This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s Arts Review program. Have you ever been walking through one of Oregon’s beautiful forests and been amazed by an old log patterned with bark beetle tunnels? Everyone always exclaims about how much those elaborate squiggles look like some kind of writing--Viking runes, maybe, or Eygptian hieroglyphs. Artist Jim Frazer thinks so, too, and you can see his large patinated copper leaf on wood wall sculptures based on these shapes at the current show at Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene.
The exhibition is called “Natural Affinity,” and Portlanders Gail Owen and Lynn Pedersen round out the trio of artists who have filled the galleries with color, light, sculptural shapes and innovation.
I had the pleasure of meeting Lynn Pedersen at the opening event. She took a moment to talk to me about her interesting ceramic sculptures. The two we were looking at were round-ish and about the size of a small grapefruit. Each was smooth but shaped differently. One called “Wild Iris” had a concave surface on one side that had a detailed relief of an iris in it. The other had details of a poppy. These are hollow objects that you can tell would feel good in your hand.
I asked if the tiny hole in the top was for a decorative dried stem. Lynn was surprised and said it was actually part of the kilning process, but what a good idea.
Gail Owen is the third artist, and my eye was caught by a big, colorful print that featured the bring, repeated shapes of koi fish against blue tiles. I’d never heard of this before, but the koi and other striking images were hand-pulled linoleum reduction prints. Apparently, Gail sews multiple prints together to form these repeating patterns. I’d have to see that process to really understand what it means, but as a viewer, I had no problem thoroughly enjoying her vibrant works.
This show, “Natural Affinity,” will be at Maude Kerns Art Center through August 21, so make a point of stopping by. I have some interesting photos of the opening and show up on the Viz City blog, too.
Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.