Maude Kerns Art Center Presents
Mike Van: A Retrospective
Featuring 57 Years of Artwork
Exhibit Dates: April 4 – May 2, 2014
Friday, April 4, 6 – 8 pm
Entertainment by Gerry Rempel & Dennis St. Germain
Thursday, May 1, 6:30 - 7:30pm
The Maude Kerns Art Center is proud to present a retrospective exhibit of 57 years of artwork by local artist Mike Van, opening with a public reception on Friday, April 4, from 6 – 8 pm. The Opening Reception features entertainment by well-known jazz musicians Gerry Rempel and Dennis St. Germain. The Title Sponsors for “MIKE VAN: A Retrospective” are Nancy Pobanz and David Wade. The exhibit is on view through Friday, May 2
“MIKE VAN: A Retrospective” features paintings, drawings, watercolors, and prints spanning the artist’s long career. The earliest work in the show is from 1957, the year Mike completed his MFA in painting and drawing at the University of Oregon, and the most recent piece on view was completed in 2014, exactly fifty-seven years later.
Widely exhibited throughout the Northwest and in Arizona, Mike has had many group and solo shows, including at the Maude Kerns Art Center, the University of Oregon Museum of Art (now the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art), the Jacobs Gallery, Portland Art Museum, Lane Community College, the Center for the Humanities at OSU, the Alder Gallery, and the White Lotus Gallery, where his artwork is currently carried. He has exhibited multiple times in OSU’s “Art About Architecture,” and in the 2013 invitational he received the Dean and Director’s Cash Honor Award for his watercolor, All Will Be Fed, which is included in the retrospective.
Mike grew up in the Coeur d’Alene mining district in Idaho, and much of his imagery is drawn from the animals, birds, fish, trees, and geologic formations that he encountered in his youth. Other themes are still lifes and especially people -- realistic and stylized, individual figures and groups, and simple faces. Mike has described his process in the following way: “Sometimes I am inspired to work from the subject before my eyes. More often, recent experiences filtered through memory and imagination provide the content. Remembrances from the deep past, thoughts that arrive in the mind unbidden, and forms suggested by the paint itself also find a home in my work. Elements from all of these sources are often combined within the same composition.”
On Thursday, May 1, the public is invited to an Artist Talk by Mike Van at the Maude Kerns Art Center from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Mike will discuss his work and process in general and how he selected pieces for his retrospective.
“MIKE VAN: A Retrospective” treats the viewer to a variety of beautifully rendered drawings and fresh and often whimsical watercolors, acrylics, prints, and oil paintings of favorite subjects. With wit, imagination, and a twinkle in his eye, Mike provides plenty of surprises along the way.