Art Reach Newsletter - Spring 2010
Juror of the 2010 PSU Art Alumni Exhibition
By Pamela Morris
Something as straightforward as an energy burst (fig. 1) is a fittingly direct and emblematic signature for artist Chris Johanson. The idea of radiating energy, whether in burst form or implied, propels nearly two decades of the artist's output. Some time ago, Johanson reached a point where abstraction became a necessary step in his process of exposing emotional truth.1 His pungent commentary on the human, social condition is made through impromptu combinations of figural, textual, and abstract referents bound in a less-than-seamless but wholly organic fashion.
Fig. 1 Chris Johanson, Energy Explosion on Pink, 2002 acrylic on wood panel 31 x 29-3/4 inches Courtesy of the artist
The seams, process, and rough-edged physicality of his work, by its very lack of polish, parallel the rawness of Johanson's prickly reflections. His figural style, which evolved from adolescent tagging in black Sharpie of lavatory walls and boarded-up windows, consisted of minimally fleshed-out stick figures often accompanied by text bubbles over simplified, bobble-like heads. His anemic lettered scrawl disarmingly spelled out the intensely pointed commentary of a conscientious, perplexed, and astute observer.
At times his jumble of text, frenetically skipping in and out of legibility, turned so chaotic that one thought cancelled out another in stream-of-consciousness sparring. What appeared as nonsensical scribblings were in fact disconcerting "perceptions" of our age of consumerism, transmitted without hubris in blunt prose. A synopsis of the substantial monograph on Johanson's work from 1993-2006, titled Please Listen I Have Something to Tell You about What Is, describes how "the artist transforms fleeting and altogether commonplace activities of the human experience into affecting parables frozen in time."2
Born in Santa Cruz in 1968, this humble maker of modern-day parables moved to San Francisco in 1989 and became one of a number of young creative participants in a Mission District scene centered on making work, hanging out, and getting by in a do-it-yourself, untrained manner. The outside world of the Mission streets supplied the fodder and steam for an art-making environment far removed from any art school or museum setting. Rather, an underground music and skate culture that embraced comic book and graffiti art forms, recreational drug use, and group-organized art shows at low-rent venues, fueled what became known as the 1990s Mission School. Along with Johanson, artists Barry McGee, Jo Jackson, and the late Margaret Kilgallen were among the impelling figures of the Mission underground.
Fig. 2 Chris Johanson, Needs the Light, 2002, acrylic on wood, 48-1/2 X 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Deitch Projects, NY
Among his art, skate, and music peers, Johanson moved from the early Sharpie improvisations toward painting skateboards as an outlet for expressing ideas, and painting houses to make a living. His style of art became recognizable and synonymous (beyond skateboard decks) with recycled scraps of plywood and paper on which his distinctive gestural preoccupations were painted or drawn. What began as both a natural inclination and a necessary means for sourcing art supplies -dumpster diving, or deliberate and habitual re-claiming of found, used, and discarded materials- became for the artist an overtly conscientious, earth-friendly choice. (article continued - click here)
PROFILE: Ivan Bailey ('69)
After graduating from PSU with a BA in art in 1969, Ivan Bailey got on a bus and headed east. He spent what he calls "the great hippie summer" studying jewelry, metalsmithing, and stone faceting on a work scholarship at the Penland School of Crafts in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. One of his teachers there, Robert Ebendorf, enlisted Ivan into the graduate program at the University of Georgia, Athens. "Bob is a great person and helped me considerably with connections for my future journey," Ivan says. During his first year of grad school, Ivan met Alex W. Bealer at his workshop at Southern Illinois University (memorably, it was the weekend of the Kent State massacre). That summer, Ivan spent his last extended period of time in Portland and decided to pursue blacksmithing in earnest. Back in Athens, he spent many Sundays at Bealer's house, blacksmithing and meeting some of the old timers Bealer mentions in his seminal book, The Art of Blacksmithing. Ivan earned his MFA in jewelry and metalsmithing in 1972, and married Bealer's oldest daughter the following year.
Ivan Bailey in his workshop
Through the World Craft Council, Ivan located two smithing schools in Germany. He wrote to each to see if he might be admitted if he were to receive a grant to study with them. The Craft School of the City of Aachen responded positively; they had never before had an American student. Ivan applied successfully for both a German Academic Exchange Fellowship and a Fulbright, reluctantly declining the latter in favor of the larger German grant. Ivan's year in Aachen was, as one would say, "ausgezeichnet." The school was all he had hoped for and his professor treated him more as a son than he did any of his German students.
Ivan Bailey, Balcony Railing
Meanwhile, the University of Georgia's PR department published an article on Ivan which was distributed widely in the Southeast. Ivan was invited to the city of Savannah to meet some "movers and shakers" and to determine whether his work might be a good fit in their future development plans. Professor Ebendorf accompanied him to an interview with the president of the Citizens and Southern Bank, who committed to back Ivan when he returned from Europe. In Savannah, Ivan operated Bailey's Forge from 1973 until 1981. In 1976, his first son, Oliver, was born and five years later a second son, Warren. The family relocated to Atlanta in 1981, where Ivan established Ivan
Ivan Bailey, Squirell Gate (detail)
Bailey Metal Studio; the shop continues under that name in Monticello, Georgia, where Ivan moved five years ago.
"In 1991," Ivan reports, "my wife and I divorced and I finished raising my sons as a gay father." Ollie is married and has given him two grandchildren, Scarlett Feral Bailey, age 6, and Colvin Magnus Bailey, age 9 months.Although he began collecting social security this year, Ivan still works sixhours a day in his shop. In responding to PSU Art Alumni and Friends' request for news he says, "I am delighted to reestablish contact with the PSU art department. My undergraduate years there were very productive and enjoyable."
Art Alumni News/Announcements
Tell us about your news, exhibitions or just what you are doing. Send an email with the subject "news" to email@example.com.
Greg Delapaix ('07) graduated from Goddard College in February with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies and will be starting work on a Ph.D. at California Institute of Integral Studies this fall.
Daniel Papke ('07) resides in Skagway, Alaska and has recently set up a scholarship fund for local students. See more details at http://danielpapke.com/2009/12/04/scholarship-is-complete/ and find out what else Daniel is up to at www.danielpapke.com.
Aaron Perkins ('07) has been working full time as a graphic designer at The Standard in Portland. In January 2009 he became a first-time homeowner using his VA home-loan benefits.
Tim Weakland ('06) works at Flying Rhinoceros, a small animation house /creative firm in Portland. He started interning there while he was still at PSU and after graduating was hired on full time.
Ethan Ham (MFA'05), whose artwork was pictured in the December 2009 issue of Art News, has co-published "Anthroptic" with author Benjamin Rosenbaum. The work was recently acquired by Australia's National Portrait Gallery and is included in the museum's current "Present Tense" show through August 22. Ethan is also represented in an exhibition at Southern Oregon University's Schneider Museum of Art, "The Mythical State of Jefferson" (May 6 - June 12), with a new artwork done in collaboration with Ethan Miller.
Blaise Pellegrin ('05) is recovering from the January earthquake in Haiti. Blaise and his wife, Kathey-Lee Galvin, were crushed by their house and subsequently had to be med-evacuated to Miami's Jackson Memorial Trauma Center. Both will make full recoveries.
Nishiki Tayui ('05) graduates with an MFA in painting from Indiana University this spring. Her work was selected for publication in the latest issue of the New American Paintings MFA Annual. She has been appointed research associate for the Diversity Fellows Program at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she will teach a class this summer.
Danny Baker ('00), after working in ad agencies, in-house design departments, and as art director for an international computer/electronics brand, launched Danny Ray Design. He has since worked with fortune-500 clients such as Gap, Inc.; Pottery Barn; Sephora; and recently began a contract with Publicis Modem working on accounts for LG phones and PayPal. Taking from his experience at PSU a desire to balance career with community involvement, every June Danny takes to the road for one week on his bicycle with 2500 riders traveling 545 miles to raise money for AIDS charities. As of this year he has raised $10,000 and ridden over 3,000 miles in training and the annual event. To support his efforts, go to www.tofighthiv.org/goto/dannybaker.
Dan Shea ('99), a Vietnam combat veteran, is undergoing therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and health issues related to exposure to Agent Orange. He is executive director of Education without Borders (EWOB), which recently organized a benefit concert to raise money for the PTSD Awareness Project. Dan is also on the executive board of the Portland chapter of Veterans for Peace and is working on a number of projects in the interest of veterans and their families. If you would like to donate or help in some other way, contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Also visit www.untilyoucomehome.com.
Kathryn Burke ('97) has been exhibiting her work, mostly in Portland, since 1998, focusing on a specific subject: "My painting," she says, "has evolved into an expression of what I have found to be one of the most important times people can spend together, sharing a meal."
Norma Piper (formerly Norma Lea) ('96), after graduating with a degree in painting, drawing, and printmaking, set up her studio outside Estacada and began seriously painting. She worked from her experience with people and nature, seeking to "capture their essences." She drew from life models and took her drawings to watercolor and oil. These sold well from a small gallery in Estacada and her paintings found homes in Oregon, Washington, and California. She began to travel, first around the United States, then to other countries, looking for subjects, sketching and photographing, and has found her most compelling material in Africa.
Elise Wagner ('95) had a one-person show at Aberson Exhibits in Tulsa, Oklahoma in February and was interviewed there on the NBC affiliate KJRH TV. She has solo shows coming up this July at Butters Gallery in Portland and in November at Hallway Gallery in Bellevue, Washington. On June 10 and 11, Elise will teach a workshop in encaustic monotype at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Her work is featured in Lissa Rankin's book Encaustic Art: Creating Fine Art with Wax (New York: Random House, 2010).
Carol Ann (Kay) Schaerer ('94) has a series of "Field Work" paintings on permanent display at Iorio Restaurant, 912 SE Hawthorne in Portland (tel. 503.445.4716). Check out her blog at http://carolschaerer.blogspot.com.
Terrall Dingman ('90) works as a substitute teacher for several elementary school districts in the Clackamas and Washington Counties. She reports that she is not doing much art at present but plans on setting up an on-going art table with lots of supplies readily available when she is hired full time with her own classroom. "This will be a spot that is regularly visited by the students either for organized art projects (I have several ideas already) or independent work. I hope to have children spending at least an hour or so each week doing art," she says.
Diane Gauthier ('85) graduated from PSU with a concentration in applied design, and received her MAT in 2004 at George Fox. She has been teaching art at West Linn High School since fall 2004. "Best gig in the world" she says. She teaches a course in fiber art, which she developed; a fundamental art skills class; and a ceramics class. Currently her own art work focuses on painting as well as ceramics. Her blog site is www.dianegauthierartist.blogspot.com.
Clay Hoffman ('82) continues his exploration into the mysterious and often perplexing relationship between the artist, his art and the world. Clay has created a sculpture garden in his back yard that he is hoping to utilize as a retreat for groups and individuals that need a place to brainstorm and problem solve. The garden has extensive stonework as well as stable and kinetic sculptures. He says, "After 30 plus years of experimenting and exploring in the art world, my art has finally matured, and I feel that I have created some significant and important works of art." Some of his art can be seen at www.artbyclay.com.
Linda Pyle Keppinger ('80), who graduated with a focus in weaving,recently received a promotion and a new title as Global Materials Director at Nike, Inc. Her role includes overseeing the creative and operational functions of a $400M Global Bags business.
MJ Anderson ('77) has recently received a commission through Oregon's Percent for Art in Public Places Program. She has carved two marble figures set on granite stepped bases, to be installed at the Justice Center in Salem. The title To Scale the Scale of Justice references figurative classics of art history, while presenting the artist's contemporary interpretation of the symbols of protection and balance practiced within the walls of the Justice Building. Check out her website at http://www.mjandersonsculpture.com.
Denny Boone ('72) moved to California after graduating from PSU with a major in sculpture. "As sometimes happens in life, things just don't work out as planned," he says, and in 1984 Denny, his wife, baby daughter, and one cat moved back to Portland. He has spent the last twenty-five years raising a family and working in the residential remodeling industry. Two years ago with his second child launched, he renewed his love of sculpture. His advice now is "Don't let your dreams fade away before you do!" Interested observers can see what he's up to at www.dennyboonesculpture.com.
Scott McIntire ('71) moved from Portland to Puerto Rico in the mid 1980's and then to New York in 1991. He has recently become affiliated with the Gerald Peters Gallery in New York as well as Peter Marcelles Hampton Road Gallery in Southhampton. Scott's paintings will be included in a group exhibition at Gerald Peters' Santa Fe location this summer. His work is also featured in the new edition of Studio Visit, a book on artists from around the country. His latest work can be seen at www.scottmcintire.com.
Joe Spooner ('68) has written and illustrated two children's books for Arnica Creative, Elephant Walk and N is for Nostril. A third book, a counting book titled 12 Pugnacious Penguin, is at the publisher's.
Judy Hoiness ('65), an art education graduate, will have a retrospective at Central Oregon Community College in Bend. The gallery in the Pinckney Center, Pence Hall, will display her work from October 25 - December 10, with a reception on Thursday, October 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. Judy's work was recently juried into the Watercolor Society of Oregon's traveling show and the Northwest Watercolor Exhibition in the Seattle area. She will be in a three-person painting show at the Tumalo Art Co. Gallery in Bend during the month of May.
May 31, 2010: NATIONAL CALL FOR WORKS ON PAPER October 2-November 5, 2010-Topic: Finished/Unfinished. $4000 in awards, Juror: Gloria Williams Sander, curator at the Norton Simon Gallery in Pasadena, CA. Maximum 3 images on CD (jpeg only), $20 for first image, $10 for each additional. Deadline for entry is June 16, 2010. For prospectus send SASE or WEB: Brand 39, 1601 West Mountain St, Glendale CA 91201 OR http://www.brandlibrary.org
June 1, 2010: NATIONAL JURIED EXHIBITION 19th Annual CALL FOR ENTRIES, September 12 - October 15, 2010, exhibition. Juror: Edward Evans, Director of Gallery 705, Stroudsberg, PA and artist represented at the Franklin 54 Gallery, New York and in exhibits and collections in the United States, Canada, Europe, Korea, and Japan. Best in Show: $1000 plus 2011 Solo Exhibit in the AI&G Foyer Gallery. Two Awards of Excellence: $500.00 each; Three Honorable Mentions. Open media. Entry fee. Prospectus: Art Institute & Gallery, 212 W Main St Suite 101, Salisbury MD 21801 OR 410-546-4748 OR http://www.artinstituteandgallery.com
June 2, 2010: CALL FOR WILD LIFE THEMED ART We are seeking artworks which involve animals in all forms: animal symbolism, animal spirit guides, animal human hybrids or feral children, animalistic human behavior, etc. The Exhibition will be publicly juried with all applicants posted online so that visitors of Projekt30 may select which artists will graduate to the final 30. Unlike other juried exhibitions, all participants receive exposure. Invitations will be sent to our potent and proven mailing list of 1000s of galleries,
collectors, and fellow artists. Publicly Juried: June 4-20, 2010. Opens: June 21, 2010. Entry fee. Prospectus: http://www.projekt30.com/wildlife_prospectus.html
June 30, 2010: STRANGE FIGURATIONS ART EXHIBITION A thematic exhibition open to all interpretations of the concept, Strange Figurations. Open to all forms of new and unusual figurative styles from the realist to the surreal and visionary. Open to all media. 72" maximum dimension. The exhibition will be held at the Limner Gallery, September 1 - 25, 2010. National magazine publication awards. For prospectus send SASE to (or online or email): SlowArt Productions, 123 Warren St, Hudson NY 12534 OR
http://www.slowart.com/prospectus/figure.htm OR firstname.lastname@example.org
July 1, 2010: NATIONAL JURIED ART EXHIBITION Eleventh Annual WILL'S CREEK SURVEY (Sept. 11 - Oct. 9, 2010). Best of Show 2-D $1250, Best of Show 3-D $1250, Awards $5,500+. Juror: Eric C. Shiner - Milton Fine Curator of Art at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Two jpegs, entries on CD, $25. Contact or download entry form: Allegany Arts Council, 52 Baltimore St, Cumberland MD 21502 OR 301-777-2787 OR http://www.alleganyartscouncil.org
Many additional opportunities are available at CAFÉ (Call For Entry)
https://www.callforentry.org and at Juried Art Services http://www.juriedartservices.com.
The PSU Art Alumni and Friends Committee can always use more help. We are already starting to organize another art alumni exhibition, are working on the next issue of ArtReach and are planning to create an Art Department scholarship fundraising event in the near future. If you want to help in some way contact James Minden at email@example.com.
PSU Art Alumni and Friends Committee
Alumni participants: Leslie Baird, Carolyn Cole, Tatiana deFigueiredo, Jeff Houghtaling, Mindy Helmer, Walter Lee, Cindy Lommasson, James MInden (Chair), Pamela Morris, Ben Rosenberg, Mandee Schroer, John Sprietsma, Judy Vogland, Elise Wagner.
Faculty participants: William LePore, Sue Taylor