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marty levin and tom klein: sacred geometry enlivening space

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Intricate and complex, Tom’s Klein’s string art on our walls and Marty Levin’s geometric sculptures hanging from the ceiling complemented one another and the Art Hall space beautifully at their opening on Thursday, March 08th. Shadowed patterns on the walls beckoned the viewer to look more deeply into the beauty of the mathematics.

Marty and his wife, Judy, spent at least ten hours installing the cables and then hanging all the sculptures one long Saturday. Tom was more fortunate that our hanging system, already in place on the walls, completely supported his string art mounted on heavy wood—a much simpler installation.

At their opening both artists passionately shared their research and process that went into creating these marvelous scientific and artistic pieces to a warm, receptive and inquisitive audience. We are very grateful to Tom and Marty for their effort and generosity in exhibiting this unique work. They have both agreed to keep the exhibit on display through May.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about geometry in relation to this exhibit both artists are available to teach. The string art pieces are for sale or available to order. Please contact Robin Lieberman for any inquiries at 503-222-1192 or robin@robinlieberman.net.

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marty levin and tom klein: our dynamic duo

We at The Art Hall are pleased to present a joint exhibit of geometric string and metal art by Tom Klein and Marty Levin, long-time anthroposophists whose lifelong passions for experimenting with dynamic form and space have drawn them together in recent friendship and artistic collaboration.

Please join us this coming Thursday, March 08th, for the opening of their show titled String and Metal; Movement in Space. Doors open at 5:00 and we’ll enjoy a talk by the artists at 6:00 p.m.

Marty and Judy Levin’s second stop when exploring Portland as a possible new home was the opening reception for MJ Davison at The Art Hall in January 2016 after a welcoming dinner with Jannebeth Röell and James Lee. Since then, the Martins have become regular attendees providing invaluable support at events at The Art Hall and others in Portland’s anthroposophic community. In addition, last Fall Marty had a stunning exhibit of his geometric sculptures at the Multnomah Art Center. Warm and gentle by nature, he has had a rich and rewarding career as a mathematician and Waldorf teacher.

From Marty:

After receiving my Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University, I met Georg Unger in 1970 in Dornach, Switzerland. He introduced me to mathematical work based on indications from Rudolf Steiner, in particular the geometrical work of George Adams. Dr. Unger also suggested the Platonic solids as forms worthy of contemplation. I spent most of my career teaching mathematics in Waldorf high schools, where the students’ ability to visualize forms and the movement of forms was developed through geometric drawings and models. After retiring, I further perfected my techniques for making the geometric models, exhibiting them in math conferences and art galleries.

The ancient Greeks found that there are exactly five convex regular polyhedra, called the Platonic solids.  In modern times we have found that these same forms represent all possible types of finite three-dimensional symmetry, thereby showing once again that they are fundamental to the nature of space.  The geometric sculptures, exhibited here, show some of the geometric relationships between the different Platonic solids, and are designed to suggest planes and lines coming in from the infinitely distant periphery. They are made with a minimal amount of physical material; what’s important is not what is there, but what is not there, which the viewer sees with their inner eye.  When viewing a piece, if you close one eye and move slightly, you will find positions in which various lines suddenly coincide, giving startlingly beautiful and different views.

Tom Klein, together with his dear wife, Ruthi, have been pillars in our Portland anthroposophic community for over 40 years. At the helm of the start of the Portland Waldorf School, manager of the former Steiner Storehouse, Cedarwood School’s first administrator, anthroposophic library keeper, board member of PCCI (a local Camphill-inspired initiative)…the list goes on. We at The Art Hall can always count on Tom (and Ruthi!) to pitch in, take the lead, sell books, set up, man the registration table…yes, that list goes on, too.

As a twelve-year graduate of the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC, Tom has been building and creating his entire life. Many of the chairs, tables and play stands in the local Waldorf schools have come from Tom’s workshop. And he does beautiful custom orders for dining tables and outdoor furniture. Your home may already be graced by Tom’s extraordinary string art which he clearly elevates to new levels: large or small in scale, colorful and intense, these creations are beautiful and mesmerizing. Tom has been a guest teacher locally, sharing his process and forms with young student-artists as part of their Waldorf school geometry blocks. Having worked for 28 years at Head Start, Tom’s dedication and love for children and their well-being is contagious.

From Tom:

I first met string art in sixth grade geometry and again in eighth grade when studying conic sections. I have actively pursued this interest for the last 50 years. In elementary school I worked with circles with 12-points. In the 1960’s I worked with 48-point circles and in the 1970’s started working with 96-point circles. I also developed and worked with spirals. In the conic sections work, which also began in the 60’s, I worked in lines consisting of…points placed as close as possible.

When invited to exhibit together there was no hesitation from either of these two new friends. They began meeting to collaborate on how they would share the space in the hall with great joy and excitement: a match made in heaven…and manifesting here, for us!

Again, please join us this Thursday, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., for the opening, with a talk by the artists at 6:00 p.m.

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laura summer: blessings

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Well, we did it! We managed our Dispersal of Laura Summer’s vibrant paintings even though Laura couldn’t be present. Luckily, Laura sent a lovely YouTube video in which she spoke about Dispersal and the joy of painting for us.

An intimate group enjoyed the grand, evening opportunity to socialize surrounded by healing, colorful paintings. About half the 30 pieces were dispersed, so the opportunity to become a steward of an original Laura Summer artwork still awaits you!

Anytime you want to view the work during school hours just ring the bell at Cedarwood and someone will show you to The Art Hall. Otherwise, feel free to make an appointment with Robin, our director, and she will gladly work with you. Laura’s wish is for all the paintings to be dispersed so they can do their healing work in their new homes.

We also introduced Ryley Wheeler, Cedarwood student and Robin’s mentee for his 8th grade project, a significant part of which involves creating the fliers announcing the exhibits. Almost five years ago Ryley won the school-wide naming contest for our gallery, so he had an early hand helping The Art Hall come into being!

Two of our former gallery artists were instrumental in installing the exhibit: Jannebeth Röell and Patricia Lynch. Robin is indebted for their open willingness to help! (And this is really an exceptionally well displayed exhibit!) Also, a big thank you to regulars, Ruthi Klein and Judy Levin, for graciously tending to the Dispersal and Donation tables.

Please look for another update to follow, as the Gospel of St John two-day workshop was also a grand event! We will install work from ten of the participants soon in The Art Hall with another soft opening: an opportunity to consider becoming a steward of one or more of the remaining works—Dispersal Portland 2018 Two!

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laura summer: art dispersal and two-day workshop

We at The Art Hall are delighted to announce the return of Laura Summer. Four years ago, when we first hosted Laura, 36 of her paintings were dispersed. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to feature 30 new stretched canvases specifically painted for Dispersal 2018!

Laura is working to create the conditions for artists to be able to work freely: patrons can become the steward of a painting but cannot buy or own it. But in donating, the patron could at least, for example, pay for the materials to make new work, thereby supporting the artist to keep creating.

Each painting in the exhibit/dispersal will have a tag indicating a range from zero up to what the piece might typically sell for. This way of communicating encourages both artist and patron to engage in a relationship with the art and with one another.

The reflective/contemplative patron may ask herself “what can I afford to pay for this painting that so touches my soul?”, or “when I first looked at it, what did I imagine the price would be?”, or even “what can I truly afford to spend to enrich my world?”

One may donate and not become a steward. Or one may donate, become a steward, and live with the painting. Later, perhaps one then feels moved to share it with someone else, letting the artist know where the painting now lives. Or, when the painting has met its need, the steward can simply send it back to the artist, renewing the process.

Laura has said, “each painting has its work to do in the world and I want them all to be dispersed.…Color is healing for the human soul.” You can read more about Art Dispersal on the Free Columbia website, the school Laura co-founded based on the same monetary principles. Her biography appears below the post.

Many of us in the Portland and Eugene areas have been looking forward to Laura’s visit since we began planning last May. Also on the west coast agenda is a two-day workshop titled The Gospel of St John, to occur the Saturday and Sunday following Friday night’s Dispersal, adjacent to The Art Hall in the South Performance Space at Cedarwood Waldorf School.

Unfortunately, due to challenging family circumstances, Laura needs to postpone her west coast teaching schedule. However, with her heart-felt blessing and loving guidance we will proceed with the Dispersal as scheduled on Friday, January 19, 2018, and with the two-day workshop to follow (see the accompanying flier below or click here for the same details). Please continue to sign up with Robin Lieberman (503-222-1192; robin@robinlieberman.net), who will facilitate the workshop.

We will welcome Laura back to Portland in due time. For now, we send her our blessings and gratitude as we continue to learn and grow from her creativity and teachings that she so generously shares with the world. And we are sending love to her family.

Artist’s Biography. Laura Summer is co-founder with Nathaniel Williams of Free Columbia, an arts initiative that includes a full-time program based on the fundamentals of painting as they come to life through spiritual science. It is completely grass roots donation supported and has no set tuitions. Her approach to color is influenced by Beppe Assenza, Rudolf Steiner, and by Goethe’s color theory. She has been working with questions of color and contemporary art for 30 years. Her work, to be found in private collections in the US and Europe, has been exhibited at the National Museum of Catholic Art and History in New York City and at the Sekem Community in Egypt. She has published seven books, four with painting and drawing exercises and three with stories. She founded two temporary alternative exhibition spaces in Hudson NY, 345 Collaborative Gallery and Raising Matter—this is not a gallery and initiated ART DISPERSAL 2012-17, where over 450 pieces of art by professional artists have been dispersed to the public without set prices.

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jacqueline freeman: a peek behind the veil

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Like bees to the hive, visitors buzzed around The Art Hall to meet Jacqueline Freeman and hear her colorful story of encountering and photographing the Elementals on her farm. Indeed, it was a sweet night!

The event shared the evening with Cedarwood’s Back to School Night, which made for a very full house, rich with a variety of interest, and two beautiful hospitality tables.

Jacqueline is a natural storyteller: she speaks from her heart and soul of her own experiences. She lives as part of nature and has a keen awareness of the nature spirits and listens to them carefully. “You could feel the exuberance when the Undines were happy with the (new) pool of water.” She respectfully asked each plant that she photographed to guide her…the message being “look in between.”

Well…given that the nature spirits are beings that do live in between the physical and the spiritual world, Jacqueline really paid close attention! She learned how to Photoshop and “naively” split and reflected the images of her plants and indeed, there they were, in between.

Frightened by the intensity late one night while looking at the screen, Jacqueline closed her computer and didn’t look again for a while. The spirits then stopped showing themselves to her and so she began to apologize in an almost prayer-like manner for “shutting them out”, asking for their forgiveness and for them to appear again. Eventually they did and this exhibit is an honoring of these beings.

Jacqueline captivated the audience with her further description of the healing properties of many of the images on display. And Jacqueline generously came back to The Art Hall two days later, Saturday morning, to share stories of Flower Fairies to a transfixed group of children and parents alike.

Several of the hanging images have been sold. The exhibit will remain open until Thursday, November 09, 2017. A portion of sales will be donated by the artist to The Art Hall in support of its mission to share art created out of the spiritual impulse of anthroposophy, keeping art alive into the future.

All photos courtesy of Cedarwood parents, Ben McLeod (DBM) or Linda Brown (LKB).

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jacqueline freeman: behind the veil ~ the mystery, beauty, and joy of the elementals

The Art Hall is pleased to announce our next featured artist to kick off our 2017 – 2018 season: photographs by Jacqueline Freeman, a biodynamic farmer who sees the world from Nature’s perspective.

When Jacqueline was seven years old, she discovered a small stone chair and a tiny clay pipe in the woods. Thereafter, she spent much of her childhood in places where the Elementals showed their presence on the land. She learned to communicate with plants and nature spirits, animals, and the muses. The Elementals on her farm have, for many years, shared imagery and communications with her. This exhibit, her first, shows the evolution of their relationship.

Jacqueline’s book, Song of Increase: Listening to the Wisdom of Honeybees for Kinder Beekeeping and a Better World, explains how bees experience the sacred. She appeared in the documentary, Queen of the Sun, and worked with rural farmers in Dominican Republic, helping them return to historic methods of agriculture. In 2017 she founded the nonprofit, Preservation Beekeeping, through which she is creating respectful ways for humans to interact with bees. Her website, www.SpiritBee.com, shows videos of her working amid thousands of bees, free of protective equipment, celebrating the caring and considerate ways humans and bees exist in harmony.

Jacqueline and her husband Joseph live in southwest Washington surrounded by orchards, gardens, greenhouses, a small forest, rich pastures and wildflowers. The farm is a haven for native pollinators, birds, cows, an exuberant dog, fleet of cats, wandering flocks of chickens and turkeys, small frog ponds, and many nature spirits who live in harmony with this blessed land. These relationships are based on respect, love and kindness, paths that open communication with the unseen realm and invite a co-creative resonance that increases the divine energetics of holy land.

Please join us on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. for Jacqueline’s opening reception, with an artist’s talk at 7:30 p.m.

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katie montgomery: bees as teachers

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“This is a time to honor the bees together and share our stories. Close your eyes and reflect on their gifts. Please turn to your neighbor, as we’re all part of community, and share an encounter with bees that you’ve had in your life.” And that’s how Katie Montgomery kicked off her personal and intimate presentation on her exhibit!

Katie went on to describe the strong kindred spirit she feels with these sacred messengers; the bees are our modern day alchemists, hard working and beautiful (like Katie)! It all started in around the time she was in college, when she gradually noticed the activity and life of the bees while doing field research (literally…in a field). Her perceptions sharpened, her observational process like Goethean phenomenology, learning to slow down and listen in wonder, like a child, the bees teaching her about themselves. Katie also shared her own mystical bee story, the medicine of the bees, a lesson about attachment and letting go.

All the photos in the exhibit are those bees she met in Portland over the last eight years. Only seven of the gorgeously-framed, sensitive images of the original seventeen are still available. You can contact Katie to purchase any of these seven or unframed images for $50 and 6” square cards for $6 each (or four for $20). All prints are of exceptional quality. Please contact Katie directly at 818-605-2071.

A special thank you to professional photographer, Kristal Passie, and also a dear friend of Katie’s, for capturing the warmth and beauty of the evening.