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; firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.
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.
“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.
As an Early Childhood Teacher with the Woodland Garden Program, our featured artist is affectionately known as Ms. Katie in the Cedarwood Waldorf School Community. She has been an early childhood teacher for five years and a caretaker for children for over a decade. Her interest in photography was sparked in her early years of college when she often wandered through the local gardens and was enchanted by the flora and fauna. Born and raised just outside of Los Angeles, California, Katie has been a nature and bee appreciator since her youngest years.
Katie studied Conservation and Resources Studies at the University of California Berkeley with a specialization in School Garden Education. She was invited to work with a research team which focused on native bee diversity in urban areas. Katie initially contributed to this work with visits to schools where she taught children about the many gifts of pollinators and helped to demystify the fears surrounding bees. She soon joined her mentor in conservation research, traveling to gardens throughout California to monitor native bee species. During her time closely observing bees, Katie discovered her passion for macro photography.
Katie is completing her last year of Waldorf Teacher Training at the Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, where she has spent much time in between classes sitting in the Biodynamic gardens to quietly view the blooming flowers and their winged foragers.
A Photographic Journey with the Bees offers a uniquely intimate perspective on the honeybees and native bees of Portland. Katie’s work shows how, if one observes and listens closely, the bees of the world offer messages of wisdom and wonder. Katie is also currently writing a children’s book about native bees, and she dreams of one day creating a bee sanctuary in her community.
Please join us for Katie’s opening reception on Thursday, April 27, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 6:00. Her beautiful work will hang through Thursday, June 1.
This unusual exhibit is the first of its kind for the Art Hall. Rather than displaying finished works our artists from the Regional Artists Sketch Group were asked to share their sketches, their research, allowing us a glimpse at their processes. (Frame a sketch you say? Why yes! We see many framed sketches of great artists’ work in museums!) The resulting show reveals varied qualities of the artists and their work: imagination, inspiration, courage, beauty, love, devotion, joy, perseverance, community, and even the alchemical merging of earthly and cosmic forces, to name just a few.
The works invite the viewer to participate in our artists’ processes as they investigated nature, working from Rudolf Steiner’s Nine Nature Sketches for Artists for guidance. While one can see some similarities in the various artists’ work, the differences are equally apparent and illuminating. Whether viewing a large single motif or a series of smaller sketches elaborating upon a theme, an abstract work or something more representational, one can experience the living quality of color in the range of possibilities.
Wade Cavin, High School Life Sciences and Mathematics teacher at Portland Waldorf School, enriched the understanding and appreciation of those fortunate to be present at the opening reception through his eloquent and clear presentation, briefly and impressionistically summarized below, including a description of each of the nine sketches which came out of Wade’s meditation on prints of Steiner’s work.
These first three express spiritual warmth and light, followed by the gradual emergence of earthly influences, death, and then a harmonic integration of all.
- Sketch #1: the main thing: it is a warm color sketch
- Sketch #2: the Sun; what was orange is now red, and some blue appears
- Sketch #3: blue now surrounds the cosmic image…the Sun…the moon phase
- Sketch #4: earthly; nothing cosmic; green and a mysterious yellow/orange (warmth again) streaming through, with some brown flat green.
- Sketch #5: appearance of black (death), with yellow and greens in the trees; lifeless black below, warmth in the trees
- Sketch #6: both earthly and heavenly qualities; enter a strange blue
- Sketch #7: more earthly brown; the cosmic is now entering the earth; the alchemical merging of cosmos and earth has a circular aspect
- Sketch #8: sunrise 2; a cosmic sun on the horizon like #7, with a triangle, often the symbol of light, while the circle is warmth
- Sketch #9: we achieve harmonic composition
The original works of Steiner invite us to delve more deeply into our own capacity for imagination and inspiration. Color is not just physical; it also has a spiritual component, a subjective quality that comes through the spiritual world. How do we approach this and know what’s going on; how do we engage with our consciousness, other than simply feeling?
Steiner told us that in the future we will be able to see color not attached to an object. So, what’s out there in nature? For example, what is this black telling us? How can I work with the warmth quality, life quality (green), with lively blue all around them? How do we develop the new eye for these; how does warmth turn into light…and into death? How can we be inspired by color into this new sensing? What is inspiring us into color can really change our level of inspiration.”
The works will hang through February 23. We invite you to see this interesting and compelling exhibit, preferably by appointment, with Robin Lieberman (503-222-1192) or one of the artists. And if you are interested in purchasing a piece, please contact the same.
- Wade Cavin
- Carrie Gibbons
- James Lee
- Patricia Homan Lynch
- Jannebeth Roell
- Barbora Bakalarova
- Phyllis Helland
- Kathy Reardon
- Marcia Seymour
- Laurie McCloskey
And last, thank you to Patricia Homan Lynch, one of the artists, for taking up the work of matting and framing many of these works and, once again, for her keen eye in hanging the exhibit!
regional sketch group exhibition 2017: studies of nine training sketches of nature moods for painters by rudolf steiner
In the summer of 2014 Laura Summer, founder of Free Columbia art school and a 2014 Art Hall artist, offered a workshop based on Rudolf Steiner’s Nine Training Sketches of Nature Moods for Painters, in Corvallis, Oregon. Artists from Portland, Eugene, Corvallis and elsewhere in the region were inspired to further pursue their investigations. We at The Art Hall are now pleased and privileged to offer an exhibition of ten participating artists’ interpretations of their artistic research.
Please join us to meet the artists at our opening reception on Friday, January 13th, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., and take in a presentation by Wade Cavin, High School Life Sciences and Mathematics teacher at Portland Waldorf School, who will introduce these studies in his typically comprehensive and engaging style. To learn more about the week-long workshop which gave rise to the works please read fellow 2014 Art Hall artist Patricia Lynch’s personal reflections in the January 2017 newsletter of The Portland Branch of the Anthroposophical Society.
A loving crowd representing various periods in Valerie Miles’s career as teacher and artist here in Portland attended her opening reception for Playing with Color, Rhythm and Form: students, from high school seniors who were in her last 8th grade class at the Micha-el School to a fourth grader who had Valerie in her first year; parents of students; Waldorf teacher colleagues; artists; other professionals in our community; and her ever-present husband and partner in life, John—all eager to hear her eloquent presentation amidst her gorgeous and riveting works of art.
Valerie took to the podium with the familiarity, ease and confidence of a professional. She began her inspiring presentation declaring that her life’s work comes out of anthroposophy and how out of personal tragedy, losing someone very close, she came to work with color, learning from the well-known German painter, Karo Bergman. In this relationship (Karo spoke no English and Valerie spoke no German!) they communicated through the being and essence of color. After this time in Germany Valerie and her family returned to England, enrolled their children in a Waldorf School, and John and she began their training. She told us that Waldorf Education contains every aspect of anthroposophy and has the power to heal and change lives, most of that streaming through the Arts.
Valerie delighted us with a story of awareness, explaining how one of her teachers once said, “an artist should not be a teacher”. Her reflections:
That’s an interesting concept and I had never thought about it before. Now I can think about it…I like it! Why did she say that? I think as an artist now I can just start to feel the communication that I need to bring the forces, and what I see behind those forces, and bring them into the Arts. When you’re a teacher you’re always preparing, marking, giving out, going to meetings…You can’t hold that space, not if you’re a Waldorf teacher. I’m just about getting to that place. But what I found most of all, most satisfying, and this has always been so, ever since the work with Karo Bergman and later at Tobias School of Art, and (with) many other teachers: that power of color.
We’re forgetting what’s in our environment…what’s God-given, if you like, what sustains us. The power of color, all that rhythm that lives, how it changes…This is why I’ve always been so fascinated by the seasons and what’s happening.
Sharing her process Valerie said: I’m a very fair weather artist and I have to be in the mood. But I’m getting past that a bit…If I feel inspired I just take a color—any color—and put it on paper and then another color and another and I just play with them; I literally play with them and hope—there’s a lot of trust involved here— “is something going to turn out?” And fortunately, a lot of times it does work! It’s a trust process.
Most telling, a child in the captive audience asked a question at the end of Valerie’s presentation “What inspires you?” Valerie’s beautiful response was “children, like you, who are closest to the spiritual world.”
Thank you, Valerie, for your dedication to the Arts, anthroposophy, your impeccably executed work, and a most beautiful exhibit at the Art Hall! Many, many beings received the healing power of the color you shared. We hope you’ll come back!