Flora and fauna take over the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery
Artists Gail Owens, Jackie McIntyre and Hsin-Yi Huang gathered in the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery on Nov. 6 to talk about their art and what inspired them in their series Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.
The art installation had a collection of sculptures, paintings and prints, all depicting different flora and fauna by six different artists.
One such artist, Owens, began creating her art when she had lost her job.
“My job went away, and I was like, ‘What kind of art can I do?” she said. After considering a few different art forms, she decided on printmaking.
“When it really came down to it, printmaking made the most sense. If you’re an artist, you can sell one painting or as many giclée [a reproduction of an original two-dimensional artwork, photographs or computer-generated art for resale while preserving the original] reproductions as you want or you can be a real printmaker and make multiple pieces [of original art] instead of just one.”
Owens’ works are composed of four or five original pieces. “A painter sells a painting for a thousand dollars. I can sell this for a thousand dollars four or five times, so that’s why I chose printmaking.”
She also wanted to connect her work with Portland, where she lives. When speaking about her piece “Dogwood,” Owens said, “I walked every day with my dog, and these [plants] are all over…my neighborhood, [so] I’ve used that as the basis so I keep my work local.”
McIntyre was another artist showcased in the gallery. After retiring from being a picture framer for eighteen years, McIntyre followed her children to California and began to make assemblages [a three-dimensional collage].
“I took an assemblage collage class at Santa Monica College in [Los Angeles],” said McIntyre. “I had all these things I had collected, and I started to put them into assemblages.”
She dabbled in painting landscapes before finding what subject she truly enjoyed.
“I started looking at all these crows. They started hopping around my front lawn, dancing in the rain, and I got really interested in [them], so I’ve done a lot of paintings of just crows doing a variety of things.”
McIntyre’s four bird pieces in the show stemmed from frames she had from a project that she ultimately decided against.
“I thought ‘you know I really don’t like them’…and it gave me the idea of ‘what can I do with these frames?’ I’m a collector of little things as you can tell by the boxes, [so] it gave me an opportunity to start back getting into my assemblage work and to incorporate the paintings I’ve been working on,” she said. “I’ve probably done 25 of these little boxes by now.”
Huang did not have much to say regarding her art, composed of ceramic botanical statues.
“I’m not good at public speaking,” she said, but fellow artist Owens spoke up for her.
“I’m her biggest fan,” said Owens. “Hsin-Yi is really well known for her flower work, which is absolutely exquisite, [but] Hsin-Yi doesn’t block herself into only being a flower ceramist. Sometimes, she gets her weird out.”
The Animal, Vegetable, Mineral installation also featured work by Jennifer Mercede, Susan Freedman and Jessica Ramey.