Bandon Public Library Art Gallery Open for Summer 2021
The Bandon Library Art Gallery is now open: On display through August “A Delicate Balance,” paintings/collages by Susan Lehman, and “A Murder of Crows,” assemblage by Janice Horne. Starting on July 1st, Ava Richey’s paintings will be showing on The Long Wall inside the library. Library and gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 12 to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Painter and collage artist Susan Lehman is a master of subtlety, whose work pushes the edge of what is possible in a two-dimensional medium. Using fabrics, fibers, mesh, paper, and sculpting paste, Susan creates an undulating surface, pocked with craters or rising up into wrinkles before she paints. She then applies acrylic paint, inks, and metallics, and may further manipulate the surface by scratching or otherwise distressing the paint. The result is a complex painting with sculptural effects that takes time to fully absorb.
The main series of works on display, “A Delicate Balance,” made during the last 14 months, is a direct response to the challenges of lockdown: isolation, fear of what’s outside, feelings of being lost and cut off, memories of the beauty of nature, and trying to find hope and a way back into the world. Using a limited but dynamic pallette of black, white, grey, and metallic golds and coppers, Susan summons feelings we all experienced during this period of forced isolation: that of being stuck inside, looking out at a world drained of color and life, our loneliness at separation from other people, dislocation as our usual routines came to a sudden halt. These works are delicate and precise, invoking both the inner storms and quiet lulls that marked this stressful time. But Susan doesn’t leave us there; she then takes us outside and into light and color with the three newest paintings, including “Looking Towards Shore,” with its lovely turquoise seawater and misty sky. She tells us it’s not over yet, but we’re on our way home.
Janice Horne’s “A Murder of Crows” is assemblage at its most whimsical and fun. Riffing on the noted intelligence of crows and ravens, as well as their reputation for being tricksters, Janice playfully assembles collages and sculptures to celebrate these fascinating birds. With a wide variety of materials and both a sense of humor and a great respect for her subject, she creates scenarios in which crows are messengers, carriers of the seed of life, or gatekeepers of Time itself. She imbues her crows with mystic power, yet Janice’s mini stories are grounded in the real activities of corvids. It is a pleasure to have these delightful pieces in the cases.
The gallery is open during regular library hours, Tuesday through Saturday, at the Bandon Public Library, 1204 11th St. SW, in Bandon City Park. For more information about the gallery, visit the Bandon Library Friends and Foundation website, bandonlff.org.
Article courtesy of Tracy Hodson. Art images “Looking Towards Shore” by Susan Lehman; “Tricksters of Time” by Janice Horn.