We’ve had a good amount of time these last couple of weeks to think about emotion and connection.  In doing what we do, it’s impossible not to also think about these topics in relation to art.  It’s a common occurrence around here to see true resonance of emotion – everything from joy to deep suffering.  The magic of what another human can convey, with passion, skilled hands, and personal vision, is ever humbling.  Whether it’s a simple recognition of humor, a landscape that triggers memories, or the stirring of something deep that we can’t quite put our finger on, we all know it when we encounter the expression of another that makes us feel seen.  If you’ll allow us, we’d like to share of few of our favorites…

In Arkansas, a life-size version of Carol Gold’s ‘Fiesta’ is installed in a public sculpture garden.  Shortly after moving from the southeast to the north coast of Oregon, a woman wandered into our gallery and found, to her surprise, a small version of this sculpture.  Upon seeing it, she openly wept.  After a little gathering of herself, she shared that this sculpture had become her touchstone, a place of solace for her, and where she said goodbye to her daughter upon moving so far away.  A card that she sent to us after this encounter still hangs on our office wall, a reminder of the power of art.

After many years of vague conversation about the concept of Matthew Palmer’s dream of making a life-size version of his ‘Devotion’, in 2016, it came to fruition.  I remember as clearly as if it were yesterday, talking to Matthew in the months leading up to that year’s Stormy Weather Arts Festival, when he told me he was finally making it.  ‘Devotion’ came to the gallery that fall, and as one person so adequately described it…it was holy.  Eleven feet from wingtip to wingtip, standing scarred and completely vulnerable in a classic courtship pose, to be in the room with it was an experience like no other.  Many who visited felt it, but none as strongly as the wonderful woman who now has the privilege of greeting it each morning in the school where she works.  The sculpture inexplicably floored her – as she cried in its presence, she was herself baffled by what was happening to her.  This, is the power of art.

And then there is Seth Vandable’s “She Will Rise…” I distinctly remember seeing this piece for the first time, at a sculpture show.  We tend toward uplifting art around here, and there was some clear conversation around this piece, and its line between devastation and hopefulness.  Hopefulness won out, and since then many have made the connection to her, among them, our very own Lynette.  She came into our fold here after laying eyes on this piece….and in that moment she became an art collector (and, truth be told, the president of Seth’s fan club if such a thing existed).  A few years later, she joined our staff, and is a daily reminder of the power that art can hold

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