Three Northwest artists whose work ranges from painting to sculpture will take center-stage at the first Linn-Benton Community College Art Invitational from Jan. 3 through Feb. 25, in the North Santiam Hall Gallery, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW, Albany.
Salem artists Carol Hausser and Cynthia Herron, two painters whose abstract styles offer an engaging contrast, share the walls with Eugene artist Beverly Soasey, who works in mixed-media sculpture and assemblages.
A public reception and gallery talk with the artists will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the NSH second floor atrium.
Members of the art faculty at LBCC invited the three to exhibit because of the quality and diversity of their art, according to art department chair Gary Westford. “We want to showcase the vitality of creative work being done by artist in the mid-valley,” Westford said. “Bev, Carol and Cynthia are great examples of the incredible wealth of talent we have right here in our own backyard.”
Soasey creates mixed-media assemblages that combine painting, drawing, collage and found objects to tell a story. She has exhibited widely in the Northwest and beyond over the past three decades. As the coordinator of the Jacobs Gallery in Eugene, she is also known for her jurying and curatorial work in the area.
“Assemblage requires having inspiration and ideas around all of the time, always invading my thoughts,” she says in explaining her work. “My studio is overgrown with stuff: photos, books, bird wings, scraps of metal and ideas saved in various forms. There are boxes full of secrets and boxes waiting to be filled.”
Herron’s colorful acrylic paintings express the mood and atmosphere of the Willamette Valley landscape, tracing a fine line between representation and complete abstraction. She describes her paintings as “individual poems to the land.”
“Nature is my subject,” she says. “Experience and transformation are my subjects. I want to bring the wildness and beauty of nature to others.”
Herron moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2004 after living, studying and painting in the Southwest for 25 years. She currently teaches art foundation classes at Chemeketa Community College in Salem as well as at LBCC.
Hausser, who has been teaching art at Chemeketa for the past 30 years under her married name, Carol Bibler, works in watercolor to create colorful, complex geometric abstract paintings, some as large as four feet by five feet.
Her paintings pull the viewer into an inner universe where time and space assume a fantastical visual logic. “My typical subject might be described as mysterious, free-association movements, unfolding, and unraveling, almost tangible, yet illusory,” Hausser explains.
Her work is in the art collections of the State of Oregon, Hallie Ford Museum of Art and the Microsoft Corp., and has been widely exhibited in the Northwest over the years.
The three artists will be exhibiting on both floors of the NSH Gallery, which is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.