This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s Arts Review program. As we have moved into Phase 1 and 2, a number of galleries and arts businesses within the KLCC listening area have started to open their doors again.
But gone are all those festive First Fridays with open platters of finger food and endless public pours of Three Buck Chuck. Rest in Peace, First Fridays, and welcome First Friday ArtWeeks. This is hopefully a more sensible approach to bringing us art lovers downtown in a less people-dense environment where masks and social distancing have become a new and natural norm.
For your first sortie to see Eugene art should be to the New Zone Gallery at 22 W. 7th, open daily 12 to 6. There’s a kaleidoscope of art to be seen there, but don’t miss Featured Artist Joseph Lieberman’s show, “Dream Escapes.” I bring your attention to one bright and colorful mixed media piece called “Harlequin Dreams.” A harlequin is in bed sitting up in front of stained glass windows speaking earnestly to a gold-haloed Holy Man while suggestive dream elements of a nude and a Crusader sword come in and out of focus.
Lieberman says his artistic intent is to create a sense of journey, to take the viewers someplace they may have never been and yet they recognize. He says he wants that journey to be fascinating, edgy, and mysterious. I think Lieberman’s worlds are exactly where my imagination wants to go to renew itself.
A second big space in the back of New Zone is the PhotoZone Gallery. Especially moving is a wall of images by Eugene’s late, great photographer C. A. Burns. Haunting gorilla eyes follow you through your visual journey.
Burns always said his work was deeply personal, that for him photography was like keeping a visual diary of his life, that all of his photographs are autobiographical. It’s a privilege to study this wall of superb photos and enter into the very private yet crystal clear soul of C. A. Burns.
Maude Kerns Art Center’s doors are also open, so keep that mask on in and come on in to see a show called “Inspired Instructors: Work by Maude Kerns Instructors.” The same show is available and for sale online.
Find your comfort level and come see art either in person or online; the main thing is to drink your fill of art.
Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.