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''What does Earth home stir in your art?' It overlaps with the theme of 2020 which is wellness.'

PMG PHOTOS: BARB RANDALL  - Marlana Stoddard Hayes is exhibiting her art at the Creative Spirit Gallery at West Linn Lutheran Church through January. All are invited to attend an artists reception and presentation from 9 a.m.-noon Jan. 5.The Creative Spirit Gallery at West Linn Lutheran Church is showing the art of Marlana Stoddard Hayes of West Linn and Larry Gross of Beaverton through the month of January.

The public is invited to attend a reception from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Jan. 5, to meet the artists and learn more of their artistic process. The artists will be available for discussion from 9-11 a.m.

"The overarching theme for the exhibits in 2019 was honoring our Earth home," said pastor Donna Herzfeldt-Kamprath. "We asked artists, 'What does Earth home stir in your art?' It overlaps with the theme of 2020 which is wellness, because whatever happens to the Earth affects us."

Herzfeldt-Kamprath says she enjoys exhibiting art of different artists side-by-side in the gallery space to "see what occurs. What will the art communicate together? It creates a fascinating layering of art."

She says the church space is used by many groups in the community — music and theater groups, shelters, etc., and the art is always noticed by the visitors.

The art Stoddard Hayes selected for the exhibition focuses on the theme of Wellness.

"Wellness is something more of us are all searching for in these increasingly technical times," she said. "From my point of view, I have tied wellness to handiwork, as from a small child and into my mature self, I have followed the call of making art to keep in touch with the inner parts of my being and to remain in a state of equilibrium. Making (art) and gardening go hand in hand to inform what I do and make today.Larry Gross is sharing the Creative Spirit Gallery space with Stoddard Hayes, showing his exhibition titled Earth Crammed With Heaven.

"This exhibition is a bit of a chronicle of what I have been thinking about for the last 20 years, since we made the move to the Robinwood area of West Linn from the Midwest. It is my hope that you enjoy the movement and thought in the pieces, and see a bit more of the inter-relationship of the seasons in color and form."

Stoddard Hayes' works are inspired by her daily walks, along with an active studio practice. The misty quality of the paintings represent the air of the Pacific Northwest, something she didn't experience in the Midwest but does daily in Oregon.

Stoddard Hayes will be exhibiting at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland March through May, 2020. She was honored in 2019 with Professional Development Awards from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Ford Family Foundation and the Regional Arts and Culture Council for her work, and will exhibit with the National Members Exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery in New York City in February 2020.

Larry Gross' exhibit is titled "Earth's Crammed with Heaven," a line he borrowed from a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. He says it "captures the sense of the sacred wonder we may all experience in our daily encounter with creation. ... My work explores how snippets from day to day experiences can display the magnificence of heaven. Some of the art includes photo clips of Earth taken by Apollo astronauts."

The patterns from the photos of the places we move, play, design and harvest are featured in his paintings, which take on the appearance of stained glass, another favorite medium of Gross'.

"It is my hope that the feeling is transmitted to the viewer as an invitation to look for more, to realize a kind of feast that results in discovery," Gross said.

He says the works also include contemporary interpretations of scripture, elements of the Lutheran liturgy or a passage of Christian hymnology.

"I subscribe to Picasso's idea that a work of art is a living thing and changes with the contest of the viewer," he writes in his artist's statement. "Therefore he/she is encouraged to interpret for themselves whatever might be seen in the art. ... Art changes with time and place and so does the sensiblity of each artist and each participant. The possibilities we can experience are crammed with heaven."

West Linn Lutheran Church is located at 20390 Willamette Drive.

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