Saturday, July 29, 2017

James H. Smith - Underwater Around the World



Second Story Gallery Photographer Explores the Underwater World

Photographer James H. Smith has always enjoyed nature photography but when he started scuba diving, a whole new world opened up.  Starting in 2009, he began diving and taking pictures in special places around the world.

The upcoming show at Second Story Gallery reveals some of what he sees under the waves.  In an attempt to wring the most out of the last days of summer, the warm-water show will span two months from Aug. 4 to Sept. 28.  Smith has collected images of sea creatures from many exotic dive spots and calls his show “Underwater Around the World.”  The photographer, whose home port is Vancouver, will be on hand to talk about his work at an opening reception during First Friday in downtown Camas, from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 4. 

Smith says he had been diving for about a year when he acquired an underwater camera and his interest in this specialized photography took off.  “I was and continue to be amazed by the beauty and diversity of underwater life,” he says.  His skill with the extraordinary subject matter has led to publication in Dive Training Magazine and Underwater Photography.

Now he’s filling Second Story Gallery with photos taken in such diverse locales as the Red Sea, Cozumel and the Philippines.  The exhibit will include conventionally printed and framed pieces but also photographs printed on metal, which Smith says is particularly well-suited for the colors and details of underwater life.

Smith will unveil his photographs at August’s First Friday in the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.   The event is free and open to the public.  “Underwater Around the World” will continue through Sept. 28 during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  It's located at 625 NE Fourth Ave. in Camas.


First Friday Artist's Reception
August 4  5 - 8 pm
Live music preformed by Anthony Utehs












Saturday, July 1, 2017

"Paintings by Tom Relth"

Grist Mill Pooling


Meet local artist Tom Relth at Second Story Gallery during First Friday July 7th, 5 -8 pm and enjoy complimentary refreshments and the music of keyboardist Brad Jensen. 

The painter combines abstract brush strokes with actual representations from nature, hoping to guide viewers to see what he calls his hypothetical landscapes.  He will be exhibiting these windows into the world at Second Story Gallery from 
July 7 through 29.


Whipple Creek

"My work is at once abstract and representational. I work in abstract landscape, and of my experience, hoping to guide our survival mechanisms to “read” the painting as a kind of window into this hypothetical landscape.

By tackling the picture plane, first based upon that experience, I attempt to capture an illusion of space within the accompanying foreground. Within this, using the natural elements of representation as clues, one perceives a place to explore. Here, there are no actual trees, leaves, or rocks or other “clues”. There is no trail. There is no horizon line. Yet, within these colors, there is a place to go. Hopefully, I reach a complexity as in nature.

The works attempt to share a vision of the rational and representational, but also the unseen and unspoken spiritual spaces of the creation. The color choice in the works may evoke synesthetic associations in the viewer. If one remains quiet with the paintings, it is possible to sense a kind of silent music.”       - Tom Relth 


Whipple Creek
           

Sunday, May 28, 2017

"Come Rain or Come Shine" Steve McCarthy




Photographer Steve McCarthy likes to say that because he was born in San Francisco, he grew up in the shadows of John Muir and Ansel Adams.  That’s how he developed an early love of nature along with an interest in photography.

Lucky for us, he now calls Washougal home.  His landscapes will grace the walls of Second Story Gallery in June, and here's your invitation to the opening reception.  Come meet this award-winning photographer and Washougal resident at our First Friday Artist's Reception June 2nd from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  Live music will be provided by Jeremy Tuell.

Steve's work was recently selected for display in the Portland Japanese Garden calendar and he was named a finalist in the 2016 Great American Landscape contest in Outdoor Photography Magazine.  USA Today’s “10 Best” also selected one of his photos of the Grand Canyon for their anniversary article on the National Parks.  All three of these landscapes will be available for viewing during his new show in Camas, which will run through June 29.

Check out Steve's website for more of his amazing work.  
www.solstice-photography.com

First Friday Artist's Reception
Friday June 2   5 - 8 pm
Music provided by Jeremy Tuell

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Images from the Interior




“Images from the Interior” is a dual art exhibit from two artists who were introduced when they were selected by Second Story Gallery for its May show.  Both use their chosen tools to explore beyond the surface.  Often that surface begins life as a portrait but goes deeper to capture an inner quality.

Earlene Holmstrom sticks to pastels to capture the spark.  She will be joined by Douglas Keith who paints and sculpts to get to the interior of his subject matter.  They will unveil their recent works at a reception on First Friday, May 5, from  to 8 p.m. in the Gallery. 
Keith experiments with a variety of textures and styles to capture his subjects, but he also notes his ideas and images come to him for some internal source.  He says he suspects they may come from the same place where dreams and myths originate, and that capturing them becomes a dialogue between the creator and the created.  His pieces range from dreamy landscapes to what could be death masks from an ancient--or alien--civilization.  His mediums include mesh, wood, basalt, molded cloth and paper.

While Keith looks inward for inspiration, Holmstrom spends her time observing passersby.  She says she loves the challenge of capturing subtle nuances in each face as well as the emotional message in the figure.  Nothing inspires her painting more than the people she encounters daily, she says.

Holmstrom spent her teen years working at the Ringling Art Museum in Florida but only recently settled on soft pastels for her own style.  She says she loves the vibrancy, the layers that can be built on paper and the feel of them in her hands.  Walking into her studio, she says, is like walking into a rainbow.

Both artists have turned to their mediums after careers in other fields.  Their combined show, a mix of images that delve into the interior of each subject, will open May 5 and continue through May 27 in the Gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  In addition to the artists, keyboardist Brad Jensen will be at the First Friday reception with live music.




Second Story Gallery is open during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  It’s located at 625 NE Fourth Ave. in Camas.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

"From Our Point of View"







Photography by students from Camas High School takes over Second Story Gallery during the month of April. Titled “From Our Point of View,” the work includes character portraits, action shots and art photos as sophisticated as any found in a glossy magazine spread. These advanced students of teacher Doug Huegli will cap their spring break by attending an opening reception in their honor during First Friday, April 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. 

According to Huegli, digital photography courses were added to film photography at the high school 13 years ago. With the opening of the new high school the next year, film photography went by the wayside and his digital classes have expanded from 16 students to the current 131. More than 1000 have passed through the classes, drawn from every grade level.


Returning students sign up for Advanced Photo and a few pursue advanced placement in photography, where they can meet criteria for higher education in the field. These young photographers, drawn from both the advanced class and advanced placement, are the ones taking part in the Second Story Gallery show. They include Trevor Gjerswold, Allyssa Heilbrun, Kelsy Lawrence, Nicholas Murray, Alexis Royal, Hunter Wade, Matthew Williams, Johanna Froehlich and Clancy Morgan.

As Huegli points out, the Camas School District has a close connection to the community and Second Story Gallery, where other student art has had a turn. He notes that in the past 25 years, school programs and students have really put Camas on the map. “Sports have dominated those headlines and hype, but in the background, artistically and academically, Camas is so much stronger,” he says. “The creativity and caliber of our students builds year by year.”

The show will continue through April 29 in the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library. It’s open to the public, with free admission, 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 Artists' Reception April 7  5-8 pm
Live music will be provided by Brad Jensen









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