of her hand-carved stamps.

“Making art is one of the greatest joys in my life,” said O’Mahony, 57. “I hope what I make speaks to others.”

Fran Richards

Richards’ displayed paintings focus on “exposure to water in landscape,” she said, inspired by both exotic seas and Oregon’s H2O.

“Finding painting was one of the lucky breaks in my life,” said Richards, a Forest Grove resident. “I think an artist has to have the ability to transfer feelings and what they see in their minds to an object.”

Now 79, Richards has been studying art since she was 50 years old.

“I always loved it, but I didn’t always know how to access it,” said Richards, who was busy much of her life raising five children.

She continues to participate in workshops and study privately with instructors.

Richards had tried painting before age 50, but admits she didn’t know much about the art.

“You need the basics under your belt first, and then you can alter the basics later,” she said. “I have always believed painting is an ongoing, lifetime commitment — I don’t think you ever stop learning.”

Jane Vanderzanden

Vanderzanden, a 53-year-old graphic artist who lives in Gales Creek, simply paints snippets from what she likes to do — sightseeing, trail riding, packing mules and being outdoors.

Vanderzanden works in acrylics because the medium travels well on her outdoor adventures and camping trips, where she likes to sneak in some painting time. by: COURTESY PHOTO - Jane Vanderzanden paints the things she likes -- nature, wildlife and landscapes.

A native Oregonian, Vanderzanden grew up appreciating the outdoors and eventually went to study at Art Center College of Design in California.

She has been showing her work throughout the Northwest for the last 10 years.



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