- Last Updated: Friday, 24 January 2020 21:13
By Jeremy Kester
This October, The Northwest Stone Sculptors Association partnered with the Pacific Northwest Sculptors for the first time in a group show with thirty-one participating artists. The Making Space special four-day exhibit was held in the Art Reach Gallery at the First Congregational Church, across the park from the Portland Art Museum. Timed in conjunction with the International Sculpture Conference, the show allowed for many opportunities to share art, ideas, and inspiration with both new and familiar members of the sculpture community from around the world.
The First Congregational Church is one of the few examples of Venetian Gothic architecture in the United States and home to the oldest continuous art gallery in Portland. It has a rich tradition of supporting the arts, dating back to the first exhibition in 1875, which featured oil paintings and marble sculptures. The central location is within walking distance of the Portland Art Museum, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland State University, and many of the other galleries and studios that participated in the International Sculpture Conference (ISC).
The joining of the NWSSA and PNWS made for an eclectic mix of styles and media. The show was cohesively curated with something for everyone. Bronze was well-represented. Martin Eichinger’s Inspire dances with graceful fluidity, while Progression, by Jason Johnston, has a cerebral narrative that continues to pull you in and provoke thoughts of endless, cooperative struggle. Fresh off the banker, Sinuosity, by Monika Hawkinson, in honeycomb calcite, glowed in the middle of the room, attracting touches of admiration. Raphael Sebba has convinced marble to swirl and fold with clean elegance in Rebirth. Tony Furtado’s Disappearing makes its point about extinction with masterful figurative abstraction in ceramic and metal. The Sunday reception was well-attended, and the central location allowed for the stream of visitors attending the ISC to flow throughout the event.