Mystery, myth, magic carry the day at Gresham gallery
If You Go
What: "Myth & Magic" art display featuring the works of 27 area artists
When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays through Feb. 6, excluding holidays
Where: City of Gresham Visual Arts Gallery, Public Safety & Schools Building, 1331 N.W. Eastman Parkway
Details: The exhibition conjures the artistic spirit of the legendary and unknown with artists exploring mystical worlds and creatures in fairy tales, folklore and stories through painting, drawing, mixed media, photography, digital art, sculpture, jewelry, pottery and more.
Info: Visit greshamoregon.gov/Gresham-Art-Committee/
As far as reflecting his creative sensibilities, sculptor Enitan van Dalen probably couldn't think of a more stimulating theme for an art show than "Myth & Magic."
He spoke of what led to his striking, mysterious, mostly stone sculpture, "Youth Revisited," which is among the imaginative works currently on display at the city of Gresham's Visual Arts Gallery at an artists' reception held at the Northwest Eastman Parkway facility on Tuesday evening, Nov. 26.
Van Dalen spoke in depth of his background as a screenplay and TV script writer, and how lucid dreams, nightmares, sleep paralysis and other psychological phenomena he reckoned with informed his segue from the written word to abstract artistry.
"In lucid dreams, I was able to learn how to control my dreams," he said, crediting making his way "through an existential crisis" with fueling his transition. "Lucid dreams (and other intense sleep-based experiences) lead to a lot of creativity."
The city's latest art exhibition, on display through Feb. 6, was intended to conjure the artistic spirit of the legendary and unknown. To be included, artists were asked to explore mystical worlds and creatures in fairy tales, folklore and stories shared through the millennia via painting, drawing, mixed media, photography, digital art, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, glass and other 3D works.
"The title kind of is the concept," said show curator Jonathan Scott. "'Myth & Magic' was an idea that appeared to allow for many types of media and approaches to creativity. Through 'Myth & Magic,' (artists) can explore something they may not have (fully) explored before. People enjoy painting magic things: dragons, fantasy creatures and (mystical) places."
For "Myth & Magic," Scott and fellow members of the Gresham Arts Committee chose works by 27 artists out of about 50 from throughout the Gresham and Portland metro area who submitted.
The committee chooses themes with veteran members there to help new members curate and plan for the shows and exhibits.
"It was fun to work on the selection process," said Scott, a Gresham resident. "The process is highly collaborative. The themes are selected as a group and then (pieces) picked by the committee."
Scott, whose own "Woodland Castle" submission conjures up a mystical scene of a castle surrounded by water, dark green trees and snow-capped peaks, tries to remain as objective as possible in the curation process. While he likes all the entries, he said he was especially intrigued by the "magical feeling of discovery" in Linda Zirkle's "Mystic Wanderers." The stark, earth-toned painting depicts eight anonymous figures roaming around a desertlike landscape.
"The quality of work from local artists never ceases to amaze me year after year," he said. "Area artists create fantastic pieces of art that incorporate the theme remarkably."
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