The Maude Kerns Art Center is pleased to present two exhibits, Habitat, showcasing the work of Oregon's Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) in the Henry Korn Gallery, and the 22nd annual Mayor’s Teen Art Show, featuring artwork created by local teen artists in the Salon Gallery. Both exhibits open on Monday, September 13 and are on display through Friday, October 1.
Habitat is a juried exhibit of work by 32 member artists of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting the art quilt as “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.” The participating artists interpret the theme of “habitat” in a myriad of ways – an actual place in the natural world, a domesticated space filled with cherished items, even a state of mind inspired by a thought, dream, or memory. “Habitat” was juried by MKAC Executive Director Michael Fisher, who calls the show a “celebration of place, a reflection of the natural beauty and man-made creations that surround us.”
Kristan C Collins creates an intriguing, three-dimensional cloth honeycomb made with fabric, cotton and silk threads, acrylic mirrors, wire, and buckram. She encourages the viewer to meditate on the intricate habitat of the honeybee: “As you gaze at this interpreted honeycomb reflect on all that is around you. It serves as a reminder that our world is dependent on this elegant microcosm of life.”
Jean Wells Keenan reflects on how the idea of a home brings comfort to the soul. In her work, Shelter, she incorporates fused sticks with quilted pieces of cotton, linen, and silk to create a dynamic image of nests with swirling strips of fabric and twigs. She describes the process of creation: “Working with twigs to build a comforting enclosure with a circular form was my challenge and discovery all at the same time.”
Carolyn J Walwyn depicts a more human habitat in It’s a Jungle Out There, made of recycled shirts, commercial and custom-printed cottons, yarn, and metallic thread. A lone figure is seen from behind walking through a maze of oversized flowers with colorful skyscrapers on the border and buildings hinted at in the distance. Walwyn describes the scene: “The ceaselessly striving worker rushes unseeing through an environment of vibrant creativity, passion, and dynamism. The savage beauty of the city silently nurtures his soul.”
The 22nd annual Mayor’s Teen Art Show features the work of 14 teen artists from nine schools. The show includes thirty-seven pieces of artwork created in a variety of media, including watercolor and acrylic painting, colored pencil, markers, photography, digital art, and paper clay and mixed media sculpture. Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis selects the Mayor's Choice Award winner from among the accepted work. Other prizes are also awarded.
Tennepah Brainard, 19 years old, of the Institute of American Indian Art, displays five photographs in the 2021 exhibit, which will be her last “Mayor’s Teen Art Show.” Tennepah, who has participated in the annual exhibit for three years, appreciates the confidence that acceptance into the show has given her. She says of her work: “I hope people will rethink the everyday things they see, without really seeing, through my photography.”
Skyleigh Mckibben, 17 years old, of Wheelhaus Arts, shows five artworks in this year’s exhibit. She says that when she creates a work of art, she likes to think of it as a “window that allows her to look into the feelings that would typically reside inside her mind or in others close to her.” In her piece titled Cumulus Woman, Skyleigh paints delicate clouds reflected in her subject’s eyes, playing on the phrase “head up in the clouds.”
Bella Tocco, 14 years old, of Monroe Middle School, exhibits an elegant image of a pitcher with fruit that she titles Majestic Still Life in the “Mayor’s Teen Art Show.” Bella describes how her exploration of art has comforted her during the isolation of the pandemic. She says of her piece: “Using the simplest instruments - colored pencils and markers - I was able to create something beautiful, something to be proud of.”