Featured artists are working artists in the Portland Area that have demonstrated a dedication to the environment as well as their profession. These artists are given an extended period of time (starting late January) to collect water and create works.
RR 2015 FEATURED ARTISTS
Kindra Crick was inspired to visualize how the global problem of climate change affects us in our own backyard and compels our mind to imagine solutions and act.
“Growing up in the Pacific Northwest one comes to appreciate the lush landscape made possible by our seemingly abundant natural resource, rain. In a region rich with access to clean water, climate change seems like an abstract and distant problem. While researching the disappearing glaciers and reduced snow-pack on Mt Hood, I contacted geologists who have been documenting its glacial decline over the past century. This stately repository for our fresh cool water has lost a third of its glacial mass and further melt will drastically alter our evergreen landscape.
The majority of my artwork focuses on the brain. For this project I used century-old maps of the cerebral cortex and old topographic maps of the Mt. Hood Wilderness. These Brodmann’s maps of the brain are reminiscent of topographic landscapes and represent the unique power of our imagination with its ability plan solutions for our changing climate.
My goal as a science-based artist is to invite the viewer to examine an alternative way to experience the wonders of biology as well as science’s quest to better understand our world and ourselves.”
Kindra Crick is a Pacific Northwest native, artist and experimentalist whose artwork combines a passion for scientific inquiry with visual expression. She works primarily in painting, printmaking and book arts.
Crick’s interest in science and art has been a constant in her life. Her grandfather was a biologist, while her grandmother painted the female form and encouraged her to paint at an early age. She has a degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and a Certificate in Painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Crick’s work has been shown at the New York Hall of Science, MDI Biological Laboratory and the Museum of Contemporary Craft. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
Check out more of Kindra’s work at:
“I usually let my concepts deem the medium I use, but for the most part, my work takes shape in a combination of writing, photography, the interweb, sound work, video, relational performance and sometimes installation art.”
Years ago, on a trip to Sikkim, India, Fenton came across a family walking an entire day with a plastic bucket containing their weekly water. She had been on a two day trek and had run out of water an hour before she met the family. Though she had been terrified of dying of thirst, her fears were immediately quelled after the encounter.
“I realized how much I had always had and how little so many other people had. That trip was a major eye opener to how much I consume in this world as an American.”
This experience stuck with Fenton and inspired her installation that documents her personal use of water for the month of April through text and photography. Fenton was inspired to join the Recycled Rain Project because,
“I was curious and challenged by the concept. I’m also pretty devoted to water on a daily basis and wanted to explore a deeper understanding of it. I let the water run. While doing dishes. While brushing my teeth. While standing in the shower on those dark, cold early mornings. I turn the faucet on and off. On and off. There isn’t a lot of thought that goes into this movement. It’s part of a larger, sleepy, domesticated choreography, like putting keys in my pocket, pulling socks over my feet or opening the refrigerator door. I barely notice asking my hands to do the turning on and off. Yet it’s nourishing me. It’s cleaning me, feeding me, hydrating me.
These little actions I barely pay attention to are a large part of why I exist, why everything exists. So, for the month of April I’m choosing to focus. Every time I turn the faucet on, I’ve made a note of it. The water I use is measured, logged and photographed. Concurrent to logging my water usage, I’ve placed ten yellow buckets outside to catch rain water. It’s my hope to slowly replenishing a water supply I’ve too quickly depleted.”
Check out more of Felicity’s work at:
Lindsay Jordan Kretchun
Painter and Illustrator and Duplex Gallery co-owner Lindsay Jordan Kretchun is a born storyteller. Her narrative style seeks find a deeper story though her art.
“Within an atmosphere of paranoia and material fragility, my paintings engage the fluctuation between play and fear. Dark humor, folklore, and the oddity of characters are the base from which I begin the work.”
For RR2015 Lindsay created a new narrative to frame her work.
“The series for the show is inspired by an incomplete narrative loosely titled “St Agnes School for Wicked Girls”. I aim to frame a very small story of illustrated wild girls, along side playful images of the occult and southern Gothic themes, all the while keeping the dark sense of humor and folklore that runs throughout my work.”
Lindsay has volunteered as a curator for the Recycled Rain Project and is very dedicated to the cause.
“I love the idea of artists being mindful of the resources we use in our work. I know I go through so much paper and water in the final stages of making a painting, but I should also be aware of the processes of making that paper, paint or the packaging that happens before I even begin.
Even the small act of replacing my water with collected rainwater changed the way I thought about how I’m using this important resource for everyone.”
Check out more of Lindsay’s work at:
As a native Portlander, painter and video artist Dan Ness has seen a lot of rain in his lifetime. So it’s no wonder that he has a love / hate relationship with it. As a Featured Artist for RR 2015, Ness sees both sides of water issues – not enough water during droughts to the not-so-obvious threat of water due to issues such as flooding.
“I am working with an image that inspired me of a man cleaning up after a flood. Water is necessary but sometimes it can be disastrous and dangerous.”
His work strives to show the effects of nature on people and how man must continually work to create a balance with nature. As an artist Ness works in mixed media, from stencils to collage to paint and combinations of all of them. This process gives Ness the freedom to let the piece evolve as he creates it.
“I only have a vague idea of what the piece will look like when I start a painting. I usually have a single image or multiple images I plan on incorporating or focusing on in the painting.
I sort of lay out where the images are going to go, but from that point a lot of things could go wrong. It’s never going to look the way you imagine. I accept this and just work until it looks satisfactory.”
Check out more of Dan’s work at:
“I call myself a craft-influenced sculptor,” says Featured Artist Hilary Pfeifer,”meaning that I pull in all kinds of mixed media training into my art. In general, it’s usually mostly made from wood that’s had a previous life.” Her sculptures, often depicting animals or nature, typically use more than 80% found wood.
What inspired you to participate in RR2015?
“The idea of using collected rainwater as a means to discuss larger ecological issues sounded like a great challenge and is in keeping with the themes behind my artwork.”
When asked to be a Featured Artist for RR2015, Pfeifer’s mind immediately went to rain sticks. She had been working with the motif of a walking stick for the past decade. Pfeifer had discovered that the Aztecs used them as a ceremonial tool for bringing rain to irrigate their crops and thought it could be a good starting point for new work.
“My piece for The Recycled Rain Project is a wall installation of nine rain sticks, each featuring a bird that’s on the Audubon Birds and Climate Change Report. “Issued last year, the report predicts 314 species that will be extinct by the year 2080 if we don’t act soon. “The nine species I chose [from this list] are all songbirds that are found in the Pacific Flyway.”When asked what she noticed while participating in the project, Pfeifer replied,
“I already see that the Recycled Rain Project has changed my habits – it’s very easy for me to collect rainwater to use, so I plan to make it a permanent change in the studio.”
Hilary is our first sculptor for RR!
Check out more of Hilary’s work at:
Shu-Ju Wang wants us to rethink the way we talk about water. Quite literally as a matter of fact.
For RR2015, painter and book artist Shu-Ju Wang has envisioned and created a water dictionary for “our future selves”. This dictionary devises new terms for water and its usage as the environmental landscape continues to shift. Asking the greater question; “Where will our water be coming from and what will it be like?”
May we have an example of one of your words and its meaning?
Ouahe: Spring water from uninhabited and pre-industrial regions at the time of Anthropocene.
It is generally less contaminated than other sources of ground water. The word is borrowed from the ancient Egyptian for “dwelling place” and is the root for the modern English “oasis.” Extremely rare and precious.
The pairing of water and words is a theme that has shown up in Wang’s previous work as well.
In her collaborative book ‘Water,’ Wang designed a flowing work using a meandering structure with hexagonal pages that form a whirlpool when fully opened. The structure allows the poem to be read in the round as intended by the poet: Emily Newberry.
What inspired you to join the Recycled Rain Project?
“I am very aware of our impact on the environment. I’ve recycled my entire life, composted since 1975, and my husband and I produce about one can of garbage a year. I’m an avid gardener, so I pay attention to how much rain fall we’re getting.”
“… RR just seemed like the perfect project to participate in.”
Check out more of Shu-Ju’s work at:
Open Call artists apply at the beginning of each cycle. Artists are voted on by a panel and a number artists are selected.
These artists have one piece up to 30″ wide in RR2015.
Jason Edward Davis
Nancy Smith Klos
RR 2014 FEATURED ARTISTS
Jesse Narens grew up in Chicago, IL. Always a creative soul, he experimented with many different endeavors as a youth. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to do art or music,” he says, “I used to draw all the time when I was little with my dad and grandpa. I took some art classes in high school, but they were for ceramics and photography” When he moved to Portland in 2011 he met artist Jesse Reno. Reno helped Jesse became aware of other approaches to art – the “things you never learn about in school.” At that point he switched his sights to painting. As Jesse began to find his style, ideas began to flow. Inspired by nature and influenced by Aboriginal and Inuit art, Jesse’s work has a primitive, yet connected feel as he explores thoughts and theories with simple symbols and patterns. Through the use of limited materials, Jesse’s work guides the viewer into his world with strong statement and a gentle hand.“I usually try to learn on my own, staying purposefully away from teachers and classes. I feel like learning techniques or being told what the ‘right way’ is takes away from the magic of random discovery.” Along with being a talented Portland artist, Jesse was asked to be a Featured Artist for The Recycled Rain Project because of his ability to speak to nature and the environment. We are excited to have him on board this year! See more of his work at: jessenarens.com/ Follow him on IG at: instagram.com/jessenarens
David Slader also grew up in Chicago. Though a budding artist in his youth, law became his career path. He moved to Portland and began a successful law firm. Upon retirement, David again picked up the paint brush. He began working with oil on panel and was immediately drawn to faces.
“I have no idea.” David says, “My greatest fear is that one day I will wake up and discover that I can only paint Golden Retriever puppies. I have nightmares over that.”
David Slader now works primarily in oil and oil crayon on panel. With a cubist mentality and vibrant colors, Slader brings a strong and silent depth to each of his figures. His work creates a connection with the viewer that makes each of Slader’s “faces” come alive. Deeply devoted to environmentalism, David’s studio sits on the banks of the Nehalem river. Located along a geologically unique area, David feels a strong stewardship towards the land. All of water at his studio is from the sky. Rainwater is collected in a 9,000 gallon cistern. From there it is pumped to a filtration system, sterilized and flows as needed throughout the cabin. Though he doesn’t use much water while painting, he diligently cleans his brushes with soap and rainwater (after a long process of removing the pigments in safflower oil baths). This keeps dangerous chemicals from flowing back into the environmentally important river. When asked if David ever paints landscapes he said “ No. I’m an environmentalist” adding “I believe that landscapes should remain in their natural state. See more of his work at: davidslader.com
Karen Wippich is a self taught artist from all over the US, and now calls Portland Oregon home. With expert color theory (thanks to her years as a graphic designer) , Wippich’s work explores relationships between vintage and modern culture. She primarily works in acrylic on board, in a creative layering process that gives her a signature style makes her work truly original.
“All of my pieces are currently evolving,” says Wippich. “I continue to apply layers of images until I consider the piece done.”
Karen and her husband, Jon (also a Featured Artist in RR2014) are both deeply committed to the environment. When asked if she would like to join the project she responded with an enthusiastic ‘yes’ and was instantly hooked on the idea. Thus far in the project Karen has learned that she uses up to two buckets full of rainwater per four hour session. When asked if it is as much as she thought, Wippich replied:
” No, it seems like more. I guess I didn’t think about it. I love going out to the back yard to retrieve more rainwater from our collection buckets.” adding “I love this idea and plan to continue using rainwater throughout the year. I’ve been leaving a clean bucket of rainwater on my art desk between painting sessions and often find our youngest cat drinking out of it. Dual purpose!”
Both Karen and Jon work closely with our RR2014 Charity, The Human Access Project and are committed to helping the environment and water-issues.
We are so excited to Karen as one of our Featured Artists and can’t wait to see what the April showers bring!
See more of her work at: karenwippich.com
Originally from Baltimore, artist Thérèse Murdza has crisscrossed the country on a creative journey. She grew up in a musical family where she studied piano, saxophone, then jazz and music theory. In college her creative winds shifted as she studied theater performance; learning new forms of materializing sounds in transitory space. Later years spent in Rehoboth Beach, DE, Brooklyn, NY and Washington, DC found Murdza drawing on big paper and literally taking the words apart. Disintegrating the shapes of the words into lines, circles, squares and color. Hearing words, seeing music, somehow marking sound in charcoal, ink, pencil, and paint Thérèse has been a full-time artist since 2001. With an ever-changing emotive style, her paintings are raw and beautiful at the same time. Murdza works in mixed media with acrylic, water-soluble pencil and/or crayon on hand-stretched canvas Thérèse was selected as a Featured Artist because of her bold and beautiful style as well as her spirit. Upon visiting the first Recycled Rain Project in 2012, Murdza was inspired by the concept. Shortly after the show Launchpad Gallery, RR2012’s site, closed. As a result, the founders of RR were unsure if they wanted to do the show again in 2013. That was where Thérèse stepped in. She reached out to asking if there would be a RR2013. All it took was one look at her website and the choice was clear — the show must go on… See more of her work at: www.theresemurdza.com | instagram.com/tmurdza.studioart
Jon Wippich was born and raised in a small farming and ranching town in Kansas. Always an artist at heart, Jon started his career in the world of graphic design. While continuing to run his graphic design business with is wife (and featured artist) Karen, Jon began to paint. Wippich’s gentle blend of color creates a rich glow; subtle technique that creates an aura of each subject that flows throughout the entire work. “Overall, I’ve always felt more comfortable drawing rather than painting, so often times I brush on paint and then selectively wipe paint off. It gives me closer contact to the surface and it’s more like drawing to me. If I get all three of these in a painting – the right colors, good contrast in areas and a compelling image – then I feel like I have a good chance at a piece that’ll make me happy.” Both Jon and Karen work closely with our RR2014 Charity, The Human Access Project and are committed to helping the environment and water-issues. When asked why he wanted to be a part of The Recycled Rain Project he replied, “It sounds like a great idea, a good cause. It’ll be interesting to look at everyone’s work knowing that something so natural and common, but underused as rainwater is part of each one. II usually put just a couple inches of water in my bucket each time, so my brushes don’t get too water logged — it doesn’t seem like much water use, but after refilling over and over I realized that it really adds up. We are excited to have Jon as a Featured Artist and can’t wait to see what he has in store! See more of his work at: jonwippich.com
As an artist, Jeni is always looking for different materials and techniques to include in her work. In addition to acrylic paints, she includes oil pastels and wax crayons in the paintings, as well as various additive and reductive techniques, such as resist methods, stamping, and palimpsest. What inspired you to join the Recycled Rain Project? “I have always been intuitively attracted to materials that echo the characteristics of water and weather, such as fluid paints, pastels and soluble crayons. I rely on these materials to enhance my work, as the paintings suggest places or memories of where water plays an elemental role in the landscape. When I heard about the RR Project, I immediately thought it would be a supportive way to share my work and techniques as a water-media artist, and also an important way to help promote water awareness and sustainable practices.” In her first RR Show (RR2013) Lee found herself taking the paintings outside, into and under the falling rain, allowing the water to create patterns and textures, altering the paintings into something unexpected. This new organic technique created works with both literal and conceptual meaning We are very excited to have Jeni back this year as one of our Featured Artists. As a Featured Artist in RR2014, Lee plans to continue to include patterns of raindrops, but will also include marks and writings with pastels and crayons, to capture memories, artifacts and experiences, particularly in this typically wet Northwest landscape. See more of her work at: jenileeart.cominstagram.com/jenileeart
A number of years ago, artist Tim Combs began to create objects from the piles of discards reclaimed from various waste streams.
During this time Combs embraced functionality and promoted the work of reclamation by creating garden accouterments and painted relief carvings. Soon Combs realized the conversations he had been having with diverse audiences in various venues about efficiency and thrift resonated more in terms of memory and emotion.
At this point, Tim began to see his work as lenses that examine how our culture of convenience allows us to discard or overlook objects, ideas and communities we no longer feel comfortable discussing or saving. Combs’ continued work inside the nexus of art and social & environmental justice has also led him to installation, using art and community activism to produce Incidents of Conversation that engage audiences to dialog about the mechanisms and necessities of social construction.
“My 2014 Recycled Rain Project entries reflect my understanding of water as life,” says Combs, “Its very presence produces basic conditions, a basic habitat for life. And it eternally recurs, a universal catalyst recycled over again and again as it passes through its phases changes, as it makes its way throughout the world hydrologic cycle.
Watching the changes and noting that molecules mixed with water at sea level have reached to the top of the highest peaks, I’m left with a rather stoic kind of joy, like I’m seeing the closest thing to perpetual motion that the universe has created.”
Jane Levy Campbell’s paintings are combinations of the unexpected. Growing up in the heart of southern Appalachia and studied at Phillips Exeter Academy and at Princeton and Yale Universities in the early days of co-education there.
“I have a deep and abiding love and respect for the individual. In my painting there is an element of conservation of the passing moment, the ephemeral bloom, and the open space that may disappear in development in the future.
I do not impose a style on my subjects. My response to the subject in that particular moment in that particular light dictates what degree of rendering, of impression, of abstraction and of expression tips the balance of choices I make. In thirty-five years of watercolor painting and experimenting one assembles a large toolbox of skills.Yet there is a unity of a recognizable hand.”
A gluttonous love of color balanced by a love of subtlety have heavy influenced Levy-Campbell’s style.
“The disciplined training of Chinese brush painting . A broad education in cultural history. Travel. A love of nature dating back to earliest years in my mother’s garden and along my grandfather’s creek. My father’s photography dark room and the “ah-ha” moment of an image emerging from a white paper void. And yes, maybe a little bit of rebellion against the abstraction that was the art establishment of the 1960’s and 70’s of my formative yearsThere are spoken, written and sung media in which the verbal is the reason for being. A painting has to be first and foremost a visual experience. “
See more of her work at:janelevycampbell.com
2014 Open Call Recycled Rain Artists
Kia Metzler Holden
Linda Dalal Sawaya
Rin Carroll Jackson
Zeratha Monique Young