Two-week art exhibit in a Sandy gallery begins during the First Friday event, Oct. 4

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Diane Reed, foreground, Kim Yamashita, middle, and Sandy Jordan, background, quietly work on their individual art pieces during a class led by Sandy artist Lori Ryland, not pictured.As one of the First Friday exhibits this week, two groups of art students will share their creative visions with all who enter the Lori Ryland studio and gallery in downtown Sandy.

The student groups include children (ages 8-17) who have special needs such as epilepsy, Asperger’s and autism.

“These are kids who have trouble sitting and focusing,” Ryland said. “But through photography and drawing and painting, they can get in touch with their creative power and accomplish something. Some of these kids have never even taken a photograph before.”

The class for youths is funded in part by grants from foundations, Ryland said, but purchases of their work during the two-week exhibit will help provide future classes.

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - While studying the art of Georgia OKeefe, a Portland artist and author, Elizabeth Kirkhart of Gresham works on her interpretation (reproduction) of an OKeefe art piece. This photo was taken during an art class at the Lori Ryland gallery and studio in Sandy.The exhibit in Ryland’s gallery also includes the work of adults in an evening class, and most have had little or no art experience before Ryland’s class.

Nevertheless, Ryland expresses nothing but amazement at the skills they have developed so quickly.

She talks about Diane Reed, whose day job is office manager at the Sandy Police Department. Reed, she says, “has created some amazing first paintings that are worthy of any gallery juried show.”

Ryland also mentions the work of Kim Yamashita, Sandy police chief, saying she “has created paintings that are very realistic.”

Also among the adult students is Sandy Jordan, who can be found at the Sandy Historical Museum during daytime hours.

But in the evening class, she focuses on abstract art. Ryland compliments Jordan’s work by saying, “she has quite an impressive display of abstract paintings using several techniques.”

Most of the adults showing in this exhibit have been studying with Ryland during this year. They’ve been using a three-step, three-color process with glazing, where each of the colors is applied separately, without mixing any colors.

Many of Ryland’s students use photographs as an easy way to visualize what they are creating, even if their final artwork is not a realistic image. Another technique, Ryland said, is to create a digital image and then try to reproduce that image while painting.

“(Painting from a photo of an image) is a great way to learn,” Ryland said. “It’s also a great way to study great artists — to reproduce their work while looking at a photo of their painting.”

But Ryland also teaches, especially the younger artists, that by producing original images (instead of copying great artists) their work is copyright-free.

The student art exhibit begins at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, and ends at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.

The First Friday showing is from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 4, and starting Oct. 5, the gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment. For more information, visit or call 503-313-7464.

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