Friday, March 20, 2009

Art opening in the suburbs:
(Left:Shapeshifter-Polar Bear ribbon, Right: Black Sheep, Shapeshifters- Polar Bear, Wolf, Owl, Lion & Sheep.)
subject object show at The Kingstad Gallery.

There’s a prejudice out there about the suburbs. People who live in city say the suburbs are a bland, boring, homogenized, cultural wasteland. I’ve lived in the suburbs for many decades now, and I’m here to tell you it’s not true.

Take a walk in the park, 5 minutes from my house on a Saturday and listen to all the languages spoken. According to a recent survey, there are over 90 languages spoken in Beaverton alone. The resources include large public libraries, parks, lakes, bike paths, recreation centers, dog parks, farmers markets, and, yes, art galleries.

On third Thursdays every month, at The Kingstad Gallery in Beaverton, you can view a wide range of art, savor and sip delicious food and wine, and mingle with artists, musicians and performers who might also be your friends and neighbors.

The new show, ‘subject object: exploring the human impulse to hunt, gather & tell tales’, features paintings, sculptures, watercolors, photography, mixed media collage, assemblages and mosaic work from over 20 national, regional and local artists.

On opening night, I took in the wonderful array of work by local artists. I saw Becca Bernstein’s elder portrait series, Buck Braden’s ‘Street Car of Desire’ series, Allen Schmertzler’s powerful political paintings, Kurumi Ishikawa Conley’s gorgeous, fused glass pieces, Mark Randall’s ‘Life in the Circus’ series, Celeste Bergin’s wonderful paint boxes, and Uta Felhaber-Smith’s found object collages, just to name a few. And I’m honored that my Shapeshifter series and two of my Myth series pieces were also on exhibit.

This relatively new gallery in Beaverton shatters the assumptions of the suburbs in many ways. The art is professional, the crowds diverse, and music eclectic. The building also houses a comedy club and theater group as well as hosting many local meetings and luncheons all year long, giving the art and artists a wide viewing audience.

I think once you see the exhibit at The Kingstad Gallery in Beaverton, you’ll realize that powerful art and talented artists live and flourish in the suburbs, too.

For more information about The Kingstad Gallery, drop by at 15450 S.W. Millikan Way in Beaverton, Oregon or visit their website at

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