Dianne Story Cunningham at the New Zone Gallery

Dec 27, 2017

Dianne Story Cunningham has an opening at the New Zone Gallery Jan. 5, 2018
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen

Dianne Story Cunningham at the New Zone Gallery 

Viz City's Sandy Brown Jensen interviewed Dianne Story Cunningham of New Zone Gallery

Tues. Dec. 12, 2017 for a broadcast date of Wed. Dec. 27, 2017

RE: New Zone Gallery, Opens Jan. 5, 2018

You’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s Arts Review program. This week I’m visiting with Dianne Story Cunningham, President of the New Zone Gallery in downtown Eugene, and playful clay artist.

"I work primarily in clay," states Cunningham, "I create faces, which is interesting because I have great difficulty recognizing people, even my own friends."

In spite of her prosopagnosia, Dianne is drawn to create very playful, colorful faces that are flat with some dimension, that hang on a wall.  Each piece is the result of a lengthy process.

"Each piece takes about seven hours," she saiys. "I start with a lump of clay. I roll it out. I cut the shape. And then I use various scraps to build the features on each piece. They are each individual. I do them one at a time, so none of them could ever look the same."


Four of Cunningham's playful masks with the whimsical names ready to be displayed at the New Zone Gallery in her upcoming 2018 show.
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen

After glazing, firing and attaching earrings and metal decorative elements, the fun begins: Each one has a whimsical title.

“'She Often Rehearsed at the Theater of Small Hurts.'  This one really applies to me, 'She Surrounded herself With Books in Hopes That She Had Time to Read Them,' and 'She Often Needed the Purification of Solitude.' I have many friends who reflect that one."

Clearly, Dianne takes a lot of care and pleasure in making these cheerful masks.


Dianne Story Cunningham with one of her clay masks at the New Zone Gallery
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen

"The deepest joy really is selling them and seeing them go to people and know that they are in their homes. I walk in my friends’ homes and almost everyone has a piece hanging that I see. And the other part is that I donate all my proceeds to local non-profits. This show I have coming up is for ShelterCare."

Dianne's work will be featured at New Zone Gallery from January 6th through the 28th.

The New Zone Gallery is a nonprofit cooperative that features the work of over 60 members of the New Zone Artists Collective.  It is located a block down the street from KLCC at 220 West 8th. Learn more and see images of Dianne and her work at the Viz City blog on KLCC.org.

Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.

A panoramic view of the New Zone Gallery with Dianne Story Cunningham preparing for her show.
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen