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V.E. Long Retrospective Exhibit and Workshop at CCC Art Center

The Clatsop Community College Art Center Gallery will open its exhibition season with a show entitled Cakes, Nudes, and Bowling Balls, the first retrospective exhibition by Bay Area artist V.E. Long. The show will feature the artist’s figurative works, monotypes, sculptures, collages, and assemblages created over a span of 27 years, from 1987 through the current year.

 

Bliss-Detail, by V.E. Long

Bliss-Detail, by V.E. Long

The exhibition opens with a reception on Thursday, October 2 beginning at 6:00 p.m. and continues through November 6. The gallery reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The CCC Art Center Gallery, 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on weekends and holidays by appointment.

In conjunction with her exhibit, V.E. Long will conduct a workshop entitled “Pushing the Figure to Abstraction” on Friday, October 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  During this workshop, participants will gain greater insight into the artist’s personal process and practice this approach in a productive, hands-on session. “Having taught at Napa Valley College, I love to teach workshops,” Long confesses.  Describing her intentions for the workshop, she says, “My goal is always the success of workshop participants, and to personalize any feedback to participant’s individual needs.  One of the hardest jobs of an artist is that of being an editor, and I would like to share how an artist might approach that challenge.  My teaching sessions are serious, yet full of humor; we work hard and have a lot to show for a few hours of work.  Participants leave with work well underway and heads full of information that they can actually use.”

The workshop will be held in the Drawing/Painting Studio of the CCC Art Center, and is free to CCC students enrolled in fall term credit classes and open to the general public for a $20 fee.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For a materials list and to register, contact Kristin Shauck, 503-338-2472 or [email protected].

Selected to exhibit in the 2014 Au Naturel competition by the highly respected Portland gallery owner Charles Froelick, Long was also chosen by the art department faculty to receive the coveted prize of a solo exhibition at the CCC Art Center Gallery. V.E. Long’s work has been collected by corporations including AT&T, Chubb Corporation, IBM, Twentieth Century Fox, and the Hewlett Foundation. Private collectors of her work include Manuel Neri, Robert Redford, and Lawrence Halprin, designer of the F.D.R. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Born in Washington, D.C., Long earned a B.A. from University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.F.A. from California State University, Long Beach where she studied with Paul Wonner, one of the original Bay Area Figurative artists. She has also studied with Llyn Foulkes and Howard Warshaw.  She is regarded as a third generation Bay Area figurative artist influenced by the work of Nathan Olivera, David Park, Paul Wonner, Richard Diebenkorn, and Manuel Neri.  Her prevailing use of the strong gestural marks of Abstract Expressionism is reminiscent of Willem de Kooning, while influences for her assemblage works and sculpture range from Ed Keinholz to Louise Nevelson to Joseph Cornell.

 

Although the show represents a wide variety of work in both two dimensional and three dimensional formats, the common thread interconnecting all the pieces lies in the process of creation; the original image that initially inspired each work of art has been removed from its original context. With the two dimensional figurative work, the artist initially works from a life model in the beginning stages.  In the following stages after the model leaves, the artist begins to deconstruct the images, pushing and abstracting them into something quite removed from the original vision.  With the three dimensional assemblage works, the artist scavenges bits and pieces of items that once had a specific function, such as game tokens and cake decorations, and then she transforms each item into a completely different incarnation imbedded into a work of art. Each item then serves as a visual element in a new visual context, and in the process, each item becomes infused with a deeper, more complex meaning.

 

Both the figurative works and assemblages express what it is to be human in various ways.  They depict circumstances and tragedies, strengths and frailties, hope and survival. “The figure, and its connotations, are a never ending source of inspiration for me,” the artist states.  She also explains that “had I been born more recently, I’m sure I would have been labeled as ADHD.  As it was, my parents just received notes that I was a ‘distracted child’ and a ‘daydreamer,’ and I guess I was, because everything interested me and still does.  My sculptural work uses ordinary items as icons, many of which I find in the street or at the landfill.  My figurative work is ‘all over the place’—once the model leaves, I can make her into something else.  So I’m really thankful that I was, and still am, a distracted child.”

 

Long creates her work in her Napa Valley studio space that she describes as a “bi-level on a slope in an old chicken feed granary on the ranch where we live…the lower portion is where I paint,  and I also print on a huge etching press. The upper portion is where I produce the wood constructions and assemblages. It’s a wonderful life and I am so grateful to get to live here.”

Clatsop Community College acknowledges special support for this exhibit and workshop from The Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa.

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