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'Sun, sun, sun, here it comes'

Artists' reception held June 24 for city's Visual Arts Gallery summer show


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: BECKY HAWLEY - Becky Hawleys photograph, 'A Womans Place,' speaks to the days of Mughel rulers in the Agra region of India, when women were not allowed outside in the courtyard, but could look out from behind hand-carved stone screens like this one.More than 20 artists will display works in all media for a summer-long art show titled “Here Comes the Sun” at Gresham Visual Arts Gallery.

The show runs through Aug. 7.

From ocean sunsets drenched in color to smiling yellow-painted sunflowers, this warm-toned show brings back to the gallery a number of award-winning artists from Sandy to Baker City.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: TERRI AXNESS - Going Green, a ceramic sun by Terri Axness from Baker City, who will bring several pieces made of fired clay, as well as one painting to the Gresham art show.Artwork ranges from photography and ceramics to watercolor, acrylic, oil paint, pastel, jewelry and woodwork.

A team of curators will vote on their favorite pieces at an artists reception held from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, in the Public Schools and Safety Building, located next door to city hall at 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway in Gresham.

The public is welcome to attend. Admission is free.

There will be food, live music and artist interviews, and the show’s winners will be announced.

The Gresham Visual Arts Gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on holidays.

Michael R. Anderson, lead curator and member of the Gresham Art Committee, has two award-winning photographs in the show.

One of his images, called “Wind Power,” received the highest award in photography last year in the Professional Photographers of America’s international print competition, and was featured in the organization’s magazine.

Becky Hawley and her husband, Rod Stroh, also will present artwork at the show. The Sandy couple may be husband and wife, but they differ in terms of art.

Hawley, 60, paints primarily in acrylic and oil and often shows her work at the Sandy Actors Theatre, and occasionally at the Gresham Visual Arts Gallery.

Stroh is a digital photographer who gave up his day job in 2005 to begin retirement by traveling with his wife. More of his work will be displayed in a solo show, arranged by Wy’east Artisans Guild in the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce office from July 1 to Aug. 30.

Both artists are inspired by the natural beauty they find in faraway countries and in Oregon’s own backyard.

Having explored a number of media before settling on photography, Stroh believes taking photos is a fantastic way to share the world with others.

“No matter where we travel, we are always comparing Oregon to the new local,” he said. “I must say, Oregon has a little bit of everything, except the tropics, and we love it here.”

Stroh’s photographs in the show include a photo of a sunrise over the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn and one of a rusty truck’s shiny hood ornament, a chrome goddess.

Hawley describes one of her pieces she painted from a photograph taken in an Oregon lighthouse, “The Sun’s Promise,” which will be featured in the show.

“Up in the top of the lighthouse, I had been looking out to sea, and as I turned to leave, I caught the prism’s colors on the old brass door knob,” she said.

Hawley said her first reaction was to capture the photo, and then, “as I stood there, I felt the sun was telling me that something good was waiting on the other side.

“So often we are afraid to see what’s on the other side, in the dark waiting for us,” she said. “But the rainbow of color sent a different message.”by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: ROD STROH - Sunbather, depicting a 1953 Nash chrome goddess planted on an old rusty truck, is one of three hood ornament-focused photographs Rod Stroh will present at Gresham Visual Arts Gallery this summer.

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