Monday, February 27, 2017

The Soft Machine

Artist Combines Machines and Mankind 

Skip Enge says he knew from an early age that art is what drives him.  The Camas native unveiled his first show just three years after high school and calculates he has filled 40 one-man exhibits in the past 40 years. Make that 41.  Enge will show watercolors with an industrial edge at Second Story Gallery in March.  His show, "The Soft Machine," opens with a reception for the artist on First Friday March 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Gallery.  

Keyboardist Brad Jensen will be providing music for the evening.

Enge explains "The Soft Machine" is another name for the human body and the main theme of a William Burroughs' book of the same title that concerns how control mechanisms invade the body.  There is an appendix in the 1968 British edition that makes this connection, he says, and Enge's paintings have a mid-century feel as well.  The subdued colors and industrial themes seem connected to a time when men and machines worked without electronic interface.

If Enge's new show looks like he just stepped out of a paper mill, the Camas mill is in fact a place where he found employment to save money for college.  But he says his work varies in approach, technique and symbolism.  "As a poet I see analogy in most things I think about and write about.  My personal painting style changes all the time . . . sometimes literal and other times fanciful."

Recently returned to his hometown, Enge is collaborating with the art department at Washougal High School on lessons for the classroom.  His commissioned pieces are in collections across the country and locally at the Oregon Historical Society and PeaceHealth Medical Center.

Enge says he has centered his life around creativity.  He has worked as a museum exhibit designer, graphic designer, fabricator and "creator of solutions" for museums and collections, all while painting in his extra hours.  He also writes poetry, often while he's painting, so a few poems will be exhibited alongside his watercolors to serve as his artist's statement.

First Friday Artist's Reception
March 3  5-8 pm

Monday, January 30, 2017

Three Voices, Three Methods, Three Classes from CHS

Friday February 10  5 - 8 pm
First Friday Pubic Reception 
(rescheduled from Feb 3)

Three Voices, Three Methods, Three Classes from CHS

Second Story Gallery will feature art by students from Camas High School's Integrated Arts and Academics (IAA) program in February in a show the artists are calling “3 Print Methods x 3 Artist Voices.”

The colorful art will be unveiled at a First Friday reception Feb. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. with the students in attendance and live music provided by CHS students as well.  The show continues through the month of February in the gallery upstairs in the Camas Public Library.

Participants in the innovative IAA program at Camas High School have the opportunity to study connections between academic concepts and themes wile integrating those lessons with the arts.  According to IAA Program Leader Gina Mariotti Shapard, this makes their learning more connected, relevant and personally meaningful.

The art prints originate from an interdisciplinary unit on the theme of "Voice" this year, according to Shapard,  in which students studied political and artistic expression.  The freshman cohort learned about the artist Andy Warhol in preparation for a visit to a special exhibition at the Portland Art Museum.  They then chose current pop subjects of their own generation to create multi-color, reductive linoleum prints. 

Meanwhile, the sophomores designed and embossed images based on poetry they selected and performed as part of a national recitation contest, Poetry Out Loud, in their English class.  The juniors created woodblock prints.  Each student chose someone she/he deemed to be a cultural icon, then used a print to introduce the viewer to the subject.  These images were inspired by the print that introduced Pocahontas to England, which the students learned about in their US History course.
This is the third Second Story Gallery show presented by the IAA students.  Shapard noted “It's a tremendous opportunity for our youth to have experiences such as showing their work in a professional gallery," and said she was grateful for ongoing support from the community."  The show will remain on exhibit through Feb. 25 during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Friday, November 25, 2016

"The Creator's Creations"

Photography by Sandy Caldwell 
On View at Second Story Gallery

Almost 40 years ago, Sandy Caldwell bought a used Nikon camera from a friend and started experimenting.  Then kids came along and life got busier.  Her photographs back then filled family albums.

Fast-forward 20 years to her arrival in Washougal and the gift of a digital camera.  Caldwell says she fell in love with the scenery of the Gorge.  She also fell in love with travel and the chance to photograph “God’s beauty and creation” so she can share the wonder with others.

Some of those vivid landscapes will be on display at Second Story Gallery during the months of December and January.  This will be the third gallery exhibit for the popular local photographer.  This time she calls her show “The Creator’s Creations” and focuses on travel destinations from the past several years.  “Many of my photos are about being in the right place at the right time,” she says.  Her goal is to share these “creations” with those who may not be able to see them in person.

Caldwell will unveil her work at a reception Dec. 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  The show will remain on the walls through Jan. 28 and is free and open to the public. During regular library hours, the gallery is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

First Friday Artist's Reception
December 2
5 - 8 pm

Sunday, October 30, 2016

 Painter Mitch Wyninger presents “In the Shadows” 
at Second Story Gallery in November. 

The work is predominantly in oil and ranges from dramatic subjects to the more traditional, says the artist. Wyninger admits he often depicts a somber mood in his work but he points out that it’s broken up by the use of bright colors and light.  "In the Shadows" seems like where the work started, but it's moving into the spotlight.

Wyninger calls his style impressionistic and says he takes inspiration from vintage images.  Often depicting lone men with hats pulled down, he sometimes places them in a city crowd but sometimes in a trout stream.  The mood shifts from the Depression Era to serenity with a shift of color and light. 

The local artist is stepping out of the shadows himself, in a way.  He has spent his career as a landscape designer and horticulturist, involved in art but only finding the time to focus on his painting since retirement.  This is the third exhibit where his painting is featured and he says he is pleased to show his work again to the local community.  He is a 20-year resident of Washougal. 

The artist will be in the spotlight at a reception November 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. during First Friday in downtown Camas. 

Wyninger’s show continues through Nov. 28 at the Gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  It's is free and open to the public during regular library hours for the remainder of the month.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Art Quilt Group - Red & Black Attach!

Gallery will feature Red and Black in October

As if inspired by the Camas High School football blitz, local quilters are bringing fiber arts to the Second Story Gallery in October under the banner “Red and Black Attack!”  The  Art Quilt Group insists the red and black theme has nothing to do with the boosters club--it's a challenge they set for themselves a year ago.  But from Oct. 7 to 27, their clever choice brings school spirit to the gallery upstairs in the Camas Public Library.

The group of fiber artists often selects a theme for their projects to tap into the artistic side of quilting.  Explains member Dianne Kane, “Innovative methods are encouraged.  Challenges are created.  New techniques are demonstrated.  Projects are shared.   The goal is to push us beyond our personal comfort zones and encourage us to create using new and innovative techniques.” 

Kane is a Camas resident but this group, founded in 2005, draws from all over Clark County and the Portland Metro area.  They’re drawn to the ‘No Rules” rule and agree to tackle two or three challenges a year with a theme based on color or form or technique.  Joining Kane for this red and black exhibit are Kathy Baumann, Louise Deatherage, Abbie Dick, Pat Gale, Alene Kempton-Gregg, Beth Herlin, Geri Kromminga, Sandi Miller, Barbara Neill, Kathleen Palmer, elinor peace baily, Linda Reinert, Wilma Scott, Emily Smith, Jane Wolfe, Beverly Woodard and Hedda Wright.

Their show takes the form of wall hangings except for one stand-out soft-sculptured chair.  They’re immensely talented women, according to Kane, who willingly share their expertise so that they all benefit from experiments with paints, yarns, stamps, buttons, metal, paper, cord, bleach and ink.

The fiber artists will be on hand for the First Friday opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gallery.  Live music will be provided by 
Brad Jensen.  The event is free and open to the public.

For the remainder of the month, Red and Black Attack! will be on view during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

First Friday Artist's Reception 
October 7   5 - 8 pm

Always a treat to have Brad Jensen play his wonderful music for us.

Gallery guests in Star Wars costumes  - another DCA First Friday activity.

Checking out the pumpkin which was part of the DCA First Friday event.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Bird's-Eye View: Landscapes and Nests

Bird’s-Eye View: Landscapes and Nests” Sept. 2-30
Birds and their habitat are the common elements for two artists who are meeting for the first time at Second Story Gallery in September. Joanne Adams Roth stitches her birds (and nests) onto fabric while Wilson Cady paints what he observes in the Columbia Gorge and as a founding member of the Vancouver Audubon Society.

“Bird’s-eye View: Landscapes and Nests” will be unveiled at a First Friday artists’ reception Sept. 2 and continue through Sept. 30. Roth and Cady will be available at the reception from 5 to 8 p.m. to answer questions about their art forms and the way they bring birds to roost.

Roth, a mechanical engineer who has traveled the world, says quilting is the thread that tied together her friends and homes until she reached her current, Vancouver residence. She sees her use of mixed media fibers as a kind of nest building, combining materials that include ribbons, old book pages, wool roving, goat hair, even lichen.

“Nests are nature’s mixed media art form,” she points out. “They represent home, safety, security, comfort, and are a place of retreat.” Art quilts have been Roth’s focus for the last 10 years. The award-winning quilter has had her work published in books and magazines and has taught classes since 1991. She currently belongs to Clark County Quilters, Columbia Fiberarts Guild and High Fiber Diet.

Cady is a Camas-Washougal native who worked at the Camas mill from high school graduation through his 2008 retirement. A life-long painter, he says he has found more time for his creative outlet since leaving behind flip-charts for training classes and illustrations in company log books. On the board of the Audubon Society since 1976, Cady was part of a study group that created the Silver Star Mountain Roadless Area, worked on the protection of Steigerwald Lake as a National Wildlife Refuge and helped found the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge.

He has led birding and natural history tours for over 40 years and has contributed to publications like the American Birding Association’s handbook. Just as he shared his love of the local habitat through words and deeds, Cady says he paints local views hoping to draw a viewer into a scene to spark an interest in exploring the location in person.

“In my paintings I try to capture those moments that fill me with awe, so that I can share them with others,” he explains. Applying translucent acrylic paint in layers, Cady says he finds the application of paint to canvas to be like meditation. “Some people fill the long winter nights playing on their laptops or watching television, I dab paint.”

The September exhibit at Second Story Gallery joins the two mediums of Cady and Roth, who share a love of birds and their local habitat. In addition, Brad Jensen will provide music during the First Friday reception at the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library from 5 to 8 p.m.

Bird’s-eye View, Landscapes and Nests” will remain on view through Sept. 30 during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 

First Friday Artist's Reception
September 2   5 - 8 pm
Public is Welcome!!

Photos from reception...

Wilson Cady and Joanne Adams Roth

Add caption

Brad Jensen

Monday, June 27, 2016

Laminae: Working in Layers

Laminae, a group art installation by Red Dot, Artists at Work, may be viewed July 1 through August 30, 2016. A reception will be held Aug. 5 from 5-8 pm in the gallery.  Live music provided by Rod London.

Red Dot, Artists at Work is a diverse group of visual artists dedicated to inspiring each other and sharing resources in pursuit of their artistic vision. We seek to generate interest in art and connect with a wide audience through exhibitions in multiple settings that include but are not limited to non-traditional art venues. In so doing, we are advocating for an egalitarian, accessible and non-exclusive approach to the experience of art appreciation. Our hope is to reach a broad audience, encouraging both aficionados and neophytes to enjoy, appreciate, be challenged by and engage with the work that we create.

The artists comprising Red Dot, Artists at Work met as students of Bonnie Kahn's Artist Boot Camp. The class was a six-week series learning how to market art, particularly in Portland. After the class ended, the artists held a group show entitled Stepping Out. That experience evolved into forming the cooperative, Red Dot, Artists at Work.

Each artist brings unique experiences and expertise that enriches the group and supports the other members. The diversity of our cooperative strengthens each artist as we learn from and support one another; and makes a more interesting body of work for viewers.

Each of the nine artists exhibiting in the show have focused on the theme, Laminae. [Laminae; meaning thin plates, scales or layers, a layer or coat lying over another, a layer of sediment in geology, or layers of meaning.] Some pieces use the theme in the process of the work, others the object itself, and some leaving an intuitive dimension of meaning to the viewer.

Here is a brief introduction of the artists of Laminae and the process of their art:

Kelly Powers
( is showing mixed media portraits utilizing acrylic and watercolor paints, pencil, crayon, pen and ink, and a collection of her own painted papers. She has a fascination with texture and producing textures using various processes. Using mixed media introduced her to layering. Layering and pattern are two of the most dominant elements in her work. She begins with a textured background and pulls and pushes the image to the fore with dark stencils and glazes of light.

Diana Lee Jackson 
has taken the traditional Americana woman's art form of quilting to a new level of sophistication with her abstract fiber art pieces. In her current work, she delves into what's beneath the surface; how we present ourselves when underneath there's more than what meets the eye. She uses transparent organza layered over pieced cotton fabric to reveal what would otherwise be hidden. Her quilting adds to this, using thread as line to express rather raw emotions.

Jennie O'Connor
( creates her colorful textured abstracts intuitively using acrylic paint, self-crafted collage papers and various tools. Her works utilize a wide range of color and have a dignity of form, and graceful movement. 

Maggie Maggio 
( has spent decades exploring the art and science of color and is currently working to change how color is taught in the 21st Century. A collection of her polymer clay work was featured in Polymer Journeys, The Art & Craft of Polymer 2016, a journal of the best international polymer art. Pieces from that collection, (In) Organic, are showcased in Laminae.


Laurel Swetnam
( works with polymer clay to depict the natural world of seed pods, anemones and flowers in small vessels. She plies the clay in many layers, - shapes it into designs, molds it to form vessels, bakes it hard, and sands it. 

Bob Shepps 
uses whatever materials and means available to create his visions. The grain in his figurative wood sculptures show the layered growth process of that medium, while his clay and resin sculptures are the end product of applying layers of material over a metal and wood armature. His sculptures have a rush of movement and are infused with his great sense of humor.

First Friday Artist's Reception
August 5  5 - 8 pm

Mary Hill 
often works plein air with acrylic paint and tissue paper to capture the landscape before her. She enjoys the challenge of a limited palette to create bold abstract landscapes, letting the layers of paper and paint mix on the surface, entering into the magic of art making.

Consu Tolosa 
( uses her enjoyment of observing people with her particular aesthetic in an intuitive process to create her Personitas. She paints in a spirit of play and joy that is embodied in her work. She departs from her usual style for this show with a collection of abstracts connecting the intricacies of life, finding elements of beauty and joy while staying connected in that complexity. Consu has recently contributed an illustration to a child's book that will be published for the benefit of children receiving treatment in the hospital.