Art for the Soul

Support your local artists.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Analee Fuentes Ghosts of the Past and Future

I met Analee Fuentes at the Maude Kerns Art Center’s Dia De Los Muertos show this year, first through her works and then in person.

Analee was born in San Diego, California and raised in an area I am well familiar with, Barrio Logan. I worked for awhile at Continental Maritime of San Diego and drove through Barrio Logan often and loved the murals and art I saw in that area. It is no wonder Analee came to love art and the culture she was a part of growing up.

It always amazes me when I look back on my life and see the influences on my life and how little I realized the effect my environment had on who I am today. Analee Fuentes now beautifully portrays culture, mysticism, color of the past in beautiful works, like the one above, with the world today and the tenderness that surpasses the grave. Her presentations of this and other works for the Dia De Los Muertos bring mortality into the land of the living in a hauntingly sensual and sensitive look at death and life.

I went to Analee’s website ( to understand more fully the depth of her work and found a treasure of visual images that is impressive. Graphic images of color and diversity with smoothly rippled water and crossed fingers of the lottery along with earthy and earthly portraits that focus razor fine on small aspects of a larger view.

Meeting Analee was a little like meeting a calmer side of life spiced with a peppers of enthusiasm of her work. The thing I liked most about this artist is her willingness to open to her environment. Reading her biography page I was impressed by this particular paragraph:

"The Northwest has a distinct cultural history laced with stories of immigration and racial movements; most emphasize the Eastward route led by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. My awareness of the influx to our region is different, focusing more on the Northwest movement, the ongoing movement from Atzlan, the current “Oregon Trail.” It is more like the swirling of a living river than a wagon train. I necessarily view my surroundings from my perspective, in the here and now. Here is where Sasquach meets El Chupacabra, where Chalupas are not little boats, but something one eats at Taco Time." ~ Analee Fuentes

There are many trails like the Oregon Trail and I am glad her’s crossed mine at this show and I was treated to her wonderful sense of culture and the timelessness of her creations. I’ll look for future works and showings of this fine artist in the future.

Día de los Muertos Arist Talk
by Analee Fuentes
Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 7-8:30pm
The Maude Kerns Art Center invites the public to a special Día de los Muertosartist talk by Analee Fuentes on Wednesday, October 27, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Center. Fuentes, a Mexican American artist living in Coburg, has four pieces in the current exhibit, including a striking image of two skeletal lovers kissing and a humorous rendition in watercolor of the famous Grant Wood painting, American Gothic. She will speak about her work within the context of the popular Día de los Muertos holiday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Art for All Seasons 2009

It is time again for Maude Kerns "Art for all Seasons" and here I am, in a rare appearance, with my two entries., the two Autumn Leaves images.

Renee Manford was there and bought one of Sarkis' paintings while viewing the great art from the Maude Kerns members.

Another of Sarkis' works was featured under the Sign for the show

Personally I really liked this shot with the young lady and thought it was a perfect play off the painting.

There wasn't just paintings but also some beautiful ceramics...

... of all shapes,...

... colors, ...

... sizes,...

... and colors.

The paintings were a combination of skills, technique and media as great as the patrons who came in large numbers.

They enjoyed the art, artists and each other on a cool autumn night.

Some of many art receptions are the interactions between artists and here Jerry Ross and Sarkis Antikajian are having a high level discussion in the stage area.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The "Old Schoolhouse" Art Show

It's time for the "Old Schoolhouse" Art Show in Creswell ready to roll and find Librarian Stacy in her famous pink tennis shoes ...

... and we show up early to set out the goodies.

As the artists arrive Carol gives everyone a formal welcome in her own warm way.

In the audience is Shirley, Victoria and our Newspaper's owner, editor, publisher and photographer Helen.

More and more people showed up during the reception and we even had one guest from Massachusetts (the young man on the left). Another luminary was Paul Bourgault (in the background) whose painting from a few years ago was the inspiration for inviting the other Plein Air artists to Creswell for the paintout and show.

The art is fantastic...

Sarkis Antikajian's piece included a very active scene with a biker and a couple walking on the sidewalk.

That's Sarkis in the center and Plein Air Coordinator Brooks Hickerson on the right.

I especially liked the wall colors that were a great contrast to the paintings like this one by Shirley Froyd.

While sitting at a table I took this shot of Shirley looking at the paintings.

One of the early sellers was Victoria Biedron's Window painting and Sharyn liked it so much she got permission to use the image on Thank You cards for the "Save the Schoolhouse" committee.

I talked a little with Victoria and found that she began painting four short years ago and I was amazed and realized the natural talent gains experience much faster than us mere mortals.

I am so proud to be a part of the Plein Air group and especially proud of the Save the Schoolhouse committee of Creswell for their ability to set up such a great show and the support of Esther, Stacy and Yaakov and Su of the library staff for their help.

The artists that participated came from all over Lane county. Bets Cole from Elmira had a painting with a wonderful view of the Schoolhouse from the southwest corner.

Bets is probably the most expressive person I've ever met and I promise I won't try to get a picture unless it's in bright sunlight and with the camera set for 1/4,000 th of a second or faster because she is constantly moving.

Bets did slow down slightly to talk with Brooks Hickerson's son.

Can you guess that Brooks was a Texan in his younger years.

Verlean (I hope I spelled it right) and Holly seemed to be having a great time as Holly obviously was expressing something with great emphasis.

I noticed something familiar over Victoria's shoulder - a purse exactly like Sharyn's with only one difference being ther black strap rather than red.

Plein Air Painters are the artists that can be seen painting at outdoor locations so seeing the "Outdoor Life" magazine behind Victoria was a nice little coincidence and I'm betting the "100 Best" quote may be prophetic.

It was a great gathering and it's amazing how many interesting things we discover in conversations. I found out the Brooks and Peggie Hickerson were married at University of Houston at the same time Sharyn and I met at U of H. Jane Vincent a member of our City Council was there and it was very nice to meet her.

I just loved the company and the smiles...

... and like me Brooks has a blog, his being specifically for the Plein Air painters ...

It was a lovely evening with some very special folks. I will enjoy revisiting the Creswell Library to see their creations and miss them when they leave on December 7.

No Scrabble tonight

Quote of the Day ~
"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Monday, November 09, 2009

Retrospective - Art Walks in Eugene March 2008

Eugene is a wonderful city to walk through at night and especially nice if it's cool and after a rain. Lights reflect off of the streets and the breeze is soft and refreshing.

Steam rises from an EWEB steam vent cover and the heat is noticeable by the dry area of the street.

I visited the galleries but I only took pictures at the Karin Clarke Gallery. They had an interesting mix of art with a wall of vertical pieces that were perfectly arranged by color.

I was intrigued by this cast aluminum piece called "Wild Man" by Jan Zack

There were several pieces by Nelson Sandgren and his life appears to have been as complex, touching and beautiful as the two pieces below.

This piece is called "The Reunion"

This was may favorite piece by Nelson

After the Art Walk we went to Zenon's for coffee and cake and posed for a picture. Here are me, Renee and Vern with our backs against the wall (an old Ed B saying).

Actually Renee was not drinking just clowning around.

Scrabble score - Rained out

Quote of the Day
My dad worked me like a dog when I was kid. From 8 years old, I was an integral part of his business and working, and you know, made me. ~ Jesse James

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Retrospective Art Walks in Eugene - Feb 2, 2008

It was Matt's birthday when I went on my first art walk. For the next few days I'm republishing many of those great art walks here on my Art for the Soul blog a more fitting place for my adventures in the Eugene/Springfield art scene. Enjoy

The first Friday of every month a group of folks, mostly artists get together and go for a walk through the Art Galleries in Eugene, Oregon's Downtown. I was invited by Vern Wright to join the group and decided I'd try something new. Being a night person it seemed like a great idea although my evenings are usually at home on my computer or enjoying the stillness of the night air.

The place to meet was the Jacobs Gallery at the Hult Center in Eugene at Willamette Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. I was a little late arriving and had never met Vern so I went to the Jacobs Gallery.

Looking back down Willamette from the Hult Center was kind of interesting with the wet streets and the light reflections. By the way that's the mini-musemobile fourth car on the left.

The Hult Center for Performing Arts is actually a complex of buildings with a huge hall for performances and several other spaces for meetings and other activities. The Jacobs Gallery is a part of the complex.

I liked the lights and the angles on the roof across from the gallery.

This metal sculpture was rather interesting and looked a little like an anchor and a fallen TV antenna. I'll go back some time to get some information on the work. I did think it was pretty cool.

I walked into the Jacobs Gallery looking for Vern and asked one of the gallery people if they knew him. There were a couple of gentlemen there and she said one was the husband of one of the artist and she thought the other was one of the artists on display. I kind of hung around and viewed the art and especially liked the work of Claire Flint a local artist with a wonderful style that reminded me of the Greek Orthodox Church I went to when I was very young and the Iconic Art that was there. Click on Clair's name above to see her art.

The next place on the tour (from the information I got from Vern was the OPUS6IX gallery.

The OPUS6IX was much larger and is across 7th Ave. from the Hult just west of Willamette. They even had wine at the door and were very crowded with the sophisticated set. Now you have to understand the sophisticated set in Eugene are not the same as that group in NY, LA or even Portland, they are a pretty nice group of pretty normal group folks that enjoy art and doing interesting things. So I felt very comfortable in my jeans hanging out there. I talked to a wonderfully talented artist named Kirk Lybecker whose work could easily be confused for photography from a distance. I enjoyed talking to Kirk for a short while before I moved on. When I left I noticed that gentleman that was the "artist" from the Jacobs gallery and started to wonder if he might just be Vern but by the time I finished talking to Kirk Lydecker he was gone.

Next I went to the main gallery of the two Karin Clarke galleries on Willamette. Renee Manford, who was in an earlier blog when she gave me an artist's tour of her two shows, works at the Clarke gallery. I enjoyed the art there then walked across the street to the...

White Lotus Gallery where a photographer was on exhibit and there answering questions, he was so busy I never got to talk to him but he had some nice petroglyph photographs and other shots from foreign lands.

I stopped to take this shot of a covered walkway that goes between the Karin Clark Gallery and the M. Jacobs Furniture store.

Across Willamette from the Main Clarke gallery and next to the White Lotus is the Karin Clarke Annex gallery. My favorite artist of the evening was Adam Grosowsky this is one of his pieces through the window.

Next I walked a couple of blocks to the Fenario Gallery. I had visited there about a week ago to check into their printing services.

The art there was very colorful and very creative and I got a chance to talk with person who actually does the technical side of the print services.

I then hung out taking pictures of various things like this grill work on the building at the NE corner of Broadway and Willamette.

I especially like this bicycle.

... and the view down Willamette looking south.

The corners at Broadway and Willamette have these interesting posts and cobblestone sections of the roadway.

There were some stairs going down from the sidewalk near Fenario Gallery but I think it was forbidden territiry.

Eugene is a big bicycle community with miles of bike paths and therefore lots of biclyle racks like these on Willamette near 8th Avenue.

Finally I went back to the Clarke Gallery Annex and found Renee and guess who was there Vern (the man in the middle - he was the person I saw in all the other galleries) and I also got to meet Larry an artist with the Frist Friday Group. We all went to Zenon's for coffee and a little desert [actually Renee had tea] and after a great conversation with them all, we read Renee's tea leaves and decided her art career was about to explode with success. Vern graciously invited me to a First Saturday artists meeting to show and critic each others art. If I can I'll go. They are all very nice folks.

Scrabble Score - No Scrabble since I was out past Scrabble Queen's bedtime.

Quote of the Day ~
"Art is best when the artist creates their life rather creates to live" ~ pviel


©Paul Viel