December and January Creative Spirits Gallery
For December and January we welcome Marlana Stoddard and Larry Gross into the Creative Spirits Gallery. Both are returning artists. Larry Gross designs stained glass as well as art inspired by that form. His work incorporates words, maps, color and line to stir up our imaginations at the intersection of art and faith. Marlana Stoddard uses elements of nature in her painting practice to create unique pieces that explore our living communities. Both artists will be in the gallery for a reception in January 5th at 9:30 to Noon and will be offering workshops to the community.
Marlana Stoddard Hayes
This season of Advent with its intentional waiting has always interested me and also reflects back to me the way that faith unfolds. Being quiet to cross the threshold of presence is what I am seeking with the work that I do. Painting for me has always been about slowness, observing and responding to the natural world and the cycles it offers to us, as it takes one full year for a flowering tree to bloom and for the hydrology cycle to produce fungi in the fall. In this way, my work is a sort of Book Of Hours in an abstract sense.
Wellness is something more of us are all searching for in these increasingly technical times. From my own point of view, I have tied wellness to handwork, as from a small child and into my mature self, I have followed the call of making art to keep in touch with the inner parts of my being and to remain in a state of equilibrium. Making and gardening go hand in hand to inform what I do and make today. My world is close to home and involves daily walks along with an active studio practice. It follows the British system of home, garden, studio and library to inform creativity.
This exhibition is a bit of a chronicle of what I have been thinking about for the last 20 years, since we made the move to the Robinwood area of West Linn from the Midwest. It is my hope that you enjoy the movement and thought in the pieces, and see a bit more of the inter- relationship of the seasons in color and form.
Recently (2019) I was honored with Professional Development Awards from the Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family Foundation and the Regional Arts and Culture Council for my work and placement with A.I.R. Gallery in NYC as a National Member.
“Earth’s Crammed with Heaven”
I’ve borrowed a line from a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning for the title of this exhibit. It captures a sense of the sacred wonder we may all experience in our daily encounter with creation. The poem continues “and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes.” Do you ever wonder how much we miss? My work explores how snippets from day-to-day experiences can display the magnificence of heaven. Some of the art includes photo-clips of earth that were taken by Apollo astronauts.
These images captivate the eye presenting beautiful patterns and places where we move, play, design and harvest on our planet. One of the features of my artistic style is to create the appearance of stained glass, a favorite medium. Collage and multi-media are added to enhance the feeling of wonder that grows from the process. It is my hope that the feeling is transmitted to the viewer as an invitation to look for more, to realize a kind of feast that results in discovery.
Whenever possible, the work might also include contemporary interpretations of scripture, an element from the Lutheran liturgy or a passage from Christian hymnody. I subscribe to Picasso’s idea that a work of art is a living thing and changes with the context of the viewer. Therefore, he/she is encouraged to interpret for themselves whatever might be seen in the art. This is more significant than “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Art changes with time and place and so does the sensibility of each artist and each participant. The possibilities we can experience are crammed with heaven.