Ceramics by Sam Bernardi
The Lopez Island Library is pleased to feature the ceramics of Sam Bernardi. Many of you know Sam as the tech guru at the Library, but he is also a highly skilled potter. Sam is a man of many talents! His show, titled “FORM AND FUNCTION” will be on display at the Lopez Library through October 20th. You are invited to an artist reception in the Lopez Library meeting room on Friday, September 29th from 3 – 5pm.
Sam offers this narrative of himself and his work: “My interest in ceramics began in college, in the late 1960s, while pursuing a degree in art. Ceramics was one of my classes and at once, I was drawn to clay like no other medium I had been exposed to. I was fortunate in having a highly respected potter, Phil Cornelius, for an instructor and eventually became his assistant. Working beside Phil for a year provided me with the knowledge to embark on my own to pursue a career as a potter.
My early influences were contemporary potters of the time such as Peter Voulkus, Paul Soldner, Daniel Rhodes and others. However, in a short period of time I began to focus on the production of functional ware. Early American functional pottery influenced my work then and does still today. Form and function guides my hand. I love the idea that pieces I produce are used by people for everyday use. After reading the book PIONEER POTTERY by Michael Cardew, I was compelled to become as self sufficient a potter as possible. I have designed and built my own kilns and much of my own equipment. For most of my career, I have mixed my own clay from raw materials using equipment I adapted to clay production. Iʼve always felt that being a potter was more of a lifestyle, as opposed to being just a vocation. The skills I acquired in the pursuit of my craft have crossed over into other aspects of my life, allowing me to live somewhat self sufficiently.
Over the 47 years of my career, Iʼve experimented with various forms and techniques. The work in this display contains work from my personal collection. There are pots from my early days and various time periods along the way. Some show the wear of use and one piece in particular was a gift to my grandmother in 1972 and returned to me when my mother passed away in 2012. Today I consider myself semi-retired from production pottery, however, my love of the medium keeps me in my studio. Currently, I am working in terra cotta and loving the new material and developing new glazing techniques.” – Sam Bernardi
Watercolor by Mary Christensen
Watercolor by Don Christensen
The Lopez Island Library is pleased to feature the watercolor paintings of Don and Mary Christensen. Their show, titled “EXPLORING ART TOGETHER” will be on display at the Lopez Library through October 20th. You are cordially invited to an artist reception in the Lopez Library meeting room on Friday, September 29th from 3 – 5pm. In their own words:
“Don, it seemed, has always had an interest in drawing, painting and design. He majored in Architecture at UC Berkeley and learned to draw imagined buildings in pen and ink, watercolor and pastel. Mary spent her early years learning about the world and the people she met. A graduate of Oregon State in Home Economics led to her teaching children and adults as a career. Our family settled in the small city of Hanford, California where Don started his architectural practice. Among the many buildings he designed was the Kings County Art center where Mary took watercolor classes from Sallie Marcellus.
Retiring in 2003 we moved to Portland where Mary had grown up. We followed our interest in painting with two fine teachers Harold Walkup and Ruth Armitage at the Oregon Society of Artists and also Mary with Chris Williams. Daughter Mara and family moved to Portland in 2006. Karen Fisher, our older daughter, moved with family to Lopez in 1998. Having visited them many times throughout the years, our admiration for Lopez life grew, and in 2015 we moved to the Hamlet. We continue our interest in art and are inspired by the talents and diversity of Lopez artists.
Don has begun to venture into socially responsible themes using art to illustrate environmental challenges. Mary finds inspiration for her paintings in her life and travel. We hope you enjoy our endeavors.” – Don and Mary Christensen
Weaving by Julienne Battalia
The Lopez Island Library is pleased to feature the beautiful basketry of Julienne Battalia. Her show, titled “UNTETHERED,” will be on display at the Lopez Library through September 8th. She offers this narrative of herself and her work: “I have lived on Lopez for 31 years, working and raising two beautiful daughters. In my life before becoming a single parent of two and working full time practicing Massage Therapy and East Asian Medicine/Acupuncture, I painted in water color and pastel, beaded jewelry, dabbled in ceramics and weaving on a floor loom.
Several years ago I felt a yearning to find this part of myself again. I had been curious about weaving baskets with rope, yarn and fabric from seeing an exhibit by Peggy Hubbard ( I think it was), at the library many years ago. I found a video on how to weave a coiled basket with fabric and rope. I bought a pretty patterned pillow case and some cord from the Thrift Shop and began to weave my first basket in the fall of 2015.
While in Mexico a few years ago, some friends wanted to learn coiling. I sent them to look for materials in the local craft/paper store and they returned with “synthetic raffia.” This material proved perfect! Since then I have introduced a variety of larger gage copper wire. I still frequent the Thrift Shop for re-used yarn, fabric and an assortment of other materials.
I have named this show “UNTETHERED” because the process of tethering together baskets creates inside me a wonderful untethering of mind and spirit.” – Julienne Battalia
Photograph by Bill Evans
The Lopez Island Library is pleased to feature the photography of Bill Evans. His show, titled “HOME: A Collection of Images Capturing the Emotions of Place” will be on display at the Lopez Library through September 8th.
He offers this narrative of his work: “My photographic passion is to capture the emotion of a place and, in this exhibit, that place is my ‘Home’ in the San Juan Islands. I seek out compelling landscapes and work to capture them in beautiful light. Using both digital and film cameras, I strive to capture my images with a single exposure without the use of Photoshop manipulation. This often results in many more failures than successes, but repeated trips to a location helps me develop the relationship with the scene that I need to capture my images. I’ve been a passionate photographer for over 30 years and apart from a few classes and darkroom work in college, I’m self-taught … a process that continues each day I go out in search of beauty and light.” – Bill Evans
Artists and art collectors from Lopez Island grace the walls and the glass cabinet of the library. The varied and beautiful work featured is organized by dedicated artist and patron Meg Ryan. We are grateful for her support of the library and participation from our local artists. We encourage you to take a moment to enjoy the work represented when you visit our library.
The following scheduled artwork is listed below:
Cabinet Exhibit Schedule as of 6-1-17
Wall Exhibit Schedule as of 6-1-17
The Artwork of Sheila Simpson-Creps
The Lopez Island Library is pleased to feature the artwork of Sheila Simpson-Creps. Sheila is well known for her beautiful ceramics as well as her paintings. Her work can also be found at Chimera Gallery in Lopez Village. She shared this narrative of her work:
“Egg tempera can be traced back to ancient Egypt, and was a primary painting medium until the development of oils in the mid-1400s. You may be familiar with old, Russian and Byzantine religious icons, which were painted in Egg Tempera, as was the work of Botticelli, and the contemporary work of Ben Shahn.
The development of Egg Tempera was stunted by the advent and ensuing popularity of oil paints in the late 1400s. Many of the oil painting techniques that became popular in the 19th and 20th centuries (impressionism, symbolism, collage, color-field painting) were never attempted in Egg Tempera because by then oil was the dominant medium. Yet Egg Tempera handles those techniques perfectly well as long as one doesn’t paint in impasto
(thick applications of paint). One of the factors that motivate me to use Egg Tempera is a concern for the environment.
As human beings we all pollute, and yet I believe we can be conscious of how much we each contribute to the sum total of human pollution. There were so many hazardous waste
products with oil paints that I searched for a medium that would let me build up layers of both transparent and opaque colors. Watercolors didn’t let me build up the layers I wanted
and I didn’t care for the plastic surface sheen of acrylics. I also questioned the environmental impact of acrylics, which are water based but the plastic binder is still going into the water system, and doesn’t necessarily biodegrade. Egg, as a binder, solved the
problem for me by being biodegradable and Egg Tempera yields an archival, sound surface for my work. Nature has always been a source of inspiration for me. For many years I have painted birds
as a subject matter. Sea Stars became a focus in the past couple of years, as they dwindled due to a wasting disease. With all of the year round green in our environment, my eye looks for other colors. Sea Stars, offer a wide range of color, and I am always pleased to see them. The effect of their loss impacts all of the other parts of their ecosystem and I am aware of the delicate inter-balance of all the environments of our world. The paintings here at the library, honor the creatures of our tidal Puget Sound, which provide us with so much beauty, and sustenance.” -Sheila Simpson-Creps
Feather and Flame
It isn’t possible to adequately describe Kelsey Nelsen’s inspired and elegant ceramics. The Lopez Library invites you to visit us with one objective: see her incredible work in the glass exhibit case at the entrance to the library.
“I am a studio potter working primarily in stoneware clay fired in atmospheric kilns. I received my B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota, apprenticed with Wisconsin potter David Caradori, have worked as an artist-in-residence at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, VA, and am currently managing and teaching at Rural Arts Clay Co-op here on Lopez. In the studio I explore the physical relationship we experience with pottery as well as with the natural world.” -Kelsey Nelsen