Art for all seasons: woodcuts and icons

It’s Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s art review program. You are warmly invited to the opening this Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. of the Maude Kerns Art Center Membership Show entitled “Art For All Seasons”.

This show is designed for holiday art buyers. I will stand in front of a huge photo of the star nursery called “Cosmic Cliffs”. I will be there to welcome KLCC listeners. Show me your favorite piece. Let’s talk about it, and I’ll feature some listener favorites on my upcoming Viz City.

During one of those cold gray days earlier in the week, Peter and I hung out at both the White Lotus and Karin Clarke galleries on Willamette Street in Eugene.

Fishing boat. No artist assigned. This is an example of a community-produced woodblck.

The White Lotus presents “Art in the Age of Enlightened Rule: Japanese Meiji Era Woodblock Prints”. The layers of color and sophisticated compositions are the most obvious qualities of these woodcuts, but my appreciation grew when I learned about the turn of the woodcut industry in the last century.

The usually anonymous artist sold an image to a publisher. The publisher hired workers, each of whom would sculpt just one of the color areas. Then other workers did the color registration and the printing itself. It was an art conveyor belt where each worker was a skilled craftsman of the highest caliber. These amazing works were created by an entire community – it took an entire village to make one block of wood.

Seven Beauties and Flowers – Yanagiwara Naruko.jpg

Courtesy of White Lotus Gallery.

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Seven beauties and flowers. In this case, the original artist is known – Yanagiwara Naruko

Across the street, at Karin Clarke, Eugene’s artist Olga Volchkova blows the mind with her show New Works. Olga was trained in Moscow in the traditional art form of religious iconography – you know, saints with golden circles behind their heads.

Here in Eugene, Olga became a citizen botanist and came up with the idea of ​​making icons of all her favorite plants like willowherb, potato and basil.

I love Saint Pea because the woman sitting on a bench surrounded by pea plants looks like me, and a face looking out a window seems like my inner child.

Saint Siuslaw.jpg

Courtesy of Karin Clarke Gallery

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Saint Siuslaw

Which one do you prefer?

See you at Maude Kerns on Friday evening!

This is Sandy Brown Jensen for KLCC.

Dora W. Clawson