Cultural exhibit shows ‘The Many Faces of Africa’
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 02:03
Five years ago, Kevin Clark, Tina Green and Bill Shumway, art curators of Kevin Clark Studios, Giustina Gallery and Pegasus Gallery, respectively, decided to put together a cultural art show.
The fourth annual Cultural Connections Exhibit one-night-only reception was held on March 8 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the LaSells Stewart Center.
The three curators from the galleries announced this year’s winners and honorable mentions. Two sets of first, second and third place winners were organized for the north and south regions. The Curator’s Choice Award went to Wendy Mamattah’s “Rhythms of Africa” quilt.
This year’s theme focused on “The Many Faces of Africa,” and the show is a collaboration of three Oregon galleries: Kevin Clark Studio of Roseburg, Pegasus Gallery of Corvallis and Giustina Gallery of Corvallis. More than 60 artists showcased their work at this year’s art show, and much of the art is for sale.
“There are zebras in Africa, there are giraffes in Africa, there are cheetahs in Africa,” said Carol Young, one of 60 artists at the art show. “I love to [paint] animals.”
While Young loves to paint animals, other artists expressed themselves differently.
“The painting is of a dhow boat, a native mission boat, and basically what’s happening is there are four children and they’re only 10 feet off of the shore, but for them, they’re way out there,” said James Sampel, who’s “African Journey” was the first-place winner for the south region.
Sampel said he wants viewers to be moved by his paintings.
“Whenever you look at any of my paintings, they have been completed in one sitting,” Sampel said. “The reason why I do that is because however I’m feeling is coming out on the canvas, and if I were to come back later and touch it, my hand might be off and it might change the mood of the painting.”
Artists like Sampel have never been to Africa, but hope to visit after creating art that resembles African life.
“I would like my artwork to fund my travel, to then get inspired by other cultures and people and leave a mark there,” Sampel said. “Through paint, I think I can touch many more people.”
Kevin Clark’s preferred medium is woodblock printing. Woodblock printing is a technique for printing images or patterns from a woodcut. This technique was widely used in East Asia, and the medium is still used by many artists today.
“Sometimes it’s just an intense feeling or amazing experience, sometimes I don’t know, it just turns out,” Clark said about his artwork inspirations. “Once I did a hummingbird, but it ended up being a butterfly. Sometimes I start out with something but end up with something totally different.”
Today, the annual Cultural Connections Exhibit has become far more than a place where art collectors come to purchase art pieces. It has become a place for cultural immersion and appreciation.
“Many Faces of Africa” will be exhibited now until March 27. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on 875 SW 26th St. on the Oregon State University Campus.
Katherine Choi, news reporter