For Professional Practices, I went to attend the Lane Arts Council’s First Friday Artwalk, on November 2, at the Karin Clarke Gallery. I was only able to stay for the first artwalk stop because of time restraints, but I loved it none the less! I was privileged to already know Margaret Coe’s artwork from an exhibit at the University of Oregon. I was surprised but happy to find out it was her artwork I would be seeing! From my previous experiences with her art I knew whatever I found here would be enchanting, and I was right. Margaret Coe’s collection of oil paintings titled, “The City of Light,” recounted her five weeks stay in Venice, Italy. During a short interview conducted by a Lane Arts Council official, she spoke about how she believed “Venice is the most beautiful city in the world,” but “It might not always be around,” recounting the floods currently wreaking havoc in Venice. In her own words, “this show is a love song to Venice.”
I’m glad I was one of the people capable to see her talk so passionately about her trip to Venice, and there were a lot of people there. The gallery was packed, and if I hadn’t gotten there early I might not have been able to see all the artwork. In her artist statement, she explained how before her trip she invested in fine linen canvas, departing from her usual cotton canvas. She said she felt she needed to invest in the time and equipment this time because her last visit to Italy was slightly lackluster, as she didn’t really spend time going out of her comfort zone. She looked at examples of other artists who had gone to Venice and noticed how their painting style often changed during their excursions, so she wanted to push her self. She looked at watercolors by Joseph Mallord William Turner and oil paintings by John Singer Sargent. Looking between the three very different collections of paintings, each artist with very different styles, the similarities were somewhat obvious.
The canvas she used did change her art style, her drawings had a new lightness and transparency that her works usually didn’t have. In her words, ‘Venice changed the way they work because of and for Venice.’
My favorite image from the gallery was either ‘San Marco,’ the one in the picture I’ve included, although ‘A refined Quandary and Bargain with Death,’ was a close second. I included an image I found online for that image since I didn’t take a picture of it.
On a side note, when I originally came to the artwalk, I didn’t actually know any of the artworks were up for sale until I looked at the title cards for the artworks, and the guide host mentioned how the gallery supports the artists financially. I suppose it made sense then why the majority of the people I saw there were older rich-looking people. I may make it a goal to eventually own my own Margaret Coe piece, but for the time being, I’ll take my time to enjoy all the galleries and artwalks I can.