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Karin Clarke Pulled the Ruby from the Forge by Creating the Eugene Biennial

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Sandy Brown Jensen
KLCC host of Viz City was one of 33 out of 200 artists who were chosen to exhibit in the Eugene Biennial. "Silver Master of Heceta Head" is printed on transparency film and silvered with genuine silver leaf.

This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s arts review program. First Friday is coming up the day after tomorrow. I guarantee that in the dead of a dismal winter, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make more memories while the sun and the art were shining so bright in early September. If you haven’t visited the Eugene Biennial at the downtown Karin Clarke Gallery, this Friday is a very good time to do so.

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By permission of the gallery
The Eugene Biennial exhibit has been beautifully curated in the Karin Clarke Gallery, 760 Willamette

For Eugene newbies, a little about the Eugene Biennial. Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a wonderful annual event called the Eugene Celebration. The crown jewel of the week was the Mayor’s Art Show, much lauded and applauded, but apparently nothing gold can stay. That Dreamtime went up bureaucratic fire, but Karin Clarke pulled the ruby out of the forge and created the Eugene Biennial.

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By permission of the gallery
Kris Hurwit (Eugene) "No News, 2022" Oil on canvas - 12" x 9" x 1.5"

This big juried show happens on alternate years. The award winners this year get the privilege of a one-year-later exhibition in 2023.

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By permission of the gallery
Stephanie Ames (Florence) "140 Years Gone By, 2019" Photography - 20" x 16" x 2"

Which is to say this history is OUR history. This year 200 artists submitted and 33 were chosen to exhibit their work, including yours truly.

I do something rare and beautiful—I think— I print photos on transparency film then gild or silver them with 24K gold or genuine silver leaf. The big Raven you’ll see in the show was taken at the Heceta Head Lighthouse overlook. You’ve probably met this guy yourself. He was regal to begin with and the gilding process only enhances his glow of power.

What I love about this show is its sheer variety. Best of Show is a sculpture of a whimsical animal referred to as Vegan Taxidermy by Marjorie Taylor.

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By permission of the gallery
Heather Jacks, "Westward Radiance" Oil on canvas - 22" x 30" x .75"

And I’m crazy about Heather Jack’s dreamy land and skyscapes. Tom Miller’s “Breakfast with Bela” is a bright realistic acrylic of a unique individual in a cafe setting. It’s all happening at the Karin Clarke Gallery, 760 Willamette this First Friday.

This is Sandy Brown Jensen for KLCC.

Sandy Brown Jensen has an MFA in Poetry and is a retired writing instructor from Lane Community College. She is an artist and a photographer with a lifetime interest in looking at and talking about art. Sandy hosts KLCC's long-running arts review program Viz City.