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VIZ CITY BLOG: Audio, photos, transcripts & more by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.Airs every other Wednesday during Morning Edition and Here & Now.

The Eugene Darkroom Group Shows at O’Brien Imaging

gallery view
Sandy Brown Jensen

  This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s arts review program. Today, I’d like to encourage us to open our eyes and pay special attention to all the little micro art shows popping up in restaurants, coffee shops and pocket galleries. No matter where you are in our KLCC listening area, artists are bravely putting their art out there to be appreciated. Don’t decide not to walk into a little gallery  just because you don’t want to buy anything. An appreciative smile, a word of recognition for something you love is welcome coin of the realm for any artist or art business.

A really nice example of a tiny gallery showing visit-worthy art is O’Brien Imaging next to Harlequin Beads on Willamette and about 29th. This pocket gallery is currently showing analog and alternative photography from The Eugene Darkroom Group. Why this show is cool is because every piece of art is done by some hand-made, old-school process with nerdy names like platinum palladium and cyanotype. But you don’t have to know the processes apart to appreciate the hard work that goes into any 100% handmade, as in non-digital, art form.


Credit By permission of the gallery.
Karen Landey. Catch a Falling Starfish, 2021. Cyanotype.

Some of these are made out in somebody’s backyard using the sun to expose the image, and I’m thinking now of Karen Landey’s piece called “Catch a Falling Starfish,” a cyanotype made just that way. It is a mysterious deep indigo image of a Victorian woman in front of a window with a doll nearby in a chair. The woman seems to have dropped or tossed the starfish; there’s real action in the starfish adding to the mystery of the moment.


skeleton image
Credit By permission of the gallery.
Jen Blue. Nichoir Dans Ton Ame. 2021. Silver Gelatin on Aluminum.

Another piece that should really end up in the Maude Kerns Day of the Dead show is a fascinating, almost 3-D skeleton by Jen Blue that is a silver gelatin on aluminum. There are sunflowers emerging from the skeletal torso emphasizing the life in death theme of the autumn season, and an ornate frame is going to set this composition beautifully on somebody’s Dia de los Muertos altar.


O’Brien Imaging is open 1-5 Monday through Friday.

There are other tiny shows all around us.  Look for art in unusual locations, and don’t be afraid to stick your head in and take a look. “I love it!” and “Thank you for your art!” are kind words that make the world go around.

This is Sandy Brown Jensen for KLCC.


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