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December 2020 Exhibit

December 2020 Exhibit
Hook, Pulp and Weave

An Exploration of Fiber as Medium

Celebrate the holidays with Imogen as we host a rich and diverse invitational exhibition exploring fiber. Functional and non-functional work will be included in this unique exhibition of textile based arts. Color, texture and composition form the backbone of this diverse collection including a new selection of artist-made paper lights by Lâm Quãng and Kestrel Gates of HiiH Lights, wall hung mixed fiber art pieces by Susan Circone, hand dyed silk scarves and wraps from Iris Sullivan Daire, and paper collage flora and fauna masks by Kandace Manning are just a few of the exquisite and whimsical examples of fiber in art. This exhibition is curated with the gift giving season in mind and will be on view December 12 – January 4.

Fiber based art has a long running history, with weaving techniques dating back to Neolithic times some 12,000 years ago. It is respected as one of the oldest surviving craft forms in the world that evolved from multiple cultures, including the Incans who utilized textiles as currency, which held a more prominent role then gold for trade. Native Americans, for centuries have created elaborate basketry for all uses, including vessels that were water tight, made from regionally known plant materials. Middle Eastern nomadic tribes, have been respected for intricate hand knotted rugs made of wool and silk, dating back over 4000 years, and the rich illustrative tapestries of the 14th and 15th centuries of European cultures, all helped to forge what we appreciate as textile based art today. The term “fiber arts” came to be applied much later; post World War II with the insurgence of the craft movement. With this came the recognition of craft as fine art and the diminished idea of utilitarian needs. 

Hook, Pulp and Weave is a collection of just a few examples of what textile or fiber arts has evolved into. With the lessening of the importance of function, and the consideration of pure artistic concept being delivered through the fiber medium, artists have found a new voice to explore ancient arts, utilizing texture, color and form. While much of the work included to this exhibition is functional, many pieces are based strictly on principle of art form, utilizing fiber to create compelling and complex pieces. 

Susan Circone of Portland, brings intricate wall hung abstract compositions focusing on brilliant use of texture, pattern and nuance of color. Coming from a former career in geological sciences, her compositions are inspired by nature. About her work she states: 

Working primarily in textiles, I explore the minutiae of the physical and natural world. I find inspiration in the structures, textures, and forms observed in both organic and inorganic matter. The importance of the mundane and the microscopic, ignored, unseen, and often ephemeral, is a reminder of our temporal existence.
 
My process employs hand stitching for both mark-making and construction, binding together layers of textile-based elements with simple, repetitive stitches. The construct often unfolds within the spatial framework of a grid. The labor-intensive process and the evidence of the hand, with its intrinsic variability, are fundamental aspects of the created object.”
 
Julie Kern Smith also of Portland, returns with her rich and sophisticated wraps made of nuno felted wool and repurposed silk, from vintage scarves and kimonos. Her choice of materials are exquisitely brought together through fusion of fiber, creating rich and tactile wearable art forms.

We are also excited to include the work of two new artists to Imogen, both working in paper. Shel Mae comes from a career of businesses that focused on repurposed materials including work with women’s cooperatives around the world who utilized cast offs such as rubber tires, plastic bags and other found items to give a second life to through craft. With this in mind she collects and elevates vintage maps and sheet music into art pieces. Through intricate folds and bends she constructs wall hung sculpture of native plants of Oregon. Her work was recently featured in the September/October issue of 1859 Oregon Magazine.

We also welcome Kandace Manning who brings her Flora and Fauna Series hand built paper collage masks. Building up intricate layers of vintage botanical paper she creates stunning spirit masks of animalia. About her work she states:

 “We have increasingly alienated ourselves from the animal kingdom, dominating it rather than coexisting.  Similarly, most of us are rarely immersed in wild vegetation and the forested environment, separated from its revitalizing properties.  I create animal masks covered in botanical collage to suggest that we return to a mentality that sees ourselves as part of the natural world.  These masks are intended to encourage a return to a more harmonious coexistence with the flora and fauna around us.”  
 
 If you are looking to support local artists this year for your holiday gift giving, Astoria represents. We are excited to include a diverse array of fiber based work by local artists, Lâm Quãng and Kestrel Gates of HiiH Lights, Iris Sullivan Daire, Kathy Karbo and Celeste Olivares.  Husband and wife team Lâm Quãng and Kestrel Gates of HiiH Lights, bring new sculptural lighting and jewelry. Their work is an elegant fusion of purposeful and sculptural, created from their own handmade paper and enhanced with natural pigments. Fiber artist, Iris Sullivan Daire of Astoria includes her plant based hand dyed botanical silk scarves, and wall pieces, she is known near and far as a master of natural dying techniques. This year she brings wraps inspired by ancient Celtic rock carvings as well as a collection of wall hung mythical birds created with her own dyes. Celeste Olivares brings a new collection of her intricate needle woven beaded necklaces and earrings. Each piece is an exotic one of a kind design utilizing semi-precious stones, vintage glass and crystal along with found objects. She carefully combines brilliant color and form with an end result of timeless and original jewelry pieces. Kathy Karbo returns with her hand cut paper installation work, this year she brings a collection of papercut vegetables she calls the Unity Garden,  reflecting on the days of victory gardens and communities coming together in support of each during challenging times. Hook, Pulp and Weave is an eclectic, tactile and exciting blend of fiber forms that all will enjoy. 
 

November 2020 Exhibit

November 2020 Exhibit
Facing You

An Exploration of Portraiture

Imogen is pleased to be presenting the sixth annual invitational exhibition exploring humanity through portraiture. This year’s exhibition will include the sublime paintings of Reed Clarke, Ruth Shively and introducing local artist Aaron Toledo, all exploring the essence of humanity. This evocative collection moves beyond a surface glance of an individual, inviting the viewer a step closer and to consider the underlying. Perhaps even to see ourselves through the eyes of others, and what it means to be a part of mankind. Each portrait tells a story; we invite you to participate. The exhibition opens Saturday November 14th, 12:00 – 8:00 pm and will be on view thru December 7th. The gallery is currently open Thursday – Monday, 12 – 5 pm and Sunday 12 – 4 pm. We are also available by appointment for private viewing.

Many artists at some point in their career have placed focus on the human form as subject matter, for some it’s a practice of study, for others it’s a means to participate with humanity on a more intimate level. Artists Reed Clarke, Ruth Shively and Aaron Toledo fall into that category. Portraiture becomes a vehicle utilized to explore deeper reflection of who we are, what we convey without speaking, simply by stance, expression or direction of gaze. These artists, all incredibly skilled with chosen medium bring suggestion of story and history through portrayal of individuals.  

Reed Clarke of Portland, Oregon has dedicated much of his career as a fine artist painting others. Known for his skill as a painter and printmaker, he has had his work juried into Clatsop Community College’s prestigious Au Naturel:  Nudes in the 21st Century exhibition several years running, receiving a first prize award as well as a purchase award from CCC.  He has exhibited his work throughout Portland including a show at the White Gallery of Portland State University. For Imogen’s sixth exhibition Facing You, he brings yet another strong collection of work, inviting the viewer to perhaps create their own story. His skill is apparent in the nuance of palette to create mood and emotion through an intimate look and consideration into another’s experience, perhaps with a goal of fostering greater understanding and acceptance of who we are. About this series he states:

 “Faces and figures inhabit all my paintings and when I try to stray from this subject something I can’t resist always calls me back. In my work I hope to elicit a statement about being human that is familiar, and also seems impossible to say as clearly or completely in other mediums.  Many of my paintings exhibited in this show are specific people:  a writer, a weaver, a poet, a child soldier, etc. and I hope to have imparted some degree of a palpable and potent humanity in these paintings. The idea of restricting myself to a human subject and the discipline that presenting such a subject imposes on the composition is something I value. When possible I seek to emphasize the geometric shapes formed by different part of the composition and bring out the abstract surface rhythms of the composition. Ultimately however, I’m striving for a balance between recording a human subject that is compelling and creating a paint surface on the canvas that engages and rewards the viewer.”
 
We also welcome back Ruth Shively a Portland based artist. Shively who focuses her figurative work on portrayal of women, brings an essence of quiet resilience and an innate sense of strength and beauty. About her work she states:  “I work largely with the figure, concentrating on women. In awe of the strength women behold, I feel the need to express their character through my work. I can't explain how I choose my subjects, I go with my instinct and immediate feelings and drawn to stark, positive/negative space. I like humor, mysteriousness and intimate mood, wanting the viewer to make their own interpretation. I studied drawing and illustration in school but I'm a self-taught painter and prefer this medium as I love the spontaneity of the paint and using color to create space.”   Shively, who grew up in the Midwest has lived in Paris, New York City, Minneapolis and now Portland. She has exhibited her work in numerous group and solo exhibitions that have taken her from Los Angeles to New York and many venues in between.

This year we are excited to include the work of Astoria based painter and tattoo artist Aaron Toledo. Toledo who relocated to Astoria in 1999 from Kansas City owns and operates Keepsake Tattoo, our neighbors here on 11th Street. His small scale and intimate oil paintings explore the relationship between people and the space they occupy, “zooming in on moments as if they are memories, exploiting the perceptions that energize these small captures of time.” As a nonacademic artist his education and career in art has been far from traditional. About his work he states, “My work is inspired by the often overlooked and singularly unimportant candid moments, the spaces we live, our most boring days, the far reaches of the earth, bad storytelling and good mistakes.” With a muted palette and limited brushstroke he brings moody and gestural imprint, or glimpses into people’s personal world; a direct look at reality of moment and fleeting honesty of contemplation.

All three artists share a commonality of commitment and dedication to the marginalized within their work. Each brings beauty, vulnerability and rawness, elements that live within all of us. The power of the individual shines bright through compassion for humanity. Facing you, we invite you to step inside. 
 

October 2020 Exhibit

April Coppini & Molly Schulps
Everything is Possible/Nothing is Possible
Back by popular demand are the gorgeous charcoal (and sometimes pastel) drawings of April Coppini. We have invited April to come back for another exhibition, this time sharing the stage with ceramic artist Molly Schulps. Schulps a recent addition to Imogen brings a new collection of ceramic sculpture and vessels. She splits her time between her studio here in Astoria as well as in Los Angeles where she is director to the Cypress College’s ceramic department. Coppini and Schulps both share a common passion for environmental issues, specifically relating to wildlife preservation. As Coppini utilizes paper for her support of dramatic imagery, Schulps turns to her wheel thrown and hand built clay pieces as backbone to her love of drawing and playful use of color. Known for her bigger than life charcoal drawings of bees, Coppini brings a new series of elegant drawings showcasing her exquisite skills of breathing life into two dimensional work. We are excited to be presenting these two incredibly talented artists together. The exhibition will be on view October 10 – November 10 and opens Saturday, October 10. . The gallery is currently open Thursday – Monday, 12 – 5 pm and Sunday 12 – 4 pm. We are also available by appointment for private viewing.
 
Coppini, known for her passionate interest in all creatures and their importance to place, brings a series of gorgeously rendered charcoal drawings. She portrays a focused record in her subject matter depicting the wild and unseen side of animalia. A slight tension of muscle before a possible leap, or the look of pensive awareness in preparation for escape from a possible predator, are all elegantly conveyed through beautiful and gestural mark making. With the underlying message of the importance of all creatures and their independent role to ecosystem and/or as pollinators, predators, scavengers or even domesticated animals, Coppini asks the viewer to consider the role our species takes (or doesn’t) as caretaker’s to the delicate relationship between mankind and animal as well as a direct reminder of our symbiotic relationship to all life on a global level. About this specific series she states:
 Everything is Possible/ Nothing is Possible. There is not a better way to describe this feeling I wake up to every day of this past six months of pandemic/ quarantine and social & political crisis. It’s chaos. Its upheaval. It’s shock and grieving. It’s a humbling and an anxiety producing re-learning of basic functions. And it’s a blank slate. It’s invitation to change. It’s an opening for a hero to step-in and then the realization that the hero has to be you.
My entire existence as a mother I have been an artist. I am grateful for the flexibility it’s offered and for the time with my kids. Even while grieving the loss of their father and being full-on, full-time.
And it’s always been a struggle, but right now it’s a struggle in the same space and time, always. I wake up thinking, “I’ll draw before the kids wake up!” and then someone wakes up early and I think, “ok, later…”, but there is a constant stream of things to do and decide about and take care of… and I put them to bed at night and think “...after they go to bed!” and then I promptly fall asleep next to them. Or all I can do is sit and look at my work, energy spent. “Nothing is possible”.
Mostly, drawing that happens does so when I catch a wave of “Everything is possible!” in the midst of all the household chaos. Moments stolen away when I am not directly needed for something or feeling so oppressed by the realities of the outside world. Or when I am and it has to be let out somehow... holding both; “everything is possible” and “nothing is possible” at the same time. Torn, under pressure, full of possibilities. Just like all of us.

Coppini tends to focus primarily on charcoal for her chosen medium because of “its immediacy and forgiving nature”.  For her, the starkness of black on white strikes a basic and guttural cord. Within this series however she brings in rich use of color, pure blocks as background which aid in defining emotive qualities or even echo elements of subject matter while still allowing for the dominant line of charcoal do its work. The stark juxtaposition lends to the overall power and drama conveyed in each piece.

Like Coppini, Schulps takes great inspiration for her love of the natural world and conveys her own message of the raw power and beauty through her use of form, color and content. Her sense of playfulness is included to each piece, many times including iconic and sometimes folkloric imagery that many of us grew up with. It’s not uncommon for Schulps to include Smoky the Bear and Paul Bunyan to the surface work of her colorful vessels that transcend to a lightheartedness and gentle reminder of the fragility of our world and our delicate ecosystems that are battling out coexistence with mankind. About this series of work she states:
 The Pacific Northwest could not be a more enchanting place to be. The beauty is awe inspiring and has had a deep impact on my work. Although, my heart is heavy with worry about the environment and all of the inhabitants. As an artist I feel the responsibility to make work that explores these concerns. I use imagery that relates to the area, so for this particular exhibition it was animals and fauna that are on the endangered species list in the PNW. I also use nostalgic references and familiar symbolism to allow for the viewer to form a sense of relatability to my work. This current body of work has both vessels and sculpture, which are the vehicles for the visual narratives and symbols. It is my hope that we become better stewards for the land and inhabitants.

Schulps, who was born and raised in Southern California recently took up residence in Astoria. As stated the area has been a rich resource for her personally in the development of her work. Her love of drawing is evident in every piece she creates, etching line into clay as well as building elaborate composition through glazing. The entire surface of each sculpture and vessel she creates explode with vibrancy of life. Her hand built and wheel thrown pieces of all scale act as her canvases for ideas of well thought out and sometimes narrative story telling. Every turn of each piece reveals delightful imagery of flora and fauna that playfully cover all surface.

Schulps, whose father was a well renowned studio potter grew up under his tutelage and then later earning her MFA with distinction from California State University. Schulps is now a highly respected instructor herself. Her work readily illustrates great skill and understanding of her chosen medium with elaborate glazing techniques, resulting in contemplative narration of ideas and concepts. Her work has been exhibited around the country and is included to the permanent collection of the American Museum of Ceramic Art.
 

September Exhibit

September Exhibit
Laura Hamje

In The Clouds
 
This region, known as a place of confluence where the mighty Columbia River flows into the Pacific Ocean, has long attracted artists, who pay homage to the vast and ever changing skies hovering over both natural and manmade elements that define the region. Photographing, painting, and writing about the unfolding drama of windswept hillsides, remnants of pilings left from the grand days of a thriving fishing industry, along with the iconic Megler Bridge, has long held the imaginations of all who visit. This is what has captured the attention of Seattle based artist Laura Hamje, who brings a new series of oil paintings, In The Clouds, for her second solo exhibition in Astoria. The exhibition will open Saturday, September 12th and be on view through October 6th. Laura Hamje will be available to answer questions about her work Saturday, September 12th, 5 – 8 pm. Also available will be her newly published book Concrete Ghost:  Seattle’s Vanished Viaduct and Emerging Paintings by Laura Hamje.  

Laura Hamje has found herself drawn to the region of the Lower Columbia River for years. Her strong love and fascination for the area has become informative to her work, shaping her vision and sense of composition. Hamje’s paintings portray a nostalgic and contemplative landscape, defined by architectural structure seemingly to support sky while at the same time acting as a point of connection between land, water, and atmosphere. Hamje, like many, has been drawn into the allure of Astoria and through that she depicts elements of history, a lost past, while also suggesting a path to what remains unknown; the future. When discussing this series she states, "Cloudy days can make the world seem darker and duller. However, I have witnessed the vibrancy that cloud cover brings having lived in the Pacific Northwest for 15 years now. The dim and subtly changing light illuminates the earth in unexpected ways, creating forms and shapes not visible on a sunny day. Without the high contrast of full sunlight objects, land, sea and sky bleed into each other creating unnamable space where ones’ mind can roam without constraints. This space has become for me not only quiet and reflective, but ethereal.”

Within this series Hamje depicts the moodiness of the region suspended with heavy skies moving dramatically as if they themselves are shaping the landscape. Through steel girders that bind structure, she carries the viewer across the river, into the ocean, and up quite streams of known and not so well known locations of the region. Ominous skies break, pierced by light while currents of wind move tumultuous up and over the river. Fog hangs heavy, shrouding and encasing pathways of transit, almost appearing as a blanket of comfort and protection. Hamje captures the dance of the ever changing and un-choreographed movement of atmosphere that dominates the terrain.
About the area she also states: 
“When I drive across the Astoria-Megler Bridge, I feel like I’m taking my life into my own hands.  Although the area can be calm and sleepy, this is not its constant state. There is a feeling of the impending storm, which can materialize without warning.  How many storms has the bridge weathered? Which structures along the river remain, and which of them show obvious wear and destruction?  It makes me consider permanence, and the things we cling to as anchors.  It makes me consider the storm, and if we should just give in to the unpredictability, the tumult…the anchor-less-ness of mortality.  Within this paradox, I find endless inspiration.”

Hamje’s paintings have been shown from New York to Los Angeles and many places in between. She has also been juried into Au Naturel: Nudes In the 21st Century by Jane Beebe, owner and director of PDX Contemporary, where she was awarded 2nd place for her drawing. She earned her BFA from the University of Washington, studied in Rome, Italy as well as the Chicago Art Institute.
 

August 2020 Exhibit

August 2020 Exhibit
Tom Cramer:  New Works 2020

We are excited to be presenting the third exhibition at Imogen by the renowned Portland based artist Tom Cramer. He brings bold, complex, color saturated paintings along with carved wood relief furniture and wood burned oil paintings.  The exhibition opens August 8th during Astoria’s Second Saturday Artwalk; Tom Cramer will be available to answer questions about his work and career from 5 – 8 pm. The gallery is currently open Thursday – Monday, 12 – 5 pm and Sunday 12 – 4 pm. We are also available by appointment for private viewing. The exhibition will remain on display through September 8th.

Tom Cramer has been at the epicenter of the Portland art scene for decades, known for his distinct and evocative painting style that reverberates with a sense of playful drama. For years many things have acted as a canvas to Cramer, utilizing furniture, cars, buildings, the ballet; these are just a sample of the channels of creative self-expression Cramer has utilized.  Within this series, his collectors might notice a shift in style as he merges into a new era, both personally and artistically. His work continues with strong use of color and pattern, echoing his long interest in Eastern spirituality, music and botany. Also using wood as a medium, the exhibition will include just a few of his wood burned oil paintings, still exploring abstraction though use of form and line. Cramer, utilizes organized color, and pattern to hold elements of geometry, that then in entirety become a vessel of essence and/or spirituality. He also includes to this exhibition one of his rare pieces of relief furniture, a carved golden bench.

A conversation with Cramer always leads into avenues that may have been little explored or considered, full of energy, ideas and many twists. Cramer’s paintings reflect very much the same, and are in many ways a direct reference to his own experiences. Drawing inspiration from intense periods of travel, and engaging on a deep and personal level in what he considers to be older and wiser cultures, has helped him to create “an art driven by emotional content”. 
 
Cramer considers this current series an homage to time past, a reflection on his youth spent here on the north coast when in his words, “life was good”. He reflects back on summer days spent at Short Sands Beach, haunting Seaside and taking in the vibrant colors and flavors of the iconic Phillips Candies; these fond memories are the backbone of the series. With the turbulent times of now, it makes sense to want to step back in time, when life seemed simpler.  When discussing his work, he states, “The paintings emerged slowly and were worked on for months. This allowed them, in a sense to paint themselves. A lot of layers and steps were involved and a passage of time hopefully is reflected in the imagery.  A common thread in all the paintings is my attempt to record memories of certain cherished places or emotions that have meaning for me. Included are positive childhood recollections of the Oregon Coast. Other themes range from urban to rural, and from organic to the human construct. Or, to quote Edward Munch, “I paint not what I see, but what I saw.” My way of responding to the current scary and chaotic social situation is to attempt to lift the viewer towards an elevated consciousness. I believe without art, music, love, and immersion in the natural world, life is not worth living.” It’s with this in mind that Tom is offering his paintings at levels that all can afford. His goal is simple and straight forward; to put art in the hands and hearts of all who will benefit from living with an original painting. Each painting holds spirit and soul, and much like music or poetry it has the profound ability to carry those who engage, to a better place whether it be momentary or forever.

Cramer’s formal training began at PNCA in Portland and then on to Pratt Institute in New York.  He has enjoyed a long and diverse career, showing in many reputable Northwest galleries over the years, including Russo Lee Gallery, and currently Augen Gallery, both in Portland.  His work has been exhibited at the Tacoma Art Museum and the Portland Art Museum, as well as many other prestigious visual art venues.  Cramer’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene where they recently held a retrospective exhibition of his work, curated by art critic and writer Richard Speer. The exhibition Journey to the Third Dimension was a comprehensive exhibition focusing on paintings and drawings, by Cramer, created from 1977 to current. Cramer’s work can also be found in the permanent collections of Microsoft, Inc, Portland Art Museum, the Boise Art Museum, and many other prestigious institutions. 
 

July 2020 Exhibit

July 2020 Exhibit
Diane Kingzett   
Dig In

 
We are excited to welcome back Diane Kingzett of Portland for her fourth solo exhibition at Imogen. Describing herself as a painter of emotion, Kingzett brings a new series of oil and mixed medium abstract paintings titled Dig In. Within her process she leaves preconceived ideas of content and composition to consider her own internal dialogue, allowing psyche to become muse. The exhibition, Dig In, will open for Astoria’s Second Saturday Artwalk, July 11. Kingzett will be present that evening from 5 – 8 pm and available to answer questions about her work. The gallery is now open Monday and Thursday – Saturday, 12 – 5 pm and Sunday 12 – 4 pm. We are also available by appointment for private viewing. The exhibition will remain on view through August 4.

Diane Kingzett is an artist who creates from an intuitive approach:  her own response to outside circumstances help to form her imagery. Places she’s been, memories of experiences and events, for better or worse, are all open to consideration once in the studio. As an artist, she conscientiously utilizes this in her painting practice as a tool to compartmentalize and process life changing events, in this case from a place of profound loss. Through her art she grapples with grief, taking it on with honesty and truth no matter how messy that process can be.  

Within this series, Kingzett’s work conveys in sublime and provocative ways elements echoing her own response and impression to traveling through grief while holding onto humor as an anchor to survival. Through abstraction, her compositions might bring vague imprint of place which for her are personal documentations of time and memory. With calculated use of palette, exquisite deep blues to intense and passionate pink blocked by black all lend to elements of landscape while offering a sense of haunting mystery and a nod to the unknown, much like death itself.  Pale washes of grey over warm infused color defined by thoughtful use of line and distinct calculated mark making echo the impressions of the day to day experience of moving through grief. These marks define the marching forward of time, while looking back to things that will never be the same again. Kingzett’s paintings provide space for that intuitive consideration of process through an ethereal sense of reality.

About this series she states,
“Someday I'll be a weather-beaten skull resting on a grass pillow, serenaded by a stray bird or two. Kings and commoners end up the same, no more enduring than last night's dream.” (Ryokan:1758-1831, Japanese Zen Buddhist monk)
 
These paintings are my personal conversation with death and grief. Honor and freedom reside in being offered crushing grief. When it is our turn to process great loss we are afforded true ownership of our very own, private process. Dig in to it, sleep on it, talk it through, drink it away, laugh it off, hold it up to the light, burn it, spit at it, cherish it, antagonize it, let it go, clutch it near your chest, outrun it, interrogate it, outsmart it, remember it, forget it, toss it to the stars, bury it in garden debris, keep it, guild it, forgive it, fuck it, release it, rinse, repeat.
 
Each of these paintings represents a day in the process of grief. Memories of specific places, tiny excerpts of previously forgotten conversations with those who have left, regrets, hopes, moments of clarity and areas of confusion. Days of rolling a boulder up a hill, days of letting that same boulder crash to the earth below. All reliably lead to the same place, freedom, finality, release.
 
In the words of Caddyshack’s Carl Spackler as spoken to the Dalai Lama…
 
And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And the Dalai Lama replies, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.
 
Each painting represents a collection of memory, putting it into a place of understanding, even acceptance in relinquishing oneself to profound loss. Her work is not an attempt to mirror what she sees, but through reflection of emotional response she constructs imagery to create beauty, clarity, and resolve out of debilitating heartache.  

Kingzett, who has painted for over 30 years earned her BFA at West Virginia University and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute as well as the Vermont Studio Center. Having lived in all four corners of the country, Kingzett has taken inspiration from her experiences and utilized that towards the development of her work as a painter. She has recently added silversmithing to her repertoire of creative expression. We are thrilled to offer her exquisite bezel set stone jewelry pieces along with her new collection of paintings.
 

June 2020 Exhibit

June 2020 Exhibit
My Harmless Little Monsters    
Linden


We are excited to welcome back long time Astoria artist Linden who has returned to her roots. Known for her evocative abstracted paintings Linden brings a whimsical collection of new ink and watercolor paintings for her third solo show at Imogen. This series, My Harmless Little Monsters is exemplary of her exploration of process and experience through intuitive painting. The exhibition open Saturday, June 13 and will be on view through July 7th. We will be open Saturday, June 13 12:00 – 5:00.
Linden’s current series, My Harmless Little Monsters is a delightful collection of mostly paintings on paper.  She infuses her warm and welcoming palette with subtle constructed drawing elements depicting curious creatures from her own fantasy world. Portraying joyful personality within her abstractions, each piece is sure to delight with lightness and a strong sense of play. For Linden her finished compositions are all about her process, beginning to end. Painting for her has become a sort of ritual or meditation, allowing her psyche to flow from her subconscious to whatever drawing and/or painting implement she might be holding in hand to then find its place on paper. Her lines provide connection from one point of substrate to the other, carefully held together by sheer and luminous use of color. Some of her compositions contain elements of story while others lead back to bursts of pigment freely moving across the page. 
 About her current series and her process she states:
 “This body of work represents a huge milestone in my creative life. I finally feel settled enough
emotionally and physically to just 'let 'er rip'. As much as others think making art is simple and easily
done, I'm here to say: Not so much. The Creative Process is one of the most complex and compelling endeavors we can undertake. I liken it to both self-administered brain surgery and psychoanalysis.
And yet, we can't NOT do it.”
 
Linden conveys thought and idea through abstraction, allowing her the freedom to thoroughly explore the visual language by reducing forms to suggestion of content.  Her goal is to allow the viewer to participate in her process of analogy and perception. These works display a fresh boldness that seem to jump from surface, while still honoring past influences and input. 
 
Beginning her studies at Clatsop Community College, Linden sites the late instructors and founders of the CCC art department Royal Nebeker and Roy Garrison as instrumental in her development as a fine artist. She continued her studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, focusing both on painting and sculpture. Relocating to the Bay Area in the late 90’s, Linden continued her career while also teaching.  In Benicia, California she founded a school dedicated to the education of all fine art practices for all ages. Linden opened the school under the premise that “the innate creativity that we have as children isn't ever really lost. It just needs to be fed so it can blossom."  The Linden Tree is still in operation today with the same mission that Linden founded it under. She has exhibited throughout the northwest as well further locales, including Chicago.  She began her local exhibition career at the former Ricciardi Art Gallery in 1996. Some of her accomplishments include a “Juror’s Award” for sculpture created for the 2003 Journey’s End International Art Exhibition held at Clatsop County Heritage Museum. Her paintings have been juried into the 12th Around Oregon Annual exhibition held at the Art Center in Corvallis, OR by Martha Lee, director and owner of Russo Lee Gallery in Portland, OR.  Her work is included in the permanent collection of Clatsop Community College, Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Astoria Public Library. 
 
As we are all adjusting to a new normal along with health needs of our community we will be working hard to keep the space clean. We also ask that visitors wear face masks, if you don’t have one we are happy to provide one for you. We are also available by appointment for private viewing if that feels more comfortable. And as always the exhibition can be viewed online via our website, imogengallery.com
 

May 2020 Exhibit

May 2020 Exhibit
Don Frank

The Summer of Letters
In this time where nothing is as it was, many of us are reflecting on what really matters in life. The importance of friends and family while navigating challenging times together but apart seems to be our common denominator. So, as they say….”The show must go on.” And with that we are pleased to present a solo exhibition for the talented North Coast photographer, Don Frank. Known for his compelling and sometimes quirky compositions of the coastal region, Frank brings a new series of work which includes photographic based imagery as well as three dimensional wall hung pieces. Summer of Letters is a collection of work inspired directly by Frank’s love of golf applied to the philosophy of life. The exhibition can be viewed online via our website imogengallery.com or by appointment for in person viewing, May 9th through June 9th.

Artists have always taken a strong role in narrating the complexity of life, providing a window to safely step back from day to day challenges in order to ease the burden that reality can bring. Don Frank, known regionally for his compelling sense of composition, has always tended to bring what might be considered the more obscure to the foreground. His slightly sardonic worldview seeps into powerful imagery that lends to good storytelling. For this series, he delves deep into the world of golf to consider the parallels between the game and life itself. He brings witty commentary within his altered photographic imagery of golf courses, scratched photographs as he refers to them, as well as sculptural pieces utilizing reclaimed remnants from the game.

In discussing his thoughts behind the content of the series as well as the game of golf itself Frank states:It is interminably difficult yet easy at the same time.  If one thing goes right, ten things can go wrong. Or vice versa. Many who play compare it to the struggle of daily life: exhilarating, disappointing, confusing, overwhelming, inspiring…  And those are just the swing thoughts as one brings the club back. In reality, it doesn’t mean anything. Golf is simply an exercise in being human and at the end, if you care, you count up what you’ve done and measure yourself against your peers and foes. Like life, does it really matter? That depends on the person playing, or living.”  
 
For this exhibition, Frank explores his ideas through the lens of his camera, bringing the beauty of landscape within his photographs of many of the golf courses he has visited. Always looking for new ways to express his creative ideas, Frank alters his photographs to personalize them, adding a rough touch to an otherwise pristine and controlled landscape. He adds quotes that are wry, colloquial, or relate to the absurdity of golf and life. This roughness is echoed with his foray into the sculptural realm. He chose to utilize discarded remnants from the game itself to create beautiful and raw patterns of color and texture. About his three dimensional pieces he states: “These objects are the detritus of the game. The tee markers signal where to begin. The flags tell you where to end. But nothing is permanent and each item has a life span until it is deemed unusable. Sound familiar? But there is hope, like waking each morning with the optimism that today will be a great day on or off the course. People can be granted second chances to fulfill their purpose and these pieces of golf’s machinations can too. The game of life will trudge forward to that steady drum of existence that can only be experienced, not explained.”
 
Frank has enjoyed a career that has taken his work across the country both in galleries and in private collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado.  

Imogen Gallery is currently closed to walk in clientele. Private viewing by appointment is available. Please follow us online via Facebook and Instagram and check our website for the full exhibition. We can be contacted through our website, email imogengallery@gmail.com or by phone 503.468.0620. And please support your favorite artists.
 

April 2020 Exhibit

April 2020 Exhibit
April Coppini

Inescapable Gaze
In a time of uncertainty there is one thing that does remain certain; art is a necessity in our lives. With that in mind, we invite you to reach into alternative resources to participate and engage with art. Tune into your favorite radio station, listen from the comfort of your own dwelling to online concerts, share that poem that brings you comfort and connection, and view those exhibitions you’d normally visit in a gallery or museum online. Your favorite artists are still out there, creating and communicating, albeit from alternative platforms. Artists have always been generous in what they do, whether that is to connect what’s good about humanity, or record an imprint of challenging times. They create and share with the goal of easing burden, fear, and struggle; to uplift and bring peace to the unknown. With that said, we present an exhibition by internationally respected artist April Coppini.  Inescapable Gaze will be available for viewing online or by appointment April 11 – May 5.

Coppini, known for her passionate interest in all creatures and their importance to place, brings a series of gorgeously rendered charcoal drawings. She portrays a focused record in her subject matter depicting the wild and unseen side of animalia. A slight tension of muscle before a possible leap, or the look of pensive awareness in preparation for escape from a possible predator, are all elegantly conveyed through beautiful and gestural mark making. With the underlying message of the importance of all creatures and their independent role to ecosystem and/or as pollinators, predators, scavengers or even domesticated animals, Coppini asks the viewer to consider the role our species takes (or doesn’t) in protecting the delicate relationship between mankind and animal as well as a direct reminder of our symbiotic relationship to all life on a global level. Coppini states: “We humans have this role as stewards, if not because most of the ecological difficulties we’re experiencing are human-caused, but because that's who we are. We are caretakers by nature. A duty that as a species connected to all other living things on this planet, we have (mostly) abused and/or neglected. We also have capacity for greatness and beauty. A calling to responsibility and redemption. I feel this tipping point we are coming to in my heart, in my body, my spirit, in the shifting energy of my work and in the frenetic, tumultuous energy of the world right now (ecologically, politically, socially). I feel the other species we share the planet with turning their gaze to us, as stewards, in our moment, to see; what will we do?”

Coppini tends to focus primarily on charcoal for her chosen medium because of “its immediacy and forgiving nature”.  For her, the starkness of black on white strikes a basic and guttural cord. Within this series there are several pieces that include color, pure blocks as background which  help to define emotive qualities or even echo elements of subject matter while still allowing for the dominant line of charcoal do its work. The stark juxtaposition lends to the overall power and drama conveyed in each piece.

Coppini has also taken great interest in the rapid disappearance of honey bees, also known as “colony collapse disorder”.   As a result she has created over 1000 drawings of bees.  Her hopes in this practice is to create awareness of the significance bumble bees have on mankind.   In her own words, Coppini states, “I believe, foolishly or not, in the possibilities of the human race.  I believe the act of being called on to make these drawings is something that comes from a force bigger than us.  Its stating, here’s what needs attention, listen to the fables being told here.  What we do next, what happens to all the imperiled species is, quite literally, up in the air.”  Coppini has taken the cause to heart, not only by creating her luscious drawings of bumble bees in flight, but also donating a portion of the sale of each bee drawing to the Xerces Society for pollination research and conservation.
 

March 2020 Exhibition

March 2020 Exhibition
Mutualism

Kim Hamblin and Christopher Wagner

Imogen Gallery is pleased to be presenting a two person exhibition for artists Kim Hamblin and Christopher Wagner. Linked by a common background in farming, the two bring a series of work inspired by elements important to the lifestyle. Based from personal experiences they explore connectivity of mankind to nature. Mutualism is a close look through metaphor about the relationship between man and horticulture. The exhibition opens for Astoria’s Second Saturday Artwalk, March 14th, 5 – 8 pm.  Mutualism will remain on display through April 7th.
Working in two distinctly different mediums but sharing the common element of a cutting tool, Hamblin and Wagner bring a new series depicting elements important to the farming culture combined with a common interest in animals, both domesticated and wild, as well as plant life. By definition mutualism is:                                                                    a) the doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being      b) symbiosis that is beneficial to both organisms involved. 

With that in mind Kim Hamblin brings a new collection of her intricate hand cut paper assemblages exploring her ongoing interest in connectivity between flora and fauna and the ensuing dialogue with humans. She brings complex compositions that visually narrate her passionate plea for all to consider on the loss of species and habitat.  Christopher Wagner provides newly carved and painted reclaimed wood sculpture depicting man's relationship with animals, some of which are exploited while others are protected. He utilizes his personal experiences with animals to illustrate the direct link between man and domesticated animal and the symbiotic relationship that ensues.

Both artists enjoy working in a very direct, hands on manner, gravitating to mediums that require use of working carefully in tandem, with hand tools.  Hamblin has spent years honing the ancient art from of paper cutting, a delicate and tedious practice that originated in 6th century China.  Regarded as an art form that requires careful forethought and concentration, Hamblin considers it therapeutic, utilizing the practice as focus and relaxation from her busy life style. Christopher Wagner is a sculptor who typically works with reclaimed wood that comes with its own history, imperfections from nail holes and past use become a part of his finished hand carved three dimensional forms. His love of wood as artistic medium developed early as he enjoyed carving/whittling with his grandfather on the family farm in Kentucky.   At a young age he delighted in the process of revealing something meaningful from a raw piece of wood.

Kim Hamblin of Sheridan, Oregon is a woman who wears many hats.  Besides being known throughout the northwest for her intricate paper-cut assemblages, she is also a farmer, realtor, music festival organizer, winemaker and mom. Hamblin resides on a 50 acre farm called Roshambo ArtFarm, located in the Willamette Valley where she and her husband keep pastures for rescue sheep, alpacas & chickens, they also maintain apple, quince and pear orchards, ferment cider & wine and host an annual music festival, the Wildwood MusicFest.  Her interests are vast but always connect in a meaningful way to her artistic endeavors.

Specific to her artwork, inspiration is gleaned from her lifelong love of the sciences; particularly anatomy, botany, biology, entomology and zoology. The focal point of her work is not merely subject matter and imagery, process also becomes quintessential to each finished piece.  Hamblin’s use and application of materials goes beyond traditional paper cut assemblage.  By adding painted surface and nails to further enhance tessellation and texture, Hamblin adds an industrial nature to the delicateness of pattern revealed in each paper cut. The juxtaposition between paper and steel make for a unique and striking finished composition.  For much of this series she limits her color scheme to a grayscale palette “to represent the disappearance of flora and fauna and subsequent vacancies left behind.” She also utilizes imagery of the human heart to represent ourselves and “how we can use love, appreciation and respect to shift our place in this world.”
 
About this series Hamblin states, “The complexity of nature is just beginning to be understood by us humans. We need to stop with the destruction of her for our convenience and civilization and devise new ways, like permaculture and the old ways like those of indigenous peoples, to bring back balance between mankind and the natural world.” She goes on to say “Nature is interdependent and does not exist in a vacuum, what happens to one species affects the other. Species depend on each other for survival. We need to stop poisoning ourselves and her. We need to change our farming practices. We need to protect Nature now and leave space for her whether it be a corner in your yard or protected forests, prairies and mountains. The disappearance of species and the species that rely on them has been happening since the industrial revolution and its escalating. Cue recent news stories:  the insect apocalypse, massive bird die offs, biological annihilation, massive fires, the warming of oceans; it’s hard to not get overwhelmed. I am just one person. Here is where I choose to begin, in the familiar, at the farm, in the art.”
 
Christopher Wagner, who grew up on a farm in rural Kentucky has held a strong interest in the symbiotic relationship between man and domesticated animal.  For his third exhibition at Imogen, he brings an impressive collection of figurative sculpture that explores through metaphor the longstanding relationship between man and beast, a connection that goes back to the beginning of mankind, forming a longstanding mutual reliance for survival between the two. Wagner directly and literally narrates the balance of that relationship, man leaning on animal and vice versa, sometimes through the perspective of the animal.
 
About this series he states, “My animal and human imagery bring into question our relationships with animals. Some of which are exploited others are protected. Many times that relationship can shift dramatically. All the animals I carve come from a personal connection or experience. The stylizations I use are intended to emphasize the spiritual or intellectual longings of humans. This can be seen in the elongation of limbs or the extending of necks meant to show a yearning to extend beyond ourselves.”
 
For Wagner, his process and choice of medium is integral to his finished work. The reclaimed wood he selects is chosen because of its past marks of time and history, adding a naturally aged appearance, not to be mimicked through immediacy. He utilizes traditional carving techniques to pull his imagery from the grain of the wood, incorporating any marks or scars into the finished composition. The piece is then finished with milk paint, one of the oldest forms of water based paint, made from milk, lime and raw pigments. Color is applied to define content and in many cases adding a level of approachability. Wagner has exhibited his work from coast to coast and many places in between. He possesses an M.F.A. in sculpture from Edinboro University and a B.A. in art with a dual concentration in history and sculpture from Georgetown College.
 

February 2020 Exhibit

February 2020 Exhibit
Corey Arnold

Fish Work: The Archives

With FisherPoets Gathering just around the corner, Imogen Gallery is pleased to be hosting Fish Work:  The Archives, an exhibition by professional artist/fisherman, Corey Arnold of Portland, Oregon.  This will be Arnold’s fourth exhibition at Imogen, held in conjunction with the 2020 FisherPoets Gathering. The Gathering, an annual celebration of the fishing community offers a glimpse into a very specific industry through stories and poetry written and recited by fisher folk. The exhibition opens February 8th for the Astoria Second Saturday Artwalk with a reception from 5 – 8 pm. The exhibition will remain on display through March 10th.

Corey Arnold began fishing as a child, about the same time he first picked up a camera. What began as weekend adventures with the family quickly became a permanent part of life, culminating into a successful dual career, one mutually supporting the other. This exhibition will include mostly work that has never been seen; a strong collection of photographs taken over the past 20 years that spans oceans and continents. Arnold began fishing commercially in 1995 as a deckhand aboard various vessels and skiffs in Alaska. His career as a fine art photographer and fisherman has taken him far, both documenting and fishing the world’s oceans. Despite his international success as a photographer, Arnold returns every summer to Bristol Bay, Alaska, where he captains a skiff, fishing for salmon.
Arnold’s work is without doubt a celebration of the lifestyle of the fisherman.  He also hopes to convey a broader message, raising awareness to the challenges that coastal communities and our oceans, are facing in the 21st century. Through his lens he captures the raw and rugged reality of hard work, with brutal and honest images that depict both danger and beauty, sometimes in the same moment. Corey is not one however to overly romanticize, he is critically aware of the struggle of a rapidly changing global fishing industry.

Regardless of present obstacles and demands on a struggling industry, Arnold states:  “Although it’s important to be aware of the challenges facing those who work at sea, the most essential message of all comes from the spirit of this way of life. Whether we are landlocked in the mountains, or out on a boat at sea, the hard work, passion, blood and guts of this profession speak to a vitality that I hope will inspire the viewer on his/her own personal journey.”
 
Arnold’s fine art photographic work runs deeper then capturing a lifestyle, he tackles environmental issues, food production and man’s complex relationship to the natural world, all on a global level. With a keen eye for composition, Arnold brings imagery that narrates the reality of contemporary culture from a perspective he knows best. About this series he states: 
 
Fish-Work is an ongoing series that explores life aboard commercial fishing boats around the world. This selection includes work from my experience at sea aboard pollock and factory trawlers in the Bering Sea, a multi-month tour of European fisheries, images from my seven years working on the deck of the Bering Sea crabber F/V Rollo, and Graveyard Point, the seasonal salmon fishing community in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where I captain a skiff every summer.
 
While the photographs celebrate the lifestyle of fishermen, it is also my intention to bring awareness to the 21st century challenges facing coastal communities and oceans alike. The global fishing industry is in a period of rapid change. Serious threats to small-scale fishing communities include fleet consolidation due to catch shares, poorly managed fisheries abroad, ocean acidification, fish farming, and watershed destruction due to urban development, mining and pollution. Closest to home for me is the proposed Pebble Mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. Backed by billions of dollars of foreign corporate investment, the Pebble Mine could be one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world placed in the richest sockeye salmon watershed on earth.

Arnold, who graduated from the University of Art Academy in San Francisco has enjoyed a diverse and exciting career. His ongoing series Fish-Work was launched after receiving a commission from the PEW Charitable Foundation, taking him to Europe and photographing from aboard fishing vessels in eight European countries. He has also been awarded an American Scandinavian Foundation grant which lead to the documentation of the work of fishermen in Northern Norway.  His work has been exhibited in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York as well as numerous other venues worldwide, and published in Harpers, The New Yorker, New York Times LENS, Art Ltd, Rolling Stone, Time, Outside, National Geographic, Mare and The Paris Review among others. He is a recent recipient of a Hallie Ford Foundation Fellowship, a National Geographic Explorer Storytelling Grant and the first place award winner for the nature category of the World Press Review’s annual photography competition. Arnold has published two books of photography by Nazraeli Press including Fish-Work: The Bering Sea, and Fishing with My Dad. He is represented by Charles A. Hartman Fine Art in Portland, Oregon.
 

January 2020 Exhibit

January 2020 Exhibit
Roger Hayes

Pacific Northwest Trees

Local favorite and internationally acclaimed outsider artist Roger Hayes returns to Imogen for his fourth solo exhibition. This series Hayes turns his focus to the mythos of the great Pacific Northwest trees of the coastal region. Painting primarily in acrylic, he brings a collection of abstract and representational paintings considering physical attributes as well as metaphoric content through the totemic connection to land and sky. Pacific Northwest Trees opens during Astoria’s Second Saturday Artwalk, January 11, with a reception for the artist 5 – 8 pm. The show will be on display through February 4th.

Building on the theme of his last solo exhibition at Imogen, Roger Hayes forays deeper into the forests of the coastal range. He brings large scale acrylic and oil paintings focusing on the strength, beauty and symbiotic connectivity between trees, bridging earth and atmosphere. His interest stems from the obvious of environmental concerns but also crossing into the deeper connection of metaphysics and social structure of these towering giants.  About this current series he states:

Trees define the Northwest environment and create boundaries that ripple for miles, joining environments that surpass our districts through a natural order.

There is some risk of even cueing into a trendy point of focus with this topic, as we scramble to find solutions to stabilize a rapidly changing environment.

It is hard not to think of a tree as a neural connection between the sky and the earth, with cell like dendrites extending into the sky, and axons terminating in the earth. It strengthens the image of trees as sustaining the exchange of chemical messengers.

My interest in trees may have more to do with expressions of individuality, character and symbolism. Trees, like iconic and archaic animals also reach far back into the human psyche, and are also likely to be highly charged and evocative.

Trees are also linked in complex networks with other organisms, and form colonies.  Yet an image persists of the weather distraught solitary tree on a perch, withstanding millennia of solitude.

I can think of no better expressionist, or primitivist icon than a tree that both calls on the hallowed rites of millennia, or shuns the populace for a lonely and craggy vista.

Hayes, who hails from the gritty streets of Detroit, studied ambiguously the constant evolution of sides of buildings, billboards, and passing trains created by graffiti artists whose only canvas was the city itself. He has enjoyed a colorful and eclectic career as a painter, extending well beyond the diverse art community of Astoria, Oregon, establishing himself early on in his career into what was known as the International Neo-Expressionist movement.  His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the great cities of the Mid-West prior to his inclusion in European exhibitions.  He has participated in exhibitions throughout France, Switzerland, Argentina and many other destinations.