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Lead Pencil Studio, Afforest

Lead Pencil Studio, Afforest (2015), charcoal, graphite, ink and paint on paper [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Feb 13-May 8]

2016 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards

Portland Art Museum
Portland OR – Feb 13-May 8, 2016

Samantha Wall, Flayed

Samantha Wall, Flayed (2011), conté crayon, charcoal, and graphite on paper [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Feb 13-May 8]

The Contemporary Northwest Art Awards (CNAA) evolved from the Portland Art Museum’s Oregon Biennial celebrations. The current program, now in its fourth year, provides a small number of exceptional artists with both monetary awards and museum exhibition opportunities. Through an extensive process of application reviews and studio visits by Portland Art Museum curator Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson and curatorial advisor Jessica Hunter-Larsen of IDEA Space at Colorado College, 24 finalists were selected from more than 200 nominees from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and 7 winners were chosen.

Several of the artists are part of the established gallery scenes in Portland and Seattle. Samantha Wall of Portland, for example, who was singled out for the $10,000 Arlene Schnitzer Prize, uses large-scale drawings to reflect on multiracial experiences. Dana Lynn Louis, also from Portland, is known for creating immersive installations that incorporate drawing, glass, light and shadow to engage space.

The paintings of Seattle-based Helen O’Toole capture a perfectly coalesced moodiness in deep, vast abstractions that recall her native Ireland. Willem Volkersz of Bozeman, Montana, has a Pop Art style that incorporates neon and found objects with kitschy painted subjects. Other noted Seattle artists round out this exhibit—Victoria Haven uses juxtapositions of extracted text in a series of spare conceptual prints, while the duo Lead Pencil Studio and their multidisciplinary works and Akio Takamori’s ceramic sculptures all contribute to the diversity of art presented here.


Willem Volkersz, Silent City

Willem Volkersz, Silent City (2002/14), neon, wood, and acrylic and latex paint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Feb 13-May 8]

Helen O’Toole, Mary Larkin’s Bottom

Helen O’Toole, Mary Larkin’s Bottom (2013) oil on canvas (diptych) [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Feb 13-May 8]

Allyn Cantor

 Fri, Apr 8, 2016