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A 25th anniversary exhibition
November 8 - December 11, 2005

The Art Gym is 25. Wow.

We are celebrating with drawing(s), an exhibition that fills the gallery with approximately 200 works by more than 40 artists. Most of these artists have presented their work in The Art Gym before; several are showing in the space for the first time. The exhibition includes drawings shown over our 25-year history and many new works.

Why drawings? For this milestone, we wanted an exhibition that would include many artists and a lot of art. The Art Gym is devoted to increasing public understanding of contemporary art of the Northwest. Toward that end we have shown the work of approximately 500 artists at all stages of their careers – from emerging to master. Forty is the best we could do in one show. Most artists draw, not all, but most. Painters draw, sculptors draw, printmakers draw, installation artists draw, conceptual artists draw. How they make drawings and how they use drawing is infinitely varied. These seemed like good reasons to do a 25th anniversary exhibition devoted to drawing.

My own understanding of how and why artists draw has been greatly expanded through multiple conversations with these artists. It is my hope that this exhibition will be a rich resource for discussion, and that drawing teachers and their students will find it of particular use and inspiration.

– Terri Hopkins, Director and Curator The Art Gym

Drawing to Look, to Focus, to Plan.
To Remember.
Drawing as Act, as Fiction, as Fact.

Henk Pander has flat files full of large, exquisite ink drawings of disaster. Some become paintings. Michael Brophy has an ordinary cardboard box marked "source drawings." It contains hundreds of little pieces of paper with sketches of tree stumps, bark on trees, window frames, and messy little studies of other artist's compositions. Judy Cooke has notebook after notebook filled with odd shapes. Marlene Bauer has a folder of 8-1/2 x 11 sheets of paper with little floating outlines. She says she can't make her paintings without them.

George Johanson draws like he paints, people moving, light pooling. Tom Prochaska and Martha Pfanschmidt draw like printmakers. Paul Sutinen draws like he thinks – straight ahead with a twist.

D.E. May keeps reminding us that geometry is serenely inescapable.

Mel Katz, son of a tailor, uses drawings like pattern pieces, and as templates for sculpture. Lee Kelly, once a painter and now a sculptor, makes drawings that harbor sculptures and paintings. Stephanie Robison's drawings and sculptures dance around each other, first one leading then the other. Floating somewhere between abstraction and figuration, Lucinda Parker's big drawings (some on their way to becoming huge paintings) are tangling with life and form.

Michael Bowley is poking at the relationship of object to image and image to image.

Margaret Shirley marks time with line beside line;
Maria Inocencio with spirals of hair;
Marie Watt with alabaster dust;
Linda Hutchins with typed reiterations, and drawings on her palm pilot.

Robert Dozono's life drawings are life-size and messy. Ty Ennis's people are tiny, meticulous, and busy doing strange things. Christine Bourdette is filling her studio with a small mute populace, and drawing frenetically.

Kris Hargis drew his own face again. So did Robert Hanson – and mixed fact and fiction. Laura Ross-Paul, Rick Bartow and Stephen O'Donnell drew themselves, others, and their alter egos. Way back when, Jay Backstrand drew Joe Hill and Joseph Beuys.

Not so long ago: Joe Macca corresponded with art stars and baseball legends. Ryan Boyle created imaginary worlds that rambled down the wall. Bonnie Bronson explored the overlapping territories of temple and headdress. Stephanie Doyle drew humble abstractions, and Kristan Kennedy circled blobs and drips and exported them. Pat Boas and David Eckard kept laboring over painstaking mutations; and somewhere in the funny papers, Daniel Duford's injured superhero kept blundering. Meanwhile, Dana Lynn Louis was drawing the byways of blood and breath, and Deborah Horrell was crafting a lexicon of shape, form, and hidden flaws.

Then as now, Dennis Cunningham's pastels are both a caution and a lament, and Tad Savinar's drawings – before and after the fact – are what remain.

Before the show begins, Brad Adkins will walk in a circle for days, re-enacting Michael Bowley's 1979 Walking in a Circle Until a Mark is Made.

And last we heard, Melody Owen was drawing on leaves.


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