Scene & Heard

Time to vote—for a favorite piece of art

SPRINGFIELD – When one sees a photograph of a photograph, something is lost in translation. The colors and lighting aren’t the same. Even the most beautiful artwork is far less impressive. The pieces chosen in the Second Friday Downtown Springfield Art Walk guide, advertised online, or even showcased in this newspaper, end up being the decision of one or two people based on what they like. That person’s personal preferences are subjective. It is always so much more meaningful to go to a gallery and experience the impressiveness of the art in person. There will always be a piece that will draw a viewer in that wasn’t published that makes the entire visit worthwhile.

“Illumination” by Katie Royce at the Emerald Art Center

This is always true, but at this month’s exhibit at the Emerald Art Center, it seemed to be true more than usual. In addition to enjoying the show, during the art walk, art enthusiasts were able to enjoy David Rogers playing guitar.

This month the Emerald Art Center showcased, “Paul Neevel – 60 Years of Photography.” As the title suggests, the show features photographs by Paul Neevel that span sixty years, starting in 1962. These include portraits, as well as landscapes and nature details. The artist’s background includes running a camera repair business, working as a teaching fellow at University of Oregon, and writing and photographing for the Eugene Weekly.

One of the details that made these portraits different from the average photograph is how Neevel captured each person in a dynamic pose that portrays their personality through action. Many of the subjects are recognizable people from the community: artists, dancers, market venders, and teachers. Someone who is a fan of photography is going to recognize the skill in composition, contrast, and use of shadow and light. But anyone who has lived in the Springfield-Eugene community, is going to have a chance to see if they recognize some local “happening people,” as Neevel called them. Seeing artists in their natural habitat and interacting with their medium was what truly made this exhibit worthwhile.

Also featured at EAC include members Barbora Bakalarova, Karen Hubbard, and Cindy Marychild. Barbora Bakalarova’s exhibit, “Through the Looking-Glass,” displays a selection of photographs created with experimental techniques. The surreal beauty of the portraits captures the artist’s intent to reflect both the inner and outer world of the subjects. Don’t miss the piece “Driftwood” of a woman so entangled with driftwood that her pose is difficult to decipher from the twisted piece of wood.

“A Journey” displays Karen Hubbard’s detailed paintings of nature. Her journey started with a tole painting class in the seventies. Over the last thirty years, she has developed a specialized technique for rendering fur and feathers. This skill is also evident in the wrinkles of elephants, filigree of ferns, or details in rocks. She now teaches painting to others and has taught all over the United States and Canada, Japan, England, Italy and New Zealand. Impressively, she has had four how-to painting books published in that time, created over 300 tole painting patterns that others can replicate, and been featured in articles in several painting magazines. 

A“Trail to the Blue Pool MacKenzie River” by Karen Hubbard at the Emerald Art Center.

Paintings by Cindy Marychild show off landscapes that might be considered something between abstract and impressionist. The artist says of her work, “While respecting the rights of others, with brush and palette, I describe the other world’s past and yet to come.” From this description, one might expect scenes of a Martian future, but the murky, muddy colors and imagery feels familiar, like they might be local nature scenes.

The deadline to vote might be over for local elections, but one can still vote on their favorite pieces at EAC. Perhaps one of your favorites will be by the artists mentioned above. Perhaps it will be Katie Royce’s photograph “Illumination” that captures light in a way that leaves the viewer feeling inspired, Katherine Harp’s photograph of “Machu Picchu -circa 1420,” veiled in a cloak of misty mystery, the vivid colors and striking textures of Randy Jordan’s “Stoned Galaxy,” or Sharon Dobra’s watercolor appropriate for the season, “Christmas Poinsettia.” 

With so many beautifully executed pieces to choose from, it is always hard to select one!

Noteworthy participants of the art walk included the Hippie Museum showing off posters and memorabilia from music legends, Matt Powers at the Pedaler, and Will Paradis at Hearts for Hospice. Other attractions included Iris Wine Bar, Festival Boutique, and the Mercantile & Parkway Bakery.



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