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Visual Arts

April 13, 2017

If you like art that keeps you looking, that brings you back for a second or third glance, then you will appreciate the art of Wendy Red Star, a Portland photographer and multimedia artist who was raised on the Apsáalooke reservation in Montana. An exhibit of her work is open at the state Capitol in Salem through May 11.

April 6, 2017

Eugene photographer and digital artist Melissa “Mimi” Nolledo began work on this photographic essay shortly after the November election. Since then she has been reaching out to local immigrants from various ethnic backgrounds, photographing and interviewing them and posting their stories, lightly edited here, on social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram. She exhibited these photos for the first time at the Oregon Asian Celebration. Her dramatic portraits are accompanied by thought-provoking stories of what it’s like to be an immigrant in America.

March 23, 2017

The White Lotus Gallery has put up a new show, replacing an exhibit of contemporary art with Japanese paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The beautiful paintings will be up until April 1, and then they will come down, about 20 works altogether, and another group of artworks will replace them. 

March 16, 2017

Standing in front of Fall Creek, a watercolor painting by David McCosh (1902–1981), I was aware there was someone else looking, too. Viewing the same artwork as someone else in a gallery or a museum can be awkward. Often one person will walk away to give the other their time with the piece. But not at the Karin Clarke Gallery on the day of curator Roger Saydack’s talk about the Eugene artist.

The atmosphere in the gallery was social. 

“You can tell this art is McCosh’s work,” the person said. 

March 16, 2017

It’s been more than a year since the Jacobs Gallery closed its doors in downtown Eugene, another victim of — of what, exactly? The sluggish economy? City Hall’s indifference to the visual arts? Poor management by the nonprofit organization that ran the Jacobs, created in 1987, on the lower floor of the Hult Center?

March 9, 2017

Most of us collect objects of some kind: a shell, a concert ticket, a dried flower kept in a book as a keepsake.

But what if you went to someone’s house and they had a whole room filled with such objects — and those things weren’t personally tied to their experience? Would you perhaps think that person was wired a little differently?  

February 23, 2017

Marc Chagall lived for nearly a hundred years. He left Russia for Paris and then, due to the rise of the Nazi party and anti-Jewish sentiment, left Paris for the United States.  

You might think someone who had witnessed such turmoil would have made art that was dark and heavy. But Chagall’s people, animals and flowers — recurring subjects in his imagery — are rarely bound by gravity. They hover above the ground and fly.  

February 16, 2017

Walk into the luscious new Louis Bunce retrospective at Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, and you’re immediately confronted with a 1932 self-portrait of the artist.

Wearing a banded fedora and sporting a 20-something’s raffish sneer, Bunce — whose career as an Oregon painter spanned the mid 20th century — glances forward through the decades as if to challenge the 21st century museum-goer: “You’ll never meet another artist quite like me,” he seems to say.

February 9, 2017

The affable Texan Rick Williams has best been known around Eugene over the past decade and a half as dean of the Division of the Arts at Lane Community College, a job from which he retired a year ago.

But Williams, 70, has also been a photographer for the past half century. He worked as a commercial photographer in Austin, Texas, for 30 years and taught photography at the University of Texas there for 10 years. He spent his free time lugging his Nikon cameras to nearby ranches, oil fields and tech factories, where he would document the lives of ordinary people at work.

August 25, 2016

The day after Erika Fortner graduated from art school in New York, she headed straight to Berlin to work on a $5 million 80-foot long mural for banking behemoth Goldman Sachs. 

She wasn’t alone; Fortner was one of about 30 art assistants in the employ of abstract painter Julie Mehretu, a 2005 MacArthur “genius” grant awardee who Goldman Sachs commissioned in 2007 to create “Mural.” 

August 18, 2016

Mike Leckie was lugging an armful of his hand-cast sculptures of athlete Ashton Eaton up the stairs at the 2012 Olympic Trials at Hayward Field when someone from above offered him a hand. 

It was Eaton himself, the new world-champion decathlon runner. Oddly enough, Leckie was bringing the sculptures up the stairs as a gift to Eaton and his mother for the racer’s new 2012 world record.

August 11, 2016

As cold and verboten as government buildings typically feel, it’s easy to forget that they belong to us, The People — paid for with taxpayer money, and don’t you forget it.

Too often these edifices are lifeless, soul-squashing, Orwellian; but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Here in Eugene, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken, with a board of art advocates, is trying to shift that perspective by transforming the blank walls of the Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse into a home for art exhibits.

June 30, 2016

The Oregon Country Fair poster is as much of an institution as the Fair itself. Around May each year, the OCF poster committee reveals the winning design and, like a harbinger of summer, it becomes increasingly ubiquitous, pinned to bulletin boards and taped to storefronts around the region.

Artist Ila Rose had submitted work to the committee in the past, to no avail. This year, she nabbed the commission — in a year that, according to the poster committee, had a record-breaking number of submissions.

June 23, 2016

Josh Krute likes wood — I mean, he really, really likes it. We sat in a coffee shop (at a wooden table, of course) and he ran his hands over the tabletop’s grain, sputtering off details about it with a pretty serious expression on his face. 

“In the last six or seven years, I’ve been printing sections of wood,” he explains. “I’ve been transferring their grain patterns onto paper — a process called relief.” 

June 9, 2016

Oil paintings of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Frida Kahlo and Abraham Lincoln, among others, lined the walls of downtown Eugene’s Townshend’s Teahouse amidst the chatter of conversation and the clinking of ceramic mugs against tabletops. 

These portraits are the work of Simon Graves, a Eugene artist whose current oeuvre is focused on the importance of the constructs of good and evil — and specifically the characters we tend to conceive as being good on an iconic, archetypal level.

April 28, 2016

On a stretch of wall overlooking a gravel lot in the Whiteaker, grimy layers of graffiti and tags have built up, offering non-sequitors like “You glad football is almost over?” and “RIP Crisco.” 

By July, that wall will be a community mural. The Whit neighborhood, long known for its offbeat artistic chops, is about to get a whole lot artsier. Two projects are taking shape: The 2016 CarPark Mural Project and the Whiteaker Art Walk. 

March 10, 2016

We’re all well acquainted with portraits. We’ve all seen da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and Van Gogh’s self-portrait with bandaged ear. We’ve been subjects in our own portraits, from selfies snapped at wild house parties to those bizarre, neck-cricking high-school IDs. Portraits are displayed in magazine ads, on business cards, in mugshots, passports and newspaper headlines.

January 21, 2016
Muhammad Ali, 1984, by Brian Lanker

January 21, 2016

Eugene-based comics artist Mike Allred smiles wide. “I’m a professional child,” he says.

Allred’s understated style turned heads when his Madman hit stores in 1992, paving the way for him to work with many of the best writers in the business as he drew the shiny, spandexed heroes he grew up loving.

A couple years back, when Marvel Comics green-lit a new, light-hearted series based on the classic brooding hero Silver Surfer, editor Tom Brevoort knew instantly this project had Allred’s name written all over it.

December 31, 2015

Artist Jerry Ross recently spent a lot of time with Donald Trump’s face. As a Bernie Sanders supporter, this was no easy feat.

“I got a lot of praise for that Trump painting because it captured his arrogance,” Ross says. “Also, his jaw, it’s very much like the jaw of Mussolini,” he adds with a laugh, referencing the fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

November 11, 2015

I can’t say I felt much when I read that the Jacobs Gallery was closing; having never visited, I only knew of it as “that gallery under the Hult.” I could envision the work they presented. You know, the kind of art that could easily hang in a “respectable gallery.” 

November 5, 2015

Henk Pander’s Portland studio is how I imagine an Old Masters’ pad — be it Vermeer, Rembrandt or Hals — in 17th-century Europe. Strewn about are remnants of still lifes, palettes with fat slabs of oil pigment and enormous canvases, all dwarfed by 20-foot ceilings. With the afternoon sun filtering in through skylights, it’s nothing short of glorious. 

October 29, 2015

Former prisoner Jimi Yamaichi’s guard tower replica on view at Wayne L. Morse Courthouse.


September 10, 2015

Local found-object sculptor Jud Turner has been working nonstop for decades, but he hasn’t had an open studio showing his work for 15 years. While his work is collected internationally, many in Eugene have never seen his art face to face. This weekend, Sept. 11-13, he will be showing more than 100 works, many of which have never been shown in Eugene and some that were completed this past week.

Why have you waited 15 years?