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

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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.

Friday, May 27, 2016

"Some Things Old, Some Things New"

Only a few more days.

The auction for an original oil painting at Second Story Gallery will end at 5 p.m. June 18.  All bids must be received at the silent auction site, inside the gallery in the Camas Public Library, 625 NE 4th Ave.

Artist Jim Gola painted the large scene of Mount Hood in autumn tones and will donate the auction price to the volunteer art gallery.  The framed work of art is on view at the top of the stairs at the Camas Public Library, allowing art lovers the chance to visit and bid multiple times on the masterpiece.

At the close of the auction June 18, Gallery board president Joel Emanuel will confirm and contact the highest bidder so you do not need to be present to win.  Meanwhile, the full exhibit of Gola’s work, titled Some Things Old, Some Things New, will remain on view through June 29.

June’s Artist Will Present a Decade of Oil Painting

“Some Things Old, Some Things New” is a theme that captures the exhibit at Second Story Gallery in June. Artist Jim Gola will label each of his 30-some landscapes with the date it was painted over the last ten years, hoping viewers will enjoy watching the progression in his art.  He says a good eye will see subtle but distinctive improvements (in his view at least) in his technique, composition and handling of color.
Lucia Falls in July
“Many artists who have lived for nearly eight decades as I have,” Gola notes, “are either purchasing a more comfortable easy chair or taking a longer nap than usual.”  He admits to the latter but says he tries to keep current by staying involved with the local art community, especially with “my younger generation of artist friends who have like-minded artistic tastes.”  He is a founding member of the Northwest Oil Painters Guild, based in Vancouver.

A Fall Landscape
Gola will be on hand to explain his retrospective at the First Friday reception that unveils his show June 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Gallery.  Also on display will be an original oil of Mount Hood created by Gola that will be the centerpiece of a silent auction.  The artist is donating all proceeds to Second Story Gallery when the auction closes at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 18.

Gola’s oil painting style borrows from the early 20th century, no surprise since he says he’s an admirer of two of that era’s most famous landscape artists, George Inness and Thomas Moran.  But it was discovering the still lifes of another traditionalist Michael William Harnett, as a 15-year-old youngster in Philadelphia that led Gola to pick up a brush and start painting in oils while still a teenager.  He finds it ironic that Inness, with his landscapes, didn’t get along with Harnett and his still lifes.  “Regardless of their feelings for each other,” he says, “I hope a little of each of them has rubbed off on me.”

Gola says he doesn’t believe in self-taught artists.  With one year of night school in commercial illustration, he credits studying the original paintings of “the Masters” as the basis for what he calls his most formal schooling.  “From Giotto to Picasso, there is always more to learn for the inquisitive artist or art lover,” according to Gola, who retired to Woodland after a career as a designer of custom homes.  As he nears the age of 80, the painter says he hopes his Camas show will be an encouragement to fellow artists of his generation to  "Keep on keeping on.”  He adds, “May the hands holding the brushes continue to follow the heart as well as the head.”

Gola’s show, “Some Things Old, Some Things New,” will remain on display through June 29 in the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  The First Friday reception for the artist, part of the Downtown Camas Association activities, will feature live music by Brad Jensen.

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

Monday, May 2, 2016


Second Story Gallery will exhibit dramatic landscapes in May photographed by Israel Scott Williams, the culminating step to his senior project for Camas High School.  The 18-year-old photographer made the cut through the gallery’s jurying process--just like any other selected artist--and his work will be unveiled at the customary First Friday reception May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Williams was born in Honolulu, HI, but says he has been raised in the “amazing city of Camas” since he was five years old.  He credits growing up here for his love of the outdoors, calling photography a great hobby because it allows him to spend plenty of time exploring the great Northwest.  His show, ‘Wanderlust,” consists of large-format views of the area’s iconic mountains, beaches and treescapes.  Sometimes the photographer inserts himself in the pictures, almost to prove that “I was there.”

Williams is enthusiastic about photography and about his hometown, giving credit to Camas schools for his creative focus.  “When I look back at my time in the Camas School District, one thing in particular seems to stand out,” he notes, “the district's emphasis on creativity, art and expression.
“The art programs were always my happiest places in school, and i'm so glad that Camas has such great art teachers and such a wide variety of classes, especially in the high school.  If I could impress on anybody anything about the classes at CHS, it would be to take as many art classes as you can.”

Amazingly, the CHS senior says he turned to photography only last summer when his sister sent him her old Canon camera in the mail.  He says he spent weeks fiddling with it before he figured out how to use it.  But he says his failures added up to lots of camera-time and “learning the knowledge and tricks to always improve my shot and express myself.”  His fiddling has led to a passion for video as well as photography, and to his senior project which is a requirement for graduation this spring.

The First Friday reception, part of the Downtown Camas Association activities, will feature live music by Brad Jensen.  Williams’ show, Wanderlust, will remain on display through May  28 in the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  Second Story Gallery is open to the public during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  Entrance is at 625 NE 4th Ave, Camas.

 First Friday Artist's Reception
May 6    5 - 8 pm

Friday, March 25, 2016

"Northwest Dreaming"

This month’s show at the Second Story Gallery features two women who started out early as artists and whose works, though very different in style, illustrate similar themes of Pacific Northwest nature and myths.

Kari Jensen will exhibit acrylic paintings of birds, trees and other images from nature with a hint of magical realism, while  
Aimee Reimschussel will be presenting examples of her unique totemic cut-out images of fish, birds and other animals of the Pacific Northwest.

Kari’s art is rooted in story, myth and spiritual connections to the natural world. You will see birds in her art. “Birds play a big role in many stories, and in this migratory area, they can't help but be an inspiration for visual artists,” she explains.  She uses the term “magical realism” to describe her work because, although her images are drawn from the “real world,” they are not purely realistic. “My desire is to capture moments of realization, subtle epiphanies.”

Raven Triquetra

Kari says she slipped into her role as an artist “pretty much from Day One,” giving up a short-lived pre-school goal of becoming a dentist.  She spent time in the theater, studying theater design, animation and history at UCLA. Her artistic career has included painting and sculpting at Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, and Don Bluth’s animation studio.  A resident of Camas, she is currently repairing the Crown Park spring toys and she hopes to design some new play structures in the near future.

Aimee’s classical artistic education was part of a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, art and English from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.Her first sales were cut-paper cards featuring Utah landscapes in a local gallery gift shop. Her range grew to include larger cut paper works that exhibited in a small gallery in San Angelo, Texas, and then sent to auction for charity in Ogden, in 2003.  In 2005, her entry in the national Fiskars "Ready, Set, Craft!" competition earned her a trip to Chicago where she placed fourth nationally.

Aimee’s interests changed in part when her second child, born in 2007, was diagnosed with autism, resulting in the need for therapy. She moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2007 and fell in love with the environment. She says it’s the inspiration for her wall art which has won national, state, and local awards.

“Northwest Dreaming” continues through April 30, where it can be viewed 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
April 1, 5 - 8 pm
Music provided by guitarist Michael Baker

Friday, February 26, 2016

Dave and Boni Deal: Raku and Paintings

If you could see heat, this would be where you would find it.  The ceramic creations of Dave and Boni Deal are fired in a 2000°F kiln, then immediately plunged into a barrel of fir boughs and other organic materials.  The high heat, rapid cooling, and flames and smoke throughout the process are what give the Deals’ raku pieces their beautiful crackled glaze and metallic accents.

Batik Bowl
Dave and Boni tell us they work together on their pottery, an art they've been pursuing for 40 years.  Dave focuses on forming clay at the potter’s wheel, glazing and firing,  and says he likes the challenge of fine-tuning his pieces.  Boni draws surface imagery and does “a lot of behind-the-scenes jobs,” she says with a smile.  She also paints with acrylics in a water-color style, made to harmonize with the pottery.

Trillium Batik

In addition, the couple has invented “batik raku” bowls decorated with a technique Boni developed after experimenting with batik on fabric. These bowls are created with wax and glazes applied in intricate patterns and then raku-fired. They can be used for holding dry items and for decorative art; they can hold liquids only with a liner.

The Camas couple, known throughout the country for their pottery style, will bring 30 pieces to Second Story Gallery in March for their first large exhibit in several years in their hometown.  The Deals will be on hand for a public reception as part of First Friday in Downtown Camas from 5 to 8 p.m. March 4 in the gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.

This March show, titled “Dave and Boni Deal: Raku Ceramics and Paintings,” will reflect Pacific Northwest imagery, according to Boni.  It ranges from the small batik bowls to triptychs and platters and a large “Egret Ewer” over four feet high.
Water Triptych

Dave and Boni have worked full-time in the ceramic arts since their student days, raising their three kids on the property where they operate their studio.   They sell selected pieces at Camas Art Gallery and in addition, their work is permanently on display at the Camas Public Library where they were commissioned  to create a clay Mt. Hood scene as part of the 2003 building renovation.  Their art is in public and private collections throughout the world and is known for its large classical forms and intricate surface design.

Those who know them and collect their work know the Deals live and work without electricity to fire that earthen kiln.   Boni says they’re inspired by the local environment which they access from their mountainside property.  "We like to hike in the Gorge, and our Camas area home and workshop are in the woods and off the grid, so we use nature themes like native plants and wildlife --- God’s creations,” she says.

The Deals’ creative process was filmed for public broadcasting's “Oregon Art Beat” and  can be seen online at   More information about the artists and the gallery can be found at and

Music provided by Anthony Utehs on guitar.  
The show will run through March 26 and is open during the library's regular hours,  10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Love through the Lens

That venerable institution, the Camas Camera Club, will present current work during the month of February at Second Story Gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  The club was formed in 2011 to provide a forum for local photographers and a place to share creativity.  

Taking advantage of Valentine’s day, the group show is called “Love through the Lens.”  The theme was chosen, according to club founder Kirsten Muskat, because the photographers wanted to “peer behind the curtain of love.

“Realizing that love is a word that has been overused and commercialized, we felt like we needed to explore and deepen our understanding of love in ourselves,”  she said, noting  themes of romantic love, brotherly love, platonic love and love of life.

These interpretations on the theme of love will be unveiled at a First Friday reception for the photographers Feb. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gallery.  Club members taking part in addition to Muskat are Karen Elliott, Shonda Feather, Tonja Frank, Cheri Jackson, Suzanne Michalik, Laura Mae Miller, Clayton Ravsten, Stephanie Roberts, Cindy Schroeder, Lou Steffey, Tonette Sweet, Les Taylor, Tom West and Tracy Woods.  Some are founding members of the camera club while others joined in the last year.

“Love through the Lens” will continue through Feb. 27 and is available for viewing during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Providing music for the opening reception will be Mary LaFrance on guitar.  This public event is open to all, with refreshments and an opportunity to meet the photographers.  Entrance is at 625 NE 4th Ave, Camas.

First Friday Artist's Reception
February 5   5 - 8 p.m.

Live Music at Photography Opening

Second Story Gallery will feature Mary LaFrance on guitar during the First Friday reception for the Camas Camera Club.  The exhibit features the work of 15 photographers showing their vision of “Love through the Lens.

Mary is a recording artist and songwriter who is working on her third solo album.  She performed last month at Pink the Rink, a Portland Winterhawks' hockey game supporting breast cancer awareness.  And one of Mary’s original compositions was used in a Christmas program in a region in India.  She says she hails from a musical family and has been singing since she was three years old.

The Washougal native will play between 5 and 8 p.m. on Feb. 5, as part of First Friday in downtown Camas.  Second Story Gallery is upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  The photography will be on display through Feb. 27 and is available for viewing during regular library hours.