Scene & Heard

December Springfield art scene a must-see

SPRINGFIELD — This month, the City Hall Gallery treated art enthusiasts to art by three different artists. Charro & Escaramuza Photography Exhibition displayed photography and a reception at the art walk for the book Los Origenes Hispanos de Oregon. 

Escaramuza is a female equestrian event originating in Mexican culture. Americans might think of charro as a cowboy sporting event. The Mexican and Mexican-American horse riders in their traditional costumes provide a rainbow of color in this photography display. 

On the other side of the hallway at the City Hall Gallery, Linda Devenow and Donald Myers displayed infrared photography. 

IR photography uses light that is impossible to be seen by the human eye to capture subject matter using heat. This causes objects to reflect light in a different way than how traditional photography uses visible light. 

Charros and Escaramuza Photography at City Hall Gallery Charros and Escaramuza Photography at City Hall Gallery.

This might seem like a new style of photography, but actually dates back to 1910. It became popular in the sixties when used on album covers for Jimi Hendrix, Donovan and Frank Zappa. 

Featured at the Emerald Art center during the month of December are photographs by fredX, acrylic paintings by Shirley Reade, and paintings by Diane L Farquhar Hallstrom.

fredX is a self-described “late bloomer with a checkered past.” At the age of 42, he accidentally cut off his fingers on his table saw. He became a full-time art student and learned to paint and draw with his left hand. At 52, he earned his Master’s at Harvard and became a “pillar of Boston’s Teaching Community.” At 62, he moved to Nevada and attended Burning man; at 72 he became an Oregon resident, where he shows his artwork. His photos of Burning Man capture a different side to the two-week event in the desert that draws in 80,000 people each year.

Shirley Reade’s acrylic paintings are a feast of lush landscapes for the eyes. As a native Oregonian, one can see the influence of the Pacific NW in Reade’s subject matter and style. She has taught in trade shows, seminars, and conferences across the country, though she now focuses on private lessons in her home studio.

“Wolf’s the Other” by Rayne Pelham.

Hallstrom’s early influence by a father who was a professional photographer can be seen through the strong use of composition and contrast in her art. One detail that might intrigue classically trained artists is that Hallstrom didn’t start her training with representational art before venturing into abstraction like many artists do. She started with abstract art and now paints landscapes, animals, and Western subject matter. She finds “realism painting a new and invigorating challenge.” Early on in her creative endeavors, Hallstrom enjoyed poetry and haiku. She now often combines poetry with images in her artwork.

There were many other talented artists in the show at EAC. Rayne Pelham from Cottage Grove showed off incredibly intricate detail in the hand-stitched beadwork in “Wolf’s the Other.” Melanie Pearson’s acrylic and gold leaf is a riot of vibrant complementary colors reminiscent of the Expressionist style in “Vidar.” Cheri Thorp-Turk’s mixed media piece “Abundance” captures color harmony, compositional balance and contrast in her abstract style. Eric Barker’s– “Whale of a Good Time” demonstrates a mastery of shadow, light, and contrast. Josie Buffalino from Springfield executed “Cat in the Hyacinths” with a mastery of skill in acrylics. As always, there are so many skilled pieces at EAC, that not all can be listed—all the more reason to go in yourself and enjoy them.

“Bandon Bay” by Diane Hallstrom.

In addition to showing art, the Academy of Arts and Academics hosted a variety of free art classes and demonstrations including silversmithing and salt crystal art. The Springfield History Museum’s exhibit “Illumination” focuses on what it means to be an Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander in Springfield. Also participating in the art walk were Hearts for Hospice, Iris Wine Bar, Festival Boutique, The Pedaler and The Mercantile & Parkway Bakery.

The Island Park Gallery will be rejoining the art walk in January.



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