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Reynolds students join area artists in Gresham show

The latest exhibit from the Gresham Art Committee — “Life in Action” — displays 74 pieces from 35 artists who use color and implied movement to capture a wide variety of scenes from daily life.

Co-curator Cindy Lessig Cossu notes the exhibit opens Tuesday, Dec. 10, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 16, and includes seven pieces created by visual arts students at Reynolds High School.

“The gallery is really going to come to life with the variety of mediums, and each tells a unique story that will hopefully draw the art appreciators into the gallery to explore more than once while the show is on display,” she says.

The show includes oil-acrylic and encaustic paintings, photography, woodblock prints, fused glass, mixed media, 3D sculpture, metal art and other media. Prior to the exhibit’s opening, The Outlook spoke to a number of the artists about their work. Here’s what they had to say.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Stripes by Jessica Nguyen Stripes by Jessica Nguyen

A senior at Reynolds, the 18-year-old artist used a scratch-board coated in black ink to create her piece.

“When scratched away, it reveals a white coating underneath,” she says. “This method helps the artist focus on the light values in their art piece instead of the dark values.”

Nguyen was inspired by an image of a white Bengal tiger to create her piece and adds she hopes to work in fashion someday.

“I plan to study apparel design because I am fascinated by the movement that fabric creates within a piece of clothing and how it makes clothes a moving piece of art,” she says.

“Blue Alpaca” by Vernon Groff by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Blue Alpaca by Vernon Groff

A retired graphic designer from Sandy, Groff says his watercolor depicting his wife knitting, with a dog for company, was inspired by a “lucky accident.”

“I look for motifs in everyday moments, especially those involving people and animals,” he says. “I look for archetypes in the common place. In ‘Alpaca Blue’ the sheltie was a lucky accident that added dimension to what would have been a single note piece.”

Groff says he’s painted watercolors for 25 years and starts with a “careful drawing that may take several hours.

“The actual painting process is spread over a half day or so allowing the washes to dry,” he says. “When painting I use a limited pallet of three to eight colors using M. Graham and Sennelier watercolor.”

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - My Thumb by Stephanie GilletteMy Thumb by Stephanie Gillette

“I love to paint the spirit of the subject — that which makes them unique,” Gillette says. “It isn’t usually the flamboyant actions, but the gentle, sweet things which I remember. So, I painted the little girl in her mother’s arms and the dog snuggling with her lamb toy.”

A fiddler and tai chi enthusiast, Gillette lives in Oregon City and paints part-time.

“I love the flow of oil paint onto the canvas.”

Fancy Shawl Dancer” by Preston Van Boyd by: CONTIBUTED PHOTO - Fancy Shawl Dancer by Preston Van Boyd

A resident of Gresham, Van Boyd says, “When I heard about the ‘Life in Action’ exhibit I knew it would be a perfect show to display the ‘Fancy Shawl Dancer’ paintings I had just finished.”

Van Boy adds, “I enjoy the challenge of translating movement into a still image which evokes a sensation of motion in the viewer. I also seek to express my own emotional response to the beauty in the movement itself.

“This past summer when I watched the dancers at the annual Delta Park Pow Wow (in Portland) I had the impression of the ordinary being transformed into the extraordinary through the action of the dance,” he says. “I carried this impression with me as I worked with paint, knives, and my fingers to change plain canvas into something beautiful.”

Van Boyd begins his paintings with a quick sketch, “just enough to note the essential gesture of my subject. After a bit of reflection on the subject of my inspiration I begin work on the canvas or panel.”

He then roughs the image with charcoal, finally applying oil paint in progressive layers.

If you go

WHAT: ‘Life in Action’

WHEN: Dec. 10 through Feb. 6

WHERE: Public Safety and Schools Building, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway

OPEN: Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays

RECEPTION: 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. Music, refreshments

INFO: greshamartcommittee.com

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