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Artist Meghan Hedley's work graces walls of gallery at Chehalem Cultural Center

There are many ways the idea of inner transformation applies to artistic creation. The artist, through creative growth and inner exploration, creates something unique to be observed and interpreted by the audience.SUBMITTED - Meghan Hedley prepares for an exhibit called 'Ten Thousand Things' at the Chehalem Cultural Center that opened Tuesday.

There are more interpretations of abstract art then in the form of realistic artistic expressions.

Chehalem Cultural Center's new show, "(Paint) the Ten Thousand Things" by Meghan Hedley, has taken her experiences of transformation and explored them on canvas.

Hedley is as ambitious in her education as she is in her painting. She was raised in southern California and graduated with bachelor's degrees in fine art and philosophy from George Fox University. She continued her education and holds a master's degree in fine art from Washington State University and pursued peace and philosophy studies in Rwanda, Uganda, Northern Ireland and England.

"I got interested in looking at things in a philosophical way, in that kind of duty that you have towards your neighbor or whoever is closest to you," she said. "I feel like coming back from that I looked a lot more internally and looked at my own healing."

After her study in England she ventured to the west coast of Ireland for two months and worked at the Burren College of Art. It represented a long journey since her start in art.

"I feel like I was always creating in some way as a kid," Hedley said. "I was interested in making sticker art. I am grateful to my parents because they encouraged me."

While studying philosophy she took a small break from painting, then started to paint seriously again in 2015.

She continues to paint while diving into another master degree in Chinese medicine; she is in her third year in her program.

"It is an intense program. It is med school, but my devotion first is art and maintaining balance," she said. "I'm living a dual life, but in my mind they complement each other. It is a full circle with hearing and how people live."

She explores the power of color and the mark making technique, as well as intersection of art and healing.

"My intention is to create dimension, depth and movement while exploring the interplay between geometric and organic shapes," Hedley said in her artist statement.

She explained that when she submitted the proposal to the cultural center, she first titled the show 'Medicine.'

"It shifted after a year and became '(Paint) the Ten Thousand Things.' It is a statement in Taoism. Chinese medicine is influenced by Taoism and in the classical text on Taoism there is a book called "tao te ching" and the influence in the book and it has poems," Hedley said.

"The exhibit statement comes from one of the poems. The tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three and three gives birth to 10,000 things.

"When someone comes in and sees a large abstract painting, they can have any experience that they want of it. But, for me it is all formed by all the years of interest and idea of healing and how people heal and reconcile, it is all interwoven."

The show continues through March 3 with an artist reception, live music, wine and appetizers from 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 10, with an artist talk at 4 p.m.

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