RR 2018 FEATURED ARTISTS
Born in Bend Oregon, Clare Carpenter grew up with nature all around her, which profoundly shaped her sense of place. The high desert helped Carpenter hone her “rebel Oregonian spirit.”
After high school Clare started studying commercial printing at Mount Hood Community College. Originally wanting to be on the hands on side of the process, Clare opted for commercial printing instead of computer-based graphic design.
Yearning for a more artistic experience Carpenter enrolled at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. She vacillated back and forth on whether to pursue drawing and illustration or book arts. Ultimately, she decided on book making.
Her thesis, A Rampage of Mud and Boulders ( a study of her Saint John’s neighborhood), returned Carpenter to observation and studying a sense of place. Upon receiving her degree Clare began showing in local galleries and teaching classes at Oregon College of Art and Craft. After a few years of developing her book arts career, Clare’s heart once again turned to illustration.
Inspired by her love of nature, Clare is currently focused on illustration, primarily through block printing. Since water is not normally used in the printing process, she had to get creative. To use water in her work Clare is working with watercolors and block printed sections that will function as a resist.
Marilyn Joyce is a visual artist and former high school art teacher who lives on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. She received her BS degree from the University of Oregon and completed a post-baccalaureate program at Oregon College of Art and Craft.
Marilyn is drawn to nature, finding inspiration while exploring the bounty
of her native Oregon. In her work she references both sensory and physical elements that help her define a specific place, such as “the chatter of dried field grass in the winter wind or a red-tailed hawk as it threads its path from treetop to treetop.” She then incorporates these observations into her work creating a dialogue with grids, lines, shapes, color, patterns, scale and symbols.
Most recently, Marilyn was able to explore the desert environment of Eastern Oregon through the PLAYA Residency Program in Summer Lake, Oregon.
For Recycled Rain pieces she took her observational skills to the next level
by tracking Oregon’s April showers – including the number of the rainy days, clouds and sun breaks. With these observations in mind Marilyn took to the studio creating paper assemblage works telling a mosaic of stories through paper, inks and thread.
Each work defines both place and experience simultaneously, treating the viewer to a visual time capsule of visceral experience.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, artist Kristy Kun made her way to the west coast via California where for she worked as a furniture maker. Curiosity around upholstery led her next calling, this time in fiber and wool. Intuitively Kristy blazed her own trail in fiber arts creating a signature style in the process.
“Felting is such a water and energy intense process.” Kun says describing the process of working wool into felt. “These large textural pieces are very physically demanding. When the wool is wet, I am rubbing and kneading it until the fibers tangle into a dense textile.”
Kun is so close to the work that she can actually feel the moment when the wool becomes fully felted.
During the felting process, Kristy is either working flat on the table or agitating
the felt more aggressively in the tub,
like a washing machine. “I enter the tub to concentrate my energy directly into felting the wool. The water is warm and the felt is mesmerizing as it undulates in the water.”
In her pieces for RR, Kun’s goal is capture the movement of water as she experiences it during felting and to
work more conservatively with the water required for the process by re-using it in more than one aspect of her practice.
Kristy teaches courses in fiber arts throughout the world via on-line classes and her work can be seen at Waterstone Gallery in Portland.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Kelly attended Penn State University graduating with a BA in Integrated Arts, studying landscape architecture.In 2005 Kelly decided she wanted to focus primarily on art. Taking a giant leap of faith Neidig pulled out a map and chose Portland.
Starting out in coffee shops and small spaces Neidig continued to make contacts with the Portland art scene. In 2006 she began participating in Portland Open Studios and is a past president of the organization. In 2009 Neidig was invited to show her work in the exhibition Representing Abstraction at the Museum of Northwest Art in Washington State.
Kelly was recently inspired by a visit to Japan – in particular – a visit to Kyoto to see a 60 year retrospective of the art of Yayoi Kusama.
“I loved investigating her technique of layering lines, marks, and dots to create negative and positive space in her paintings.” Neidig says.
Since that trip her signature lines of past works have morphed to more abstracted forms and their relation in space.For The Recycled Rain Project Kelly continues to study and explore form and layering with watercolor and Flashe paint with nature and water as her muse.
Native Portlander Mary Ann Puls has been enthralled with art since she was young. A city girl at heart, she is inspired by nature in the urban environment.
Puls began her studies and then profession in graphic design, but her interests were always in non-commercial art. MaryAnn then later studied atthe Oregon College of Art and Craft, taking a wide variety of classes and workshops over a few years. She has had a dedicated studio practice for over 20 years during which she has created several bodies of nonrepresentational work for solo and group shows.
MaryAnn’s focus has been in both painting and assemblage. She strives to use as many reclaimed or found materials as possible. House paint, papers, scrapes of wood, plaster and cement (then casts into forms) are some of her favorites.
While walking her dog in Portland, Puls observes and admires nature’s resilience as it pops up through the cracks and crevices of the urban landscape. She has a particular interest in lichens and moss and is intrigued in their ability to act as both a filter and an environmental indicator of air quality.
In her work for The Recycled Rain Project, Puls continues to explore
her hometown through mindful experimentation incorporating multiple mediums to abstractly capture her urban jungle.
RR 2017 FEATURED ARTISTS
Roberta Aylward sees the world differently, perhaps because of a childhood spent in many different locations. After moving several times, her family settled down and opened a bakery when Roberta was in fourth grade. She learned first hand from her mother, who was a maker and baker, how a different perspective and a little creativity could provide the answer to many of life’s quandaries.
“My creative process is driven by curiosity and inspired by nature. My works are abstract in nature and aim to document the relatively unseen: feelings, sensations, inquiries, ideas and memories.”
Alyward received her BFA with a concentration in painting from the College of Santa Fe in 1991.Though watercolor paints were her first love, she uses a mix of medias, primarily water-based paints.She has always been drawn to forms of vessels, and how they hold volume, whether full or empty. Her acrylic paintings for the Recycled Rain Project reflect Roberta’s in-depth study of vessels and their multiple meaning as applied to life.
Roberta’s watercolor works for the show were created intuitively while painting in the rain. By painting with rain Aylward is able to harmonize with nature and document it in a unique and fluid way.
In her work Aylward seeks to “reveal the invisible, transform energy and explore undiscovered territories.”
Shawn Demarest started her art career chasing light, literally. Part of her decision to study plein air painting in Southern France was based upon the location’s latitude.
After falling in love with the light in Provence, Shawn then located to another area awash with light; Taos, New Mexico. There Demarest honed her skills and continued with outdoor painting. Always a visceral and visual person, Shawn preferred to work in a plein air style – painting outside with her subject matter.
After moving to Oregon, Shawn once again found her light, this time in the Eastern end of the state after being offered an artist residency. “My time spent at Playa was a revelation. I had no idea how beautiful the high desert of Oregon would be”
Then it happened. One day Shawn’s creative muse was drawn to the rainy streets of Portland. She observed how the water on the roads reflected and distorted the scene from above. And that’s how she began to paint the rain.
This change initially created a problem. Shawn couldn’t exactly paint a scene outdoors while it was raining. At first, she worked from memory, recreating the scenes in her mind. Now she frequently uses photos she takes as a reference when capturing the rainy streets of Portland in her singular style.
Although water nearly always appears in her work, Shawn paints with oils and does not actually use water. To use her rainwater as part of RR 2017 Shawn decided she would filter her collected rainwater and drink it while in the studio. An elegant illustration of how valuable water is and how it connects us all.
Nate Ethington is a multifaceted artist. His love for painting began in high school. When he went to college he was excited to start taking formal art classes. However, at the same time, Ethington had an evolving music career. Eventually his band started getting more attention and began touring regionally so he decided to leave college to focus on his music.
After a few years on the road Nate moved to New York. A bike mechanic by day, he took to painting at night. It helped him regain his creative outlet and kept his mind busy.For three years, Nate worked in his small NYC apartment. He took in all the visuals New York had to offer. From street art all over the city to the grand museums.
Eventually Nate needed a change. He moved back to his hometown of Kansas City and settled into a new and demanding job. Art began to fade into the periphery.But in 2010 his focus shifted again, with a big life change and a move to Oregon. Here he began his painting again in earnest and he hasn’t looked back.
His work continues to be influenced by his time in New York and his music. He explores space and our relation to it. His mix of geometric and abstract elements combine to create beautifully complex forms.
“It’s all about balance” he says.
Candace Primack has studied art from many different angles. She began with a Masters in Christian Studies/Christianity and the Arts focusing on 13th, 14th and 15th century western art.
After having children, her imagination grew and she found herself drawn towards a more abstract style. At the time she was working in pottery, hand-building shapes and fitting them together to make a whole. From there Primack turned to other mediums, trying her hand at printmaking, drawing, figuratives – nothing stuck. Then she took a class on abstract art and was hooked.
For the next seven years Candace would hone her talents in an art group with five other women. This diverse group helped push her forward. As the only abstract artist, she began to gain a deeper understanding of abstraction through the lens of her fellow artists. Eventually the group split up and she needed to make a choice. She decided to sign a lease on a studio space and jump into art full-time.
Since then Candace has continued to grow. By her second year as a full-time artist she was already getting into juried shows in New York and California. Primack enjoys using various mediums to create works with depth and layering. “Using a number of mediums, I can manipulate them in a variety of ways, being led to create pieces that I feel are kinetic and energetic, instilling within the viewer a sense of hope and joy.”
Ever since her first sailing trip Barbara Rawls was destined to be on the water.
A Portland native, she started sailing in high school with her sister and friends. It started a connection to water that she still holds today.
Barbara studied Ceramics and Painting at Portland State University. She started her career in ceramics, creating vessels and wall pieces. While she loved ceramics, Rawls felt the work was so wrapped in process she was drawn more towards the immediacy of painting.
After taking graphic design classes at PSU she fell back in love with two dimensional art and began painting once more. As a mixed media painter Barbara’s work incorporates multiple mediums such as, plaster, acrylic paint, collage, charcoal and graphite. Though she’s back working in two dimensions, she still loves working with texture. “I make marks using scribing and scrapping tools to create history and depth in the surface.”
Rawls enjoys tackling a variety of subject matter, often working in series to tell complex stories through a mix of realism and abstraction. And she’s still living the dream on the water. For over 20 years Barbara and her husband have lived on a houseboat on the Multnomah Channel. Her studio window overlooks the water and Barbara is right at home.
RR 2017 RETURNING VETERANS
RR2017 is excited to have these past Recycled Rain Project artists back again this year!
Thérèse Murdza, Hilary Pfeifer, Kindra Crick, Jesse Nearns, Karen Wippich, Jon Wippich, Shu-Ju Wang, Sara Sjol, Fred Swan, Leah Hugon, Nate Ethington, Rio Wrenn, Rosy England-Fisher, Chantel Greene, Betsy Bustamonte, Di Pinsonault, Nicole Curcio, Kristen Hamilton, Amy Ponteri, Dan Ness, Quin Sweetman, Spike Palmer.
RR 2016 FEATURED ARTISTS
JEREMY OKAI DAVIS
Jeremy Okai-Davis has always been drawn to people. Often using old photographs as inspiration, he uses loose brush strokes and a vibrant palette to give each work a deep richness – taking an image and turning it into a work of art.
Brainstorming about rain lead Okai-Davis to the word “thirst.” This started him thinking about how the word has become a slang “for desperation or wanting” in certain circles. “The open mouth of some of the figures denote that. I hope that the viewer reads into them as they will and puts their own ideas into the work.”
Jeremy took the Recycled Rain Project as an opportunity to work on new ideas and experiment with his style. He has added found items to his work, using some remnant wood pieces to add depth as well as working with washes for his backgrounds. “I like how the water and acrylic paint kind of do what they will. It left a lot to chance and put me into a experimental mindset from the start.”
His 4 pieces are all portraits of African-American men. “I’ve been really interested in the lack of said figures on gallery walls so that was my starting point, as well as, the difficulty in photographing (shooting) black skin.” Okai-Davis has a larger project in mind using this series as a departure point, “this is me working out new ideas, we’ll see where it goes.”
Jeremy exhibits regularly in the Portland area. His 2015 solo show “Those Days Are Over” opened at Duplex Gallery to much acclaim. His work can also be found in publications such as American Songwriter and Artslandia.
Ink runs through artist Jenn Feeney’s veins. She comes from three generations of printers, so her childhood was spent around a commercial print shop founded by her great-grandfather and run by her parents.
There she was surrounded with reams of paper, and would spend hours drawing and making play money and flip books.
When Jenn joined the working world, she also ended up working in print. Jenn started her artistic career in 2006, while taking classes at The Drawing Studio. It was there she met William Park. After taking one of his monotype workshops, she was hooked.
Feeney often finds inspiration in nature and natural themes appear regularly in her work. In her series of monotypes for The Recycled Rain Project, Jennifer explores how water creates its own patterns, particularly in soil and rock deposits. This year Jennifer is working with water-based ink as well as oil-based… who says oil and water don’t mix?
Jenn has the honor of being the longest participating artist in the history of The Recycled Rain Project. She has created work for all five years of the show – including our very first show with only 9 people!
Jenn’s work can be seen at Bite Studio and at various shows around Portland. She is involved in many local artist groups including Siren Nation and The Portland Artists Social Guild. Feeney is also a painter, working in acrylics, watercolor and oil.
Jody Katopothis has always been a creator. As both an artist and musician Jody is constantly managingher creative flow. The relationship between these two expressions has become an integral part of her creative explorations. “They are fully intertwined,” says Katopothis “...they continuously evolve, informing & feeding each other.”
Jody’s inspiration for The Recycled Rain Project came upon learning that raindrops are not the “tear-drop” shape as we normally draw them, but instead start out as circles and then bend into a bean shape. “The idea that raindrops are born round really stood out to me” she says. This became the central theme for her new work. Although her sketchbooks are full of circles, they rarely made their way into paintings, until now. Rivers and bodies of water often feature in her work, but she leans toward square shapes and lines to interpret and express them.
Jody began her process for this project by using words and music as a starting point (a method she often uses). The paintings were then made using just rainwater to thin and mix paints and to clean up. Jody says “The process of collecting, storing and using the rain has been a nurturing experience for me. Harvesting this bountiful, natural element in order to create work, has deepened my feelings and awareness of mother nature and our environment.”
Jody’s work can be found locally at The Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery and at Imogen Gallery in Astoria. She has been a part the Sitka Art Invitational for the last 4 years and was featured on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat.
Karl Kaiser’s work is wonderfully precise. Perhaps it’s his past life as a machinist that has made his work so striking and detailed. His primary medium is encaustic: hot wax painting, using heated beeswax, resin and colored pigments. The wax allows Karl to carve into deep layers with metal tools that bring depth and complexity to his work.
Karl’s first medium was photography. He started in High School and continued until his graduation. 15 years later, after an inspirational trip to Europe, Karl picked up photography once more. While in Germany he visited his aunt – an artist who paints, works in clay, and prints. This connection was the starting point and rekindled his love of creating art. Upon his return, Karl took a photography class at PCC. He then continued his studies taking many drawing and painting classes shortly after. In 2006 Karl took an encaustic class and has been working with the medium ever since.
This is the second year Karl has participated in The Recycled Rain Project. Like many of our Featured Artists this year, he is using RR to experiment. To use water, Karl has once again returned to acrylic painting in his latest collection. Having thoroughly enjoying this return, he plans to paint more with acrylic in the future.
Though at times it wasn’t always clear, Theresa Andreas-O’Leary has always been an artist. A native Oregonian, Theresa was raised in Garden Home & Milwaukie, suburbs of Portland.
In true artistic spirit, “Terrie” got an F in her senior art class not because of talent or lack thereof, but because her work was different than instructed.
In 1998 Theresa, her husband and four kids were living in the UK. Theresa volunteered to help with set design & painting for her daughter’s play. This was a first public project for her. The Director made a comment to her, “I didn’t know you were an artist,” and Theresa said, “Neither did I!” Her natural talents were apparent and her artistic spirit rose once more.
Theresa and her family moved back to the US in 2000 and she began showing her paintings in the Portland area. Since then, she has won numerous awards for her unique style; capturing the beauty of Oregon Wine Country with a twist of abstraction.
Always a clever one, Theresa’s paintings for The Recycled Rain Project are different than her regular landscapes. Her water inspiration; “the raining down of cherry blossom petals” We are excited that Theresa has once again used her artistic eyes to paint the world in her own beautiful way.
Theresa’s work can be seen at Art Elements Gallery in Newberg and DragonFire Gallery in Cannon Beach.
Painter | andreasartstudio.com
Nanette Wallace is a bad ass and isn’t afraid to show it. She started off getting her BFA in Printmaking and Drawing at Oregon State University – from there she was always on the move; designing, printing and throwing elbows. Wallace describes herself as an artist, printmaker, designer, speed skater and retired roller derby athlete.
Growing up in rural Oregon, Nanette spent many hours at a meandering creek that ran through the family farm “I absolutely loved being in and around water no matter the season.”
Nanette took the challenge of using rain water to heart, both technically and thematically. Her works are inspired by vintage photos of figures in the rain or in/around water. Nanette normally prints and paints using oil-based inks. For the last two years she had a set of water-based printmaking ink sitting in a box, unopened. “I just loathe using solvents and knew using water-based inks could really be a great thing for me.”
“When I was invited to be in The Recycled Rain Project, I decided to take the leap and use those water-based inks.” The experience was quite challenging at first, but the more Nanette used water-based inks the more enamored she became with their qualities.
Nanette has shown work at Verum Ultimum in Portland and she recently had a solo monotype and painting show at Milwaukie City Hall, in Milwaukie, Oregon. Wallace is a member of William Park’s studio.
RR 2016 RETURNING VETERANS
RR2016 is excitied to have these past Recycled Rain Project artists back again this year!
Thérèse Murdza, Hilary Pfeifer, Kindra Crick, Jesse Nearns, Karen Wippich, Jon Wippich, Shu-Ju Wang, Sara Sjol, Linda Dalal Sawaya, Janet Rothermel, Fred Swan, Leah Hugon, Nate Ethington, Rio Wrenn, Rosy England-Fisher, Chantel Greene, Betsy Bustamonte, Davey Cadaver, Di Pinsonault, Nicole Curcio, Kristen Hamilton, Amy Ponteri, Dan Ness, Breanna Moran, Carrie Goolsby, Chris Haberman, Jessica Brackett, Julie Costello, Kia Metzler Holden, Laura Weigle, Matthew Poindexter, Quin Sweetman, Spike Palmer.
RR 2015 FEATURED ARTISTS
Kindra Crick was inspired to visualize how the global problem of climate change affects us in our own backyard and compels our mind to imagine solutions and act.
“Growing up in the Pacific Northwest one comes to appreciate the lush landscape made possible by our seemingly abundant natural resource, rain. In a region rich with access to clean water, climate change seems like an abstract and distant problem. While researching the disappearing glaciers and reduced snow-pack on Mt Hood, I contacted geologists who have been documenting its glacial decline over the past century. This stately repository for our fresh cool water has lost a third of its glacial mass and further melt will drastically alter our evergreen landscape."
The majority of my artwork focuses on the brain. For this project I used century-old maps of the cerebral cortex and old topographic maps of the Mt. Hood Wilderness. These Brodmann’s maps of the brain are reminiscent of topographic landscapes and represent the unique power of our imagination with its ability plan solutions for our changing climate.
My goal as a science-based artist is to invite the viewer to examine an alternative way to experience the wonders of biology as well as science’s quest to better understand our world and ourselves.”
Kindra Crick is a Pacific Northwest native, artist and experimentalist whose artwork combines a passion for scientific inquiry with visual expression. She works primarily in painting, printmaking and book arts.
Crick’s interest in science and art has been a constant in her life. Her grandfather was a biologist, while her grandmother painted the female form and encouraged her to paint at an early age. She has a degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and a Certificate in Painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Crick’s work has been shown at the New York Hall of Science, MDI Biological Laboratory and the Museum of Contemporary Craft. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
Check out more of Kindra’s work at: kindracrick.com |
“I usually let my concepts deem the medium I use, but for the most part, my work takes shape in a combination of writing, photography, the interweb, sound work, video, relational performance and sometimes installation art.”
Years ago, on a trip to Sikkim, India, Fenton came across a family walking an entire day with a plastic bucket containing their weekly water. She had been on a two day trek and had run out of water an hour before she met the family. Though she had been terrified of dying of thirst, her fears were immediately quelled after the encounter.
“I realized how much I had always had and how little so many other people had. That trip was a major eye opener to how much I consume in this world as an American.”
This experience stuck with Fenton and inspired her installation that documents her personal use of water for the month of April through text and photography. Fenton was inspired to join the Recycled Rain Project because,“I was curious and challenged by the concept. I’m also pretty devoted to water on a daily basis and wanted to explore a deeper understanding of it. I let the water run. While doing dishes. While brushing my teeth. While standing in the shower on those dark, cold early mornings. I turn the faucet on and off. On and off. There isn’t a lot of thought that goes into this movement. It’s part of a larger, sleepy, domesticated choreography, like putting keys in my pocket, pulling socks over my feet or opening the refrigerator door. I barely notice asking my hands to do the turning on and off. Yet it’s nourishing me. It’s cleaning me, feeding me, hydrating me.
These little actions I barely pay attention to are a large part of why I exist, why everything exists. So, for the month of April I’m choosing to focus. Every time I turn the faucet on, I’ve made a note of it. The water I use is measured, logged and photographed. Concurrent to logging my water usage, I’ve placed ten yellow buckets outside to catch rain water. It’s my hope to slowly replenishing a water supply I’ve too quickly depleted.”
Lindsay Jordan Kretchun
Painter and Illustrator and Duplex Gallery co-owner Lindsay Jordan Kretchun is a born storyteller. Her narrative style seeks find a deeper story though her art.“Within an atmosphere of paranoia and material fragility, my paintings engage the fluctuation between play and fear. Dark humor, folklore, and the oddity of characters are the base from which I begin the work.”
For RR2015 Lindsay created a new narrative to frame her work.
“The series for the show is inspired by an incomplete narrative loosely titled “St Agnes School for Wicked Girls”. I aim to frame a very small story of illustrated wild girls, along side playful images of the occult and southern Gothic themes, all the while keeping the dark sense of humor and folklore that runs throughout my work.”
Lindsay has volunteered as a curator for the Recycled Rain Project and is very dedicated to the cause.“I love the idea of artists being mindful of the resources we use in our work. I know I go through so much paper and water in the final stages of making a painting, but I should also be aware of the processes of making that paper, paint or the packaging that happens before I even begin. Even the small act of replacing my water with collected rainwater changed the way I thought about how I’m using this important resource for everyone.”
Check out more of Lindsay’s work at: LindsayJordanKretchun.com
As a native Portlander, painter and video artist Dan Ness has seen a lot of rain in his lifetime. So it’s no wonder that he has a love / hate relationship with it. As a Featured Artist for RR 2015, Ness sees both sides of water issues – not enough water during droughts to the not-so-obvious threat of water due to issues such as flooding.
“I am working with an image that inspired me of a man cleaning up after a flood. Water is necessary but sometimes it can be disastrous and dangerous.”
His work strives to show the effects of nature on people and how man must continually work to create a balance with nature. As an artist Ness works in mixed media, from stencils to collage to paint and combinations of all of them. This process gives Ness the freedom to let the piece evolve as he creates it.
“I only have a vague idea of what the piece will look like when I start a painting. I usually have a single image or multiple images I plan on incorporating or focusing on in the painting.
I sort of lay out where the images are going to go, but from that point a lot of things could go wrong. It’s never going to look the way you imagine. I accept this and just work until it looks satisfactory.”
Check out more of Dan’s work at: nessdan.com
“I call myself a craft-influenced sculptor,” says Featured Artist Hilary Pfeifer,”meaning that I pull in all kinds of mixed media training into my art. In general, it’s usually mostly made from wood that’s had a previous life.” Her sculptures, often depicting animals or nature, typically use more than 80% found wood.
What inspired you to participate in RR2015?
“The idea of using collected rainwater as a means to discuss larger ecological issues sounded like a great challenge and is in keeping with the themes behind my artwork.” When asked to be a Featured Artist for RR2015, Pfeifer’s mind immediately went to rain sticks. She had been working with the motif of a walking stick for the past decade. Pfeifer had discovered that the Aztecs used them as a ceremonial tool for bringing rain to irrigate their crops and thought it could be a good starting point for new work.
“My piece for The Recycled Rain Project is a wall installation of nine rain sticks, each featuring a bird that’s on the Audubon Birds and Climate Change Report. “Issued last year, the report predicts 314 species that will be extinct by the year 2080 if we don’t act soon. “The nine species I chose [from this list] are all songbirds that are found in the Pacific Flyway.”When asked what she noticed while participating in the project, Pfeifer replied,“I already see that the Recycled Rain Project has changed my habits – it’s very easy for me to collect rainwater to use, so I plan to make it a permanent change in the studio.”
Hilary was our first sculptor for RR!
Shu-Ju Wang wants us to rethink the way we talk about water. Quite literally as a matter of fact.
For RR2015, painter and book artist Shu-Ju Wang has envisioned and created a water dictionary for “our future selves”. This dictionary devises new terms for water and its usage as the environmental landscape continues to shift. Asking the greater question; “Where will our water be coming from and what will it be like?” May we have an example of one of your words and its meaning?
Ouahe: Spring water from uninhabited and pre-industrial regions at the time of Anthropocene.
It is generally less contaminated than other sources of ground water. The word is borrowed from the ancient Egyptian for “dwelling place” and is the root for the modern English “oasis.” Extremely rare and precious.
The pairing of water and words is a theme that has shown up in Wang’s previous work as well.In her collaborative book ‘Water,’ Wang designed a flowing work using a meandering structure with hexagonal pages that form a whirlpool when fully opened. The structure allows the poem to be read in the round as intended by the poet: Emily Newberry.
What inspired you to join the Recycled Rain Project?
“I am very aware of our impact on the environment. I’ve recycled my entire life, composted since 1975, and my husband and I produce about one can of garbage a year. I’m an avid gardener, so I pay attention to how much rain fall we’re getting.”
“… RR just seemed like the perfect project to participate in.”
RR 2015 Invitational Artists
Amy Ponteri, Boz Schurr, Breanna Moran, Consu Tolosa, Jane Campbell, Janet Rothermel , Jason Edward Davis, Jeni Lee, Jennifer Feeney Jennifer Porter, Jesse Nearns, Jon Wippich, Karen Wippich, Karl Kaiser, Kristen Hamilton, Laura Weigle, Linda Sawaya, Madelyn Hampton, Nancy Smith Klos, Nate Ethington, Nicole Curcio, Rio Wrenn, Sara McCormick, Sara Sjol, Spike Palmer,Therese Murdza, Wilder Schmaltz
RR 2014 FEATURED ARTISTS
Jesse Narens grew up in Chicago, IL. Always a creative soul, he experimented with many different endeavors as a youth. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to do art or music,” he says, “I used to draw all the time when I was little with my dad and grandpa. I took some art classes in high school, but they were for ceramics and photography” When he moved to Portland in 2011 he met artist Jesse Reno. Reno helped Jesse became aware of other approaches to art – the “things you never learn about in school.” At that point he switched his sights to painting. As Jesse began to find his style, ideas began to flow. Inspired by nature and influenced by Aboriginal and Inuit art, Jesse’s work has a primitive, yet connected feel as he explores thoughts and theories with simple symbols and patterns. Through the use of limited materials, Jesse’s work guides the viewer into his world with strong statement and a gentle hand.“I usually try to learn on my own, staying purposefully away from teachers and classes. I feel like learning techniques or being told what the ‘right way’ is takes away from the magic of random discovery.” Along with being a talented Portland artist, Jesse was asked to be a Featured Artist for The Recycled Rain Project because of his ability to speak to nature and the environment.
David Slader also grew up in Chicago. Though a budding artist in his youth, law became his career path. He moved to Portland and began a successful law firm. Upon retirement, David again picked up the paint brush. He began working with oil on panel and was immediately drawn to faces.Why faces?
“I have no idea.” David says, “My greatest fear is that one day I will wake up and discover that I can only paint Golden Retriever puppies. I have nightmares over that.”
David Slader now works primarily in oil and oil crayon on panel. With a cubist mentality and vibrant colors, Slader brings a strong and silent depth to each of his figures. His work creates a connection with the viewer that makes each of Slader’s “faces” come alive. Deeply devoted to environmentalism, David’s studio sits on the banks of the Nehalem river. Located along a geologically unique area, David feels a strong stewardship towards the land. All of water at his studio is from the sky. Rainwater is collected in a 9,000 gallon cistern. From there it is pumped to a filtration system, sterilized and flows as needed throughout the cabin. Though he doesn’t use much water while painting, he diligently cleans his brushes with soap and rainwater (after a long process of removing the pigments in safflower oil baths). This keeps dangerous chemicals from flowing back into the environmentally important river. When asked if David ever paints landscapes he said “No. I’m an environmentalist” adding “I believe that landscapes should remain in their natural state."
See more of his work at: davidslader.com
Karen Wippich is a self taught artist from all over the US, and now calls Portland Oregon home. With expert color theory (thanks to her years as a graphic designer) , Wippich’s work explores relationships between vintage and modern culture. She primarily works in acrylic on board, in a creative layering process that gives her a signature style makes her work truly original. “All of my pieces are currently evolving,” says Wippich. “I continue to apply layers of images until I consider the piece done.”
Karen and her husband, Jon (also a Featured Artist in RR2014) are both deeply committed to the environment. When asked if she would like to join the project she responded with an enthusiastic ‘yes’ and was instantly hooked on the idea. Thus far in the project Karen has learned that she uses up to two buckets full of rainwater per four hour session. When asked if it is as much as she thought, Wippich replied: "No, it seems like more. I guess I didn’t think about it. I love going out to the back yard to retrieve more rainwater from our collection buckets.” adding “I love this idea and plan to continue using rainwater throughout the year. I’ve been leaving a clean bucket of rainwater on my art desk between painting sessions and often find our youngest cat drinking out of it. Dual purpose!”
Both Karen and Jon work closely with our RR2014 Charity, The Human Access Project and are committed to helping the environment and water-issues!
Originally from Baltimore, artist Thérèse Murdza has crisscrossed the country on a creative journey. She grew up in a musical family where she studied piano, saxophone, then jazz and music theory. In college her creative winds shifted as she studied theater performance; learning new forms of materializing sounds in transitory space. Later years spent in Rehoboth Beach, DE, Brooklyn, NY and Washington, DC found Murdza drawing on big paper and literally taking the words apart. Disintegrating the shapes of the words into lines, circles, squares and color. Hearing words, seeing music, somehow marking sound in charcoal, ink, pencil, and paint Thérèse has been a full-time artist since 2001. With an ever-changing emotive style, her paintings are raw and beautiful at the same time. Murdza works in mixed media with acrylic, water-soluble pencil and/or crayon on hand-stretched canvas Thérèse was selected as a Featured Artist because of her bold and beautiful style as well as her spirit. Upon visiting the first Recycled Rain Project in 2012, Murdza was inspired by the concept. Shortly after the show Launchpad Gallery, RR2012’s site, closed. As a result, the founders of RR were unsure if they wanted to do the show again in 2013. That was where Thérèse stepped in. She reached out to asking if there would be a RR2013. All it took was one look at her website and the choice was clear — the show must go on…
Jon Wippich was born and raised in a small farming and ranching town in Kansas. Always an artist at heart, Jon started his career in the world of graphic design. While continuing to run his graphic design business with is wife (and featured artist) Karen, Jon began to paint. Wippich’s gentle blend of color creates a rich glow; subtle technique that creates an aura of each subject that flows throughout the entire work. “Overall, I’ve always felt more comfortable drawing rather than painting, so often times I brush on paint and then selectively wipe paint off. It gives me closer contact to the surface and it’s more like drawing to me. If I get all three of these in a painting – the right colors, good contrast in areas and a compelling image – then I feel like I have a good chance at a piece that’ll make me happy.” Both Jon and Karen work closely with our RR2014 Charity, The Human Access Project and are committed to helping the environment and water-issues. When asked why he wanted to be a part of The Recycled Rain Project he replied, “It sounds like a great idea, a good cause. It’ll be interesting to look at everyone’s work knowing that something so natural and common, but underused as rainwater is part of each one. II usually put just a couple inches of water in my bucket each time, so my brushes don’t get too water logged — it doesn’t seem like much water use, but after refilling over and over I realized that it really adds up.
See more of his work at: jonwippich.com
As an artist, Jeni is always looking for different materials and techniques to include in her work. In addition to acrylic paints, she includes oil pastels and wax crayons in the paintings, as well as various additive and reductive techniques, such as resist methods, stamping, and palimpsest. What inspired you to join the Recycled Rain Project? “I have always been intuitively attracted to materials that echo the characteristics of water and weather, such as fluid paints, pastels and soluble crayons. I rely on these materials to enhance my work, as the paintings suggest places or memories of where water plays an elemental role in the landscape. When I heard about the RR Project, I immediately thought it would be a supportive way to share my work and techniques as a water-media artist, and also an important way to help promote water awareness and sustainable practices.” In her first RR Show (RR2013) Lee found herself taking the paintings outside, into and under the falling rain, allowing the water to create patterns and textures, altering the paintings into something unexpected. This new organic technique created works with both literal and conceptual meaning We are very excited to have Jeni back this year as one of our Featured Artists. As a Featured Artist in RR2014, Lee plans to continue to include patterns of raindrops, but will also include marks and writings with pastels and crayons, to capture memories, artifacts and experiences, particularly in Oregon's typically wet landscape.
Jane Levy Campbell’s paintings are combinations of the unexpected. Growing up in the heart of southern Appalachia and studied at Phillips Exeter Academy and at Princeton and Yale Universities in the early days of co-education there.
“I have a deep and abiding love and respect for the individual. In my painting there is an element of conservation of the passing moment, the ephemeral bloom, and the open space that may disappear in development in the future.
I do not impose a style on my subjects. My response to the subject in that particular moment in that particular light dictates what degree of rendering, of impression, of abstraction and of expression tips the balance of choices I make. In thirty-five years of watercolor painting and experimenting one assembles a large toolbox of skills.Yet there is a unity of a recognizable hand.”
A gluttonous love of color balanced by a love of subtlety have heavy influenced Levy-Campbell’s style.
“The disciplined training of Chinese brush painting . A broad education in cultural history. Travel. A love of nature dating back to earliest years in my mother’s garden and along my grandfather’s creek. My father’s photography dark room and the “ah-ha” moment of an image emerging from a white paper void. And yes, maybe a little bit of rebellion against the abstraction that was the art establishment of the 1960’s and 70’s of my formative years. There are spoken, written and sung media in which the verbal is the reason for being. A painting has to be first and foremost a visual experience.
See more of her work at: janelevycampbell.com
A number of years ago, artist Tim Combs began to create objects from the piles of discards reclaimed from various waste streams.
During this time Combs embraced functionality and promoted the work of reclamation by creating garden accouterments and painted relief carvings. Soon Combs realized the conversations he had been having with diverse audiences in various venues about efficiency and thrift resonated more in terms of memory and emotion.
At this point, Tim began to see his work as lenses that examine how our culture of convenience allows us to discard or overlook objects, ideas and communities we no longer feel comfortable discussing or saving. Combs’ continued work inside the nexus of art and social & environmental justice has also led him to installation, using art and community activism to produce Incidents of Conversation that engage audiences to dialog about the mechanisms and necessities of social construction.
“My 2014 Recycled Rain Project entries reflect my understanding of water as life,” says Combs, “Its very presence produces basic conditions, a basic habitat for life. And it eternally recurs, a universal catalyst recycled over again and again as it passes through its phases changes, as it makes its way throughout the world hydrologic cycle.
Watching the changes and noting that molecules mixed with water at sea level have reached to the top of the highest peaks, I’m left with a rather stoic kind of joy, like I’m seeing the closest thing to perpetual motion that the universe has created.”
See more of his work at: timcombsart.com
2014 Open Call Recycled Rain Artists
Adam Burke, Alison Gayne, Anne Mavor, Arielle Adkin, Betsy Bustamonte, Boz Schurr, Carrie Goolsby, Chantel Greene, Cynthia Nawalinski, Damian Zari, Daniela Molnar, Davey Cadaver, Di Pinsonault, Diana Unterspan, Janet Rothermel, Jenn Feeney, Judith Arcana, Julia Costello, Kate Fenker, Kia Metzler Holden, Kristen Hamilton, Kristy Heltne, Linda Dalal Sawaya, Lisa Griffen, Madison Russell, Milton Tucker Rin, Carroll Jackson, Sarah-Andrea Morrigan,Sienna Morris, Tisa Pickering, Zeratha Monique Young