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.