The Walters Cultural Center features 'Homecoming' exhibit
The Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center is showcasing past Hillsboro High School graduates with an exhibit highlighting their best work.
Through Jan. 24, people can walk in and see artwork from past students who graduated between 1971 and 2001, as part of an exhibition called "Homecoming." The featured alumni have creative careers that include animation, jewelry design, illustration and architecture.
"We're excited to showcase artists and designers who found their inspiration while attending public school in Hillsboro," said Hillsboro cultural arts program supervisor Bridie Harrington. "We wanted gallery visitors to be able to learn more about the journey that nurtured successful, local artists along their creative path."
Harrington added that the exhibit was also an opportunity to bring all the artists together to celebrate the lasting impact of Judy Vogland's career.
Vogland taught art classes at Hillsboro High School for 32 years, from 1969 to 2001. With 31 artists in the show, she's honored to have taught every single student in the exhibit.
"They're of course creating their own life, and I was just an early part of it, but they are really the ones who have made all of the decisions about what they're doing and how successful they can be," Vogland said. "But it does make me feel a real 'full circle' kind of feeling."
Vogland created the original show featuring past graduates back in 2006. But this time around, she's featuring work of her own as well.
Her collage painting titled "Sinkers and Floaters" features historical images of loggers and fishermen on the Columbia River with splashes of modern colors across the artwork. She was inspired by pictures of her Norwegian family, who immigrated to Alaska and started fishing to keep the family financially stable, said Vogland.
"All of that was interesting for me to dig through old images and create new environments for them to be seen in," she said.
Vogland's career was also influenced by her own art teacher at Wilson High School in Portland. Her teacher was an immigrant from Germany and inspired her to become an artist.
"I wanted to be just like her, and I felt so lucky to have spent two years of my high school education with her," she said.
Vogland then received her degree in drawing and painting from Portland State University. Once she graduated, she earned her teaching certification and taught at Hillsboro High School for seven years.
But her education didn't stop there. Vogland then went on to earn a master of fine arts in painting and drawing so she could teach at a university.
"As soon as I got a good art education … I wanted to share that feeling with my students," she said.
Harrington also hopes the focus of the exhibit can be on education. More specifically, what creative careers are possible in different mediums of art.
"Hopefully, young people interested in creative fields — all fields — will find inspiration and encouragement in this exhibit," she said. "This exhibit showcases what is possible when cities like Hillsboro invest in excellent arts education for all students."
The Walters Cultural Arts Center will also host a First Tuesday Art Walk reception on Tuesday, Jan. 7, for the exhibit. From 5 to 8 p.m., the event will include a demonstration by featured artist and video game designer Henning Koczy and a performance by guitarist Elizabeth Hartman.
Harrington described it as "a great opportunity for gallery visitors of all ages to connect with neighbors, meet new people and engage in the arts in their community."
People can see exhibitions at the Walters Cultural Arts Center Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, at 527 E. Main St. in downtown Hillsboro. For more information, visit Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/Walters.
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