The Maude Kerns Art Center is pleased to present two exhibits, “Random Perfections” and “Embodied Experience,” opening on Friday, February 26 and on display through Friday, March 26.
In the Main Gallery is “Random Perfections,” featuring the work of Rebecca Arthur, Geralyn Inokuchi, and Carol Jenkins. Each of these artists plays with elements of control and randomness in the process of creation. Rebecca Arthur of Corvallis displays Raku ceramics. Carol Jenkins of Mt. Shasta, California and Geralyn Inokuchi of Coos Bay exhibit abstract paintings.
Rebecca Arthur has exhibited her ceramic pieces at the Oregon Potters Association Ceramic Showcase for the last four years, and has participated in juried and invitational shows in Portland, Corvallis, and Coos Bay. She received the Potters Choice Award at the 2019 Clay Fest in Eugene. Rebecca uses low-fire techniques, such as raku and pit firing, and delights in the “random, unpredictable, and almost surreal results” that are produced. She considers her hand-built and wheel-thrown clay vessels to be “three-dimensional canvases – abstract, sensuous, and surreal.”
Carol Jenkins has had solo, two-person, and group exhibitions in various venues throughout Northern California, including solo exhibits at the Gallery at Wilder in Orinda (2021), the Montclair Gallery in Oakland (2019), and the Donkey and Goat Winery in Berkeley (2018). Her abstract paintings are inspired by what she calls a “life-long love of wilderness,” and the colors, movement, and shapes of untamed places. Jenkins relishes the experience of “seeing a random mark pull the painting in a new direction, the pleasure of watching the way shapes interact and light draws the eye.”
Geralyn Inokuchi has shown her mixed media abstract paintings at the Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, the Rogue Gallery in Medford, and the Verum Ultimum Art Gallery in Portland, among other venues. Inspiration for her work comes from the environment of the Oregon Coast where she lives. Beginning with random marks and colors, Inokuchi glazes the surface and builds up layers of paint to create imagery that appears extensively worked, yet paradoxically simple. She says: “The world for me has to be processed and released through painting. It is the only way I can articulate the world I observe.”
In the Salon Gallery is “Embodied Experience,” showcasing figurative works by Corvallis artist Vicki Idema, who displays cut paper pieces, and Elmira, Oregon artist Karen Russo, who shows her ceramic sculptures. Both artists use the human form to tell stories. Russo’s female subjects express feelings of strength, hope, and despair, while Idema’s intricate cut paper works reflect individual tales of suffering.
Vicki Idema has exhibited her work throughout Oregon, including in solo exhibitions at the Springfield City Hall Gallery (2019), the Visual Arts Center in Newport (2019), and at the Corrine Woodman Gallery in Corvallis (2017). Idema worked with yarns and textiles for over 40 years before turning to her current cut paper pieces, which focus on the human form. Influenced by her fiber art background, she weaves fabric designs into her delicate images, which often allude to darker themes that involve struggles with mental illness, gender identity, human trafficking, or alcoholism.
Karen Russo has shown her work in various venues in Eugene, including in the Eugene Biennial at the Karin Clarke Gallery and in the Mayor’s Art Show, as well as the Guardino Gallery in Portland, and the Around Oregon Annual in Corvallis. Russo uses an elaborate sculptural process that involves hand building with clay and a unique method of layering materials, textures, and colors. Her figures “explore the tensions of the feminine experience.” She says: “I hope to express an eternal optimism for the human spirit in this beautiful, delicate, and chaotic world.”