Mother River: The Columbia and Her Tributaries
Exhibition July 2nd-31st, 2021
Opening Reception: Friday July 2nd from 6-8pm
The Pacific Northwest is known for its amazing rivers – many of which pour into the Columbia. The Columbia is a source of livelihood, commerce, recreation, transportation, food, and irrigation. The goal of the show is to celebrate the stunning Gorge landscape with a specific focus on our rivers. We all love our rivers and want to see them preserved and respected. This show is an effort to raise awareness about our rivers. It is also an opportunity to exhibit the work of the many talented landscape artists in the region. What does the river mean to you?
Artists for the show include the remarkable works of Toma Villa, Don Bailey, Peter Boome, Nancy Houfek-Brown, Brian Chambers, Sue Southerland, Christine Knowles, Amirra Malak, Chad Mayo, Sue Allen, Allison McClay, Virgil Harper, Sally Bills Bailey, and accompanied by Dee Tory in the Entryway Gallery.
This show displays work by invited artists. Invited artists are those typically more well-known or they are established artists invited by the juror/curator.
(This is not a juried show. Juried artists are artists who are selected out of applicants for the show.)
Brian Chambers; My primary photographic goal is to capture and share the beauty and restorative power of the natural world. I love trying to balance the artistic components of photography with the technical challenges of capturing an image. Success in landscape photography requires one to spend time in nature; watching more sunrises, staring at the rising moon, sitting beneath a star filled sky, hiking into the wilderness in an effort to capture that unique light that can make a scene come alive. Getting all of the components to come together to make an image that moves people and preserves that unique moment is my reward.
Allison McClay; I am an illustrator, muralist and painter born and raised in Oregon. Though the rich colors and wild beauty of this region have always influenced my work, I am new to painted landscapes.
This piece began as an illustration for Washington State Parks to show what the mouth of the Columbia looked like before a jetty was built at its Northern edge in 1917, completely transforming the coastline. I became fascinated with the idea that people have been working for over a century now to try to make this river mouth safer, yet it remains one of the most treacherous and unpredictable river entrances to navigate today.
Sally Bills Bailey; Living at the base of Mt. Hood for over 25 years, Sally Bills Bailey has long been known in the Gorge and nationally for her paintings which reflect her love of mountains, snow, trees, and wilderness. Winters spent in the Southwest offer new challenges of warm colors, and dynamic rugged landscapes.
She is known for her vivid paintings with BOLD SHAPES AND BOLD COLORS in both watercolor and acrylic on canvas. Sally achieves these bold colors by using lots of pigment and not much water. She constantly composes paintings in her mind – noting the light, shapes and colors she sees — to be used later in her paintings. Sally enjoys creating both abstract and realistic artwork. The Gorge and Mt. Hood remains one of her favorite subjects: No two paintings are ever the same.
Sally has received numerous national awards for her work as a Signature member of the National Watercolor Society (NWS), the Northwest Watercolor Society, and the Watercolor Society of Oregon.
Her paintings are currently exhibited at the Portland Museum Rental/Sales Gallery and in Hood River, Oregon. You are invited to visit Sally at her home studio to see a complete collection of works.
Don Bailey; In my native Hoopa language, kiwhliw means “he who paints.” In my work, I weave together the stories of my homeland, the history others tell about my people, and the mystery I find in the work of artists who came before me. I often begin with an image from an archival photograph. I introduce color and layer in images of traditional native design and landscapes real and imagined. In doing so, I tell stories that shake up (mis)understandings of (indian) art and history.
In River Sisters, I began with a 19th century black and white photograph of three women filling their water buckets by a river and creating an original, colorful, abstracted landscape and clothing for the younger two women. This fanciful , tapestry-like imagery and the love the women convey as they work in the shadow of both the river and their ancestor are intended to connect viewers to their home of origin and emphasize the role women play in giving sustenance to their family, nourishing their communities, and maintaining connections to their heritage.
Nancy Houfek Brown is an established Oregon artist whose works are exhibited throughout the region. In addition to the Columbia Center for the Arts, her current paintings are on display at Art on Oak (210 Oak St., Hood River) and Cathedral Ridge Winery (4200 Post Canyon Road, Hood River.) Fifteen of her large works were exhibited at Portland International Airport from August 2016 – July 2017. Recent paintings have been showing at Verum Ultimum Gallery in Portland as well has having been seen in galleries in Texas, California, Ohio, Colorado, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, where she was a juried member of the Cambridge Artists’ Association.
Nancy’s early art training began at the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1992 – 1997 she studied with Herman Rowan, Carl Bethke, and Tom Cowette at the University of Minnesota, and from 1998 – 2001 she worked in watercolor with Bici Petit-Baron at the Radcliffe Landscape Design Program in Cambridge, MA. Her work as an oil painter is greatly influenced by Denver artist, Mark Daniel Nelson.
“When I first arrived in Hood River in the mid-90s, I was in awe of the drama of the geology, the water, the orchards and vineyards, the snow capped mountains, the ever-changing sky. I have an infinite number of views to play with on my canvas, but the river has been the focus of my work in many pieces.
In these paintings, I was inspired by the structures and hues of the mighty Columbia to make large, bold, flat, geometric abstract paintings with rich colors. I want the viewer to get lost through the painting on a journey on the river, following the whimsical patterns and distorted perspective. The colors are simplified to express my emotional response to the water and sky. The large scale of the works is designed to match the moment of seeing the river at dawn, at dusk, or in autumn for the first time, and how that moment takes your breath away.”
Peter Boome; Coast Salish artist Peter Boome is an enrolled member of the Upper Skagit Tribe of Washington State. He works in a variety of mediums but is best known for his graphic work. Specializing in Hand-pulled serigraphs, Peter has worked with both new and established indigenous artists from around the country and as far away as New Zealand and Australia. Peter earned his AA from Northwest Indian College, his BA, and MES from Evergreen State College and his JD from the University of Washington School of Law. In addition to his artistic pursuits Peter is a practicing attorney, mediator, and college professor.
Peter’s work has been aggressively sought after by collectors around the world. He has emerged as a leading Coast Salish artist winning prestigious awards at shows such as Indian Market in Santa Fe, The Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, the Heard Museum in Phoenix and many more. His work has shown at institutions such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, the Burke Museum and Washington State History Museum where his work is part of both institution’s permanent collections. For more information about Peter and his art visit his website at: araquin.com or find him on social media.
Sue Allen is a printmaker (screen print) living near Brightwood, Oregon. Since 1981 she has made the southwest forest foothills of Mt Hood her home, exploring the area for over 40 years. She enjoys nature in all her seasons, and is creative and productive. Her artwork is distinguished, refined, elegant, and unusual.
Soon after receiving a Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Cooper Union in New York City, she left the urban environment for more rural landscapes. In the early 70s she travelled overland from Europe to Nepal, and trekked a month towards the Mount Everest base camp. Mountains are always calling.
Virgil Harper; I graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography with a BFA degree. Spent most of my career as a cinematographer in the film industry. I have always enjoyed still photography and now that I am pretty much retired from the film industry, I love going on road trips and photo jaunts. I reside in Washington state near the Columbia River Gorge.
Christine Knowles; The Columbia River Gorge is a big Inspiration for making art! I have lived and painted in Hood River for over 20 years. I have experimented in watercolor, oil and pastel. I love plein air painting, working outside with other Gorge artists, and I love working in the studio with larger, more abstract pieces, relying on color and texture to convey a more personal response to shapes and land forms that surround me. Most of my work is with Pastel – pure pigment in stick form. Pastel is both a drawing tool and a painting instrument which I love to layer over textured paper. I have studied pastel with some of the best: Albert Handel, Richard McKinley, Dawn Emerson, Stan Sperlak, Jen Evenhus and Diana Sanford. I am a signature member of the Northwest Pastel Society.
My work has been juried into shows at the Hui Noe Visual Art Center in Hawaii, the Northwest Pastel Society shows in galleries in the Pacific North West. I am an enthusiastic participant in the annual Gorge Artists Open Studio Tour and I am a partner / exhibiting artist at the 301 Gallery in Hood River.
Chad Mayo was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His pieces are visual poems, reflections of a sense of place, meditations on the land he has spent much of his life exploring. He has both art and nursing degrees and splits his time between art making, his job as a nurse, time outdoors biking, skiing and hiking, and being a parent to two great kids in Hood River, Oregon.
Amirra Malak is an Egyptian American artist who considers herself an “authentic hybrid” stretched between cultures. She lived in the Middle East for most of childhood while she has lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of adulthood. She finds herself most comfortable in liminal spaces, especially in the natural world. Her work is infused with the ambiguity experienced within this “third space” through the integration of solid form with dissolving light and pattern often inspired by Egyptian textiles. She is interested in light, movement, time, and visual sensation as a meditative experience. Work includes painting, textiles, meditative video, interactive and immersive video installations, and curated online spaces. She shares her belief that humans are makers and creators by nature with her two children and her high school students in Hood River where she has been an art teacher for eighteen years.
Sue Sutherland is an oil painter and printmaker. Her subjects vary but are almost always inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds her; quiet country roads, big skies, snow capped peaks and the twists and turns of the mighty Columbia River.
She begins her process on location, photographing, sketching and painting. Some of these studies are finished paintings. Others make their way back to the studio, where the visual information is transformed into larger works.
“It’s all about the light, it can transform an object in seconds.”
With bold use of color and expressive brushstrokes, Sue captures the essence of a place and the elusive qualities of light.
Sutherland lives in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The gorge is a special place and a stunning backdrop for an inspiring and vibrant art community.
Toma Villa; I was born in Oklahoma raised in Portland and am a registered member of Yakama Nation. I am continually sharpening my artistic talent that began at a young age, but feel that I can learn from anyone who wants to teach me, even young kids. Drawing inspiration from my culture and heritage, art has transformed my sense of identity. With a passion for mediums in airbrushing, printmaking, sculpture and iron casting, I truly feel connected with each piece
The roots of my art have always been graffiti art. I get a lot of my inspiration from various places, from cities I have traveled to and paintings I have seen such as Salvador Dali’s work in a museum or Saber’s murals on the streets. A lot of my work is inspired by my passion for the river and my time fishing the Columbia River with my family out of Cooks Landing. I use my experiences as a fisherman and have encapsulated them in my work. I feel that one can never dream too big and I always look forward to the future. Some things may seem impossible, but if one makes a plan you will succeed at what you want out of life. I believe the world is so big yet so small and I wish to see it all.
Featured in the Entryway Gallery…
Dee Tory; This exhibit is about a young man who is learning how to become a warrior in a new kingdom, called the Kingdom of Light.
He had heard about this Kingdom, but he hadn’t ever seen it, so he set out to find it. But this journey came at a cost for the young warrior. In order to go on this journey, he had to leave his old life behind. He believed it was worth it, so he did so, and set out.
Not long after he made the decision to go, he was given eyes to see this new kingdom. After seeing it, he knew this was where all of humanity belonged.
The young warrior was now a citizen of this new country, but this new Kingdom had a different set of rules than he was used to. And in order to stay a citizen in this land, he had to live by its rules. He was eager to do so, but he needed help learning. So he was taught by experienced warriors who had come before him. He decided to write down his encounters and share them…