Primed, Pressed and Polished
“Primed, Pressed and Polished” features four Artists’ Co-op members
Gallery welcomes emerging artist for three-month mentored membership
Painters, a printmaker and a sculptor share new works and selected favorites in “Primed, Pressed and Polished.” The show features sculptor Robert Dewaele, printmaker Lori Elliott-Bartle and painters Richard Markoff and Virginia Ocken and will run June 2 through June 27, 2010. The artists will host an opening celebration 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, June 4 with a wine tasting coordinated by Wine121. The artists will demonstrate their techniques Sunday, June 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition, members of the gallery welcome painter J.K. Thorsen for a three-month mentored membership.
Events at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery are free. Guests will pay $5 per glass to sample wines offered by Wine121, a wine shop its owner describes as “unpretentious,” during the opening reception. Wines have been selected to complement characteristics found in each artist’s work.
Robert Dewaele sculpts from wood, sometimes adding bronze accents. He strives to accentuate the wood’s natural beauty and explores themes of spirituality and psychological tension. His childhood growing up on a farm contributed to his affinity for natural and living things and influenced his choice of material. Dewaele creates his sculptures at Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha and has shown his work for 25 years.
Lori Elliott-Bartle focuses on her handmade prints in this show, exhibiting a variety of linoleum and woodcut methods. Her prints include images based on travel, whimsy and interesting people. She has added to her series of women who have visible tattoos. Her portrayals include passages from interviews in which the women describe the meanings of and connections with their tattoos.
Richard Markoff calls his newest series of paintings “Tribal Impressions.” These fresh and whimsical pieces are based on doodle art, starting with a central form and embellished outward. A retired art teacher, Markoff earned a bachelor’s in fine art and specialized in design theory, which he draws upon in his work.
Virginia Ocken explores the human figure in a variety of media: watercolor on paper, dyes on silk, or acrylic on canvas. She explores vulnerability and strength while expressing emotion with layers of color and texture, pattern and design. Her work is influenced by the seasons, her emotions and spiritual readings. Ocken, who has earned master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska, is retired from teaching in the Council Bluffs Community Schools.
Painter J.K. Thorsen tallied the most votes in the gallery’s emerging artist program, gaining her a 3-month mentored membership in the gallery. During June and July she will show work alongside gallery members; she will be one of several artists featured in August. Thorsen uses oil and acrylic paints and other media to create multi-layered works that explore the tensions of competing elements and change.
The Artists’ Co-op has been showing the work of respected regional artists for nearly 35 years. This cooperative group of artists conducts educational and cultural outreach activities, and it maintains and staffs a gallery that features works in a wide variety of media, including sculpture, weaving, painting, pottery, photography, printmaking and drawing. Monthly opening receptions provide opportunities to meet member artists and learn more about their work.