Art aplenty despite no formal event
SPRINGFIELD – During the winter months, the Springfield’s Second Friday Art Walk often has fewer venues participating because there aren’t as many art enthusiasts interested in walking from building to building in the cold and rain. For that reason, Island Park Gallery at Willamalane’s Adult Activity Center decided not to formally participate during the month of December. The current show with Janet Sweeney will continue to be on display in January.
Winter weather didn’t deter the Academy of Arts and Academics from hosting a variety of free art classes and demonstrations as part of the art walk. Each month during their “Family Night,” A3 displays draws in not just families, but people from the public with their inspiring displays and array of art classes. Who doesn’t want to take a belly dance class or a stained-glass class for free?
The Emerald Art Center had a reception rather than being part of the traditional art walk. That doesn’t mean there was a lack of art at EAC. This month’s exhibit featured the group Photozone, which always attracts a sizable crowd. This group was formed in 1988 and has shown in a variety of places, including New Zone Gallery in Eugene. They currently have 45 members, and welcome new members. According to their manifesto, “The primary requirement for membership is a dedication to photography as an expressive medium.”
The methods used to create the photographs are impressive, ranging from the antique arts of platinum/palladium prints, old-school bichromate prints, and silver prints. The span of technology can be seen all the way up to the modern methods of digital photography and 3-D prints. There are so many evocative and beautiful photographs in this exhibit, it is a shame they can’t all be shown in the newspaper!
Featured member at the EAC this month, kvn8r, will also be showing a photography exhibit in the space. Unlike the typical subject matter that photographers often shoot, his exhibit, “Picture in a Picture,” is an aptly named show of digital photography showing pictures of pictures. Using digital images and programs such as PowerPoint and Microsoft Paint, the artist zooms in on digital images to create new images from the pixels in a style termed “glitch art.” The high saturation, hard edges combined with soft blurs, and manipulation of textures, colors and patterns recycle something old into something new.
The artist recognizes his art as being “chaotic” and “unsettling” and fully owns it, using these words to perfectly describe his work. In his artist statement, kvn8r says, “By taking a closer look at the often-overlooked details of the digital landscape, kvn8r is able to create art that is both thought-provoking and visually stunning. So why not take a closer look at his work and see what hidden treasures you can discover?”
As always, there were many other talented artists in the show at EAC showing new works. On display is last month’s People’s Choice Award winner Judy Black for her entry “Night Owl.” Every inch of Marilyn Stauber’s “Keira Almost Thirteen” is a masterpiece in itself, but viewed from far away, the portrait simultaneously captures beauty and a 13-year-old’s personality. Cheri Thorp-Turk had a delightfully adorable and realistic oil painting on display titled “Hello/When Fire Meets Ice.” Shirley Reade’s “Trip to Maine 2022” is one of the most perfect uses of frame and composition. Shannon Agree’s “Golden Idols” was an incredibly detailed acrylic painting in the style of a mandala. With all these incredibly detailed paintings, it might be easy to overlook some of the pieces that capture simplicity in a beautiful way. Don’t miss Barbora Bkalorova’s arresting photograph titled “Singularity” where it was tucked away in the corner.
This month, the City Hall Gallery treated art enthusiasts to art by Leigh Anne Jasheway. If she is a familiar name, there is a reason why. Jasheway is known for being a local standup comedian, and a comedy writer and teacher. She has hosted two radio programs, won humor awards, and is an all-around entertaining person to talk to. Her art represents a completely different side of her creativity, focusing on photographs she has taken that have been digitally altered in an app called BeFunky. The effects applied to close-ups of nature are stunning and almost alien.
Jasheway was a photographer before taking her first comedy class 30 years ago. According to the artist, “I started playing around with making art from my photos during Covid as a way to continue to be creative and focus on the beauty of nature.”
The Young Artist’s Gallery outside the library this month featurea submissions to the Springfield Public Library 2023 Bookmark Contest.
Sarina Dorie is a Springfield
arts columnist for The Chronicle.