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Gresham Art Committee opens excellent Juried Show this week

Reception set for April 12 at Public Safety & Schools Building


Gresham resident Kathy Tarbell was on a getaway with her husband last November when they decided to take a tour boat that went up and down the Chicago River through the locks that lead to Lake Michigan.

That’s when she saw the famous Navy Pier, constructed in 1916 and popular with both Chicago residents and tourists, and decided to photograph it.

“It was a very complex image to capture, as it was dark, cold and windy, and I was on a moving vessel,” she says. “It is hard not to react to the force of the water in contrast to the lit up hall in the still of the night. I chose to have the image printed on metal without edits as it lends to a bigger visual impact without matting and framing. The metal almost ‘floats’ the image.”

That image is now hanging, along with several other artists’ pieces, at the Public Safety & Schools Building, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway, as part of the Gresham Art Committee’s “Juried Show: Excellence in Art.” The show will be on display through June 2.

A reception takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, and features food from Twisted Carrot as well as keyboardist Larry Verdoorn. The exhibit is open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - 'Pink Tractor' by Kathy Tarbell is part of the Gresham Art Committee's current show.

In addition to the show’s juror, Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis, Terri Axness is a special guest juror skilled in pottery and painting. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, and her master’s degree in education from Easter Oregon University and taught art in public schools for over 30 years.

For more information, visit greshamartcommittee.com.

Must-see images

Dottie Lauritzen, the show’s lead curator, believes Tarbell’s work exemplifies the photographer’s talent.

“This black and white piece shows the diversity of the photographer, capturing the skyline, water and a feeling of a must-see place,” she says.

Tarbell also contributed “Pink Tractor,” which depicts the vehicle sitting in a field of flowers as Mount Hood looms in the distance.

“I felt fortunate to be there that morning, as frequently the offshore clouds come in at that time so there is no sunrise spectacular to capture,” Tarbell says.

“Kathy’s work gives us a current, nostalgic look at nature, the working tractor and view of Mount Hood in a way that we don’t usually see, sharing a view together and fitting many views in one incredible piece,” Lauritzen says.

Photography is more than just taking pictures, Tarbell says.

“The essence of photography goes beyond what can be captured with the camera and be shown to others,” she says. “It is the experience of the moment, and how one learns through the years to be aware of the present.”

Animal spirit

Another artist participating in the show is Vernon Groff, a Sandy resident. Among his pieces on display is “Miss Peabody Naps,” a watercolor depicting a dog sleeping, as well as “Pirate,” which depicts a llama giving the viewer a mischievous look.

Groff says people and animals inspire him to paint.

“Unlike landscapes, when looking at a llama, for instance, it looks back,” he says. “We both consider each other at the same time. It is an interaction that is exciting and a challenge to express in a painting. I hope that sense of connection is relayed to those who view my art.”

Groff has paintings in shows with the Watercolor Society of Oregon, the Northwest Watercolor Society International, the Lake Area Artists in Lake Oswego, and the Wyeast Art Guild.

“I am always on the lookout for bits of visual magic in the real world that suggest a painting,” he says.