Friday, July 25, 2014

The Ritz Story Pole, a community art project

Alan Peroutka, Geraldine Moreno Black and Ed Black view Ritz Story Pole.
The Ritz Story Pole is a community art project taking place at The Oregon Country Fair with funding through Indiegogo. As of this writing, $16,965 (37%) has been raised of the $46,000 goal with only 16 days remaining. Your donation of any size will help complete, engineer and stand this monumental work of art which is a testimonial to vision, planning, cooperation, and determination. For three years carvers, painters, metal workers, amateurs and professionals have been working on this one-of-a-kind, 36 ft. Story Pole designed for the 21st century. Inspired by Northwest Coastal art, there are 21 totemic characters represented on an 8,000 lb. Alaskan Yellow Cedar log that was sustainably harvested with the approval of First Nations and the Canadian Provincial Government of British Columbia. My connection to this project is through my friend Ed Black who's been involved with the Ritz Sauna and Showers and the Oregon Country Fair for about fifteen years. The concept of crowd funding for community projects fascinates me. As a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest, I've been interested in Native American art for many years and gained a special appreciation for it during a trip to Alaska in 2008. Since then I've become familiar with Canadian artist Emily Carr, whom I've written about previously. I think her 1924 painting "Gitwinkool Totem Poles" is spectacular.
Totems seen in Alaska (can't remember where!) in 2008.
Emily Carr "Gitwinkool Totem Poles" 1924

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Five-hour pop-up art show in Eugene

"Quiet Field" received much positive feedback.
When my friend architect Will Dixon suggested that I display my work at his office during Eugene's Last Thursday Artwalk on May 30, I felt honored to have been invited, given that Will has discerning taste in art and comes from a family of artists. (His father Willard Dixon is a well-known Bay Area painter and his sister Sophia Dixon Dillo is an innovative light installation artist.) Over a couple-month period I prepared work that fit my theme of "Light and Water" while my husband, Alan, helped by matting and framing the paintings. On the appointed day we loaded up the van, drove two hours to Eugene, set up the show, and from 5PM-10PM visited with old friends and met a whole lot of new people, too. Will said it was the best turnout he's had for a Last Friday show at his office. What was fascinating to me was how many insightful things people had to say about my work, even though many of them proclaimed they "knew nothing about art." Yet, most of those I spoke with identified, appreciated, and articulated the exact qualities or concepts I had in my head while painting! It was a deeply satisfying experience to connect so strongly and intimately with people through my art. The cherry-on-the-top was that I sold three paintings.

"Light on the Trail" was also well-received.