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First Friday season kicks off with pots, prints

Art gallery show features potters, printmakers

The Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River will kick off the 2007 First Friday season opener April 6 with the show "Pots and Prints -- Exploring Series and Process."

This show features the works of two potters and two printmakers and will highlight the rhythmic similarities between the two mediums.

Curator and participating artist Jim Diem reflected, "As a potter I am intrigued with the relationship between ceramics and printmaking. Both disciplines have only recently infiltrated the intellectual boundary from craft to fine art, are closely tied to traditional consumer products, and often use heavily repetitive process."

He asked the artists to further illustrate these processes through the ideas of series and progression and to highlight the visible marks these rhythmic processes leave on their work.

Examples include the embossed paper or print series where the same base plates are used, or the throwing marks left by a potter's fingers.

Diem added, "I believe these marks not only show the artists hand, but also give the viewer a frame of reference for understanding how the work was created."

During the 2007 season, the Columbia Art Gallery hopes to expose local artists and our community to a range of artwork.

"An inspired and thriving art community requires stimulation," said gallery manager Catherine Kiewit. "While it is our mission to highlight local artists, bringing in prominent outside artists drives us all to excel. We have been pleasantly surprised by the willingness of well-known artists to show in our town."

Portland artist Margot Voorhies Thompson has exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally, and has been commissioned for public art projects throughout the United States. Thompson has been featured on Oregon Art Beat and this fall was chosen for the Portland Art Museum's printmaking show "14 years, 14 Artists: Mahaffey Fine Arts." Her work is inspired by ancient alphabets, archaeology, and the poetry and music of different mystical traditions.

Ted James of Hood River's work is represented in collections in approximately 28 states and in 2002 a California University presented a curated 30 year retrospective of his art work. His intellectually engaging prints for the show will reflect environment and experience in the Hood River Valley. James' work will also examine the concepts of series and process both literally and figuratively.

Brad Henry of Bend has been a professional potter for over 12 years. Henry is a prolific and talented studio potter who utilizes atmospheric glazing and gestural brush work to highlight his pots. His work will look at series through the visual themes of apple blossoms and spirals.

James Diem of Hood River is a professional potter, silversmith and teaching artist. Diem is active in the Hood River community both as a volunteer for the Columbia Art Gallery and as an artist in residence for Arts in Education program. His main work for the show is based on the idea of "capsules" and will highlight series and process through variations of form and color.

Both Thompson and James will present short lectures on their work and printmaking during the opening Friday night. The public is invited.

In conjunction with the show James will be offering a free printmaking workshop for children ages 6 and up, 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, at the Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave, Hood River.

Limit 10 children, with their parents invited to participate.

All will be given the opportunity to complete three or more prints based on three different printmaking techniques: collograph, encaustigraph, and burin-pressure. No prior art or printmaking experience is needed.

Materials employed are environmentally friendly, involve water-based paints and inks, and are donated free by the instructor. Wear old clothes.

For reservations call (541) 387-8877.


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