Art exhibit finds beauty here, there ... everywhere
If You Go
What: "Here, There, Everywhere" art exhibit/artists reception at the city of Gresham's Visual Arts Gallery
Where: Gresham Public Safety & Schools Building, 1331 N.W. Eastman Parkway
When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. now through Aug. 8; artists reception 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 followed by artist talk at 7 p.m.
With "Here, There, Everywhere," the new art exhibit at the Gresham City Hall Visual Arts Gallery, curator Kwameotis Quaicoe seeks to shrink the world down to a more manageable size.
"There are things going on in America, but also the same issues going on in some way in other countries. It's here, it's there, it's everywhere," he says. "In this exhibit, we are talking about issues known to us, but you find them everywhere you go."
Quaicoe, a member of the Gresham Art Committee, pitched the theme to the committee about a year ago. The exhibit, featuring 24 artists from around the region, is now on display 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Aug. 8 in the gallery at 1331 N.W. Eastman Parkway.
An artists' reception will take place 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, followed by an artist talk, "You Call That Art?" by Portland resident Bill Thierfelder.
Arts committee Chair Barbara Solomon describes the show as art that reflects a little of everything around the world, including music, fashion, art, religion, love, beauty, individual experience and emotions.
"Amazing things are happening everywhere — in our communities, homes, workplaces, the places we travel to and anywhere we imagine," she says. "We just have to be able to open our mind to experience and witness it."
Quaicoe, a native of Accra, Ghana, moved to Gresham in 2017 and quickly got involved in the city's artistic scene. "Here, There, Everywhere" is the first exhibit he's conceived and curated.
"It's a group exhibition, but my paintings are also included," he explains. "We've been working on it for quite a while. When the theme came up, I had already been working on a couple of pieces (that fit)."
One of the themes of universality he addresses involves body image and unique physical traits. One of his pieces specifically focuses on … freckles.
"One of the things about my art is I like to use people to tell stories," Quaicoe says. "Since I was a kid, there's something I've always liked about them. When I moved (to the United States) and met people with freckles and asked how they feel. I realized not everybody is comfortable talking about them. Some are OK with it and others, it doesn't make them feel comfortable to talk, body wise.
"The whole thing about me putting it out there," he adds, "is to say it's OK to have (unique features) and be comfortable with what you have. When I paint, I do it in a way to make people feel good about themselves and not be shy about freckles or whatever they have."
Solomon says she's pleased with the theme and submissions for "Here, There, Everywhere" and praises Quaicoe's efforts in bringing it to fruition.
"I was very pleasantly surprised," she says. "For one, he's a great artist. He's very prolific and has a wide range of talent. He picked up things very quickly and done a wonderful job."
Solomon also is happy to have another "Here, There, Everywhere" artist, Bill Thierfelder, presenting a talk during the June 11 reception.
"(Thierfelder) is speaking about artistic failures," she says of the retired professor and art curator from New York. "It should be a really interesting presentation. Anyone interested in art and the way artists have been redeemed would find it fascinating."