Looking at Art

I guess if you have read this blog a time or two you know that looking at art is a major part of my universe.  Just reviewing this past week, I see all the ways art enlivens my own life and thinking and experience, and I hope this is true for you too.  As we begin to see the loss of support for art thinking, making, and showing at the Federal level looming towards us, it is more important than ever to support the making and looking at art in ways we can.

Roger Hull’s lecture on inauguration day opened the wonderful Louis Bunce retrospective at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, on view until March 26.  R gave a good lecture, well attended and well received…


Monday he gave a lecture/tour to the museum docents, and Wednesday he walked through informally with SAG, my artist friends (here talking about the work on paper part of the show with Nancy Eng and Katy Viegland)…


I love these Bunce paintings…



On Sidney day, otherwise known as Thursday, the three of us went down to Duplex Gallery in Portland to see their last show, Emily Wobb’s “Bad Dreams”.  This little gem of a gallery has been holding forth for four years presenting the work of 63 artists.  R, S and I started going a couple of years ago because A) it was the only gallery open on Monday in the whole city, B) because they had an adorable dog named Otto, and C) because we could see the back of the big deer sign from the front door (there are always reasons…).  Sidney looked at a lot of art and this visit he engaged interestingly in a conversation about bad dreams, why they were in art, and really…what were they anyway (“monsters” for S, “a bridge that I’m driving on that disappears into the water” for me, “the slides for the lecture are lost” for R)…(I encourage you to look at art with a three year old and really listen to what they have to say…)

bad-dreams-1 bad-dreams-2


goodbye Duplex friends…


Time for lunch with the dinosaurs and a cupcake break



before heading to Mark Humpal’s Fine Art to see a  Louis Bunce painting, and then on to 12X16 to see Cary Doucette’s  photos and a group work by a variety of artists from the collection of artist Eunice Parsons.  As I was looking at the photos a small voice said, “Nana, I’m a work of art…look at me”…too true!


We ran into Suzanne who was picking up a Eunice Parsons’ painting “Mill Race” at Mark’s …especially interesting to us since it is a Salem location…


On Saturday we went to Bush Barn to check out the three excellent Louis Bunce paintings from Salem collections now on view…




and while there looked at Jim Hockenhull’s digital prints,


and Susan Trueblood Stuart’s retrospective…60 years of art making


which included this lovely oil painting from her student days when she was a student of Carl Hall’s in the late 1950’s…


and this nice sort of Marsden Hartley-esque pastel…


Downstairs was an interesting exhibit of Willamette University students examining and interpreting the body through art….

Ant Proctor’s “Self Portrait”


Thea Phillips’ “Hairpiece”


Genevieve Lawrence’s “Landscape and Residency”


and Nastja Nynkaza’s “Playing the Part of a Woman Girl”


We dropped a piece of mine off at the Public Library for a show about to open Tuesday for the Salem Reads program…”Spare Parts”, and while heading up to sign a form I spotted my lamp painting of some years ago, still glowing away on the mezzanine…(behind Tom Hardy’s birds)…


humorously placed near a reading chair…lamp-2-1

So in-so-far as there is a point to all this, it is this…WE NEED ART.  We need to make it, we need to think about it, we need to look at it.  And we need to begin to think about what we can do to assure that all this making/thinking/looking is ongoing, in spite of a difficult political culture.  Support your local artists, galleries, museums as a start…more thinking will be required later I’m afraid.





  1. David, as you know it’s better not to sermonize, but I think the art world is going to be hit like a ton of bricks if we lose NEA and NEH…sermons might be appropriate, no?

  2. Great entry to your ongoing art of communication, revelation, exposure and gentle promotion. We DO need art!! To remind us of our humanity, our creativity, our ability to give and receive joy in whatever description that may take. Thanks. Sidney is a work of art! As are you, Bonnie dear. And is certainly, Roger.

  3. Lovely post! I love the” corner” piece of art that was my favorite part ,although the Mill Race and your lamp paintings were the paintings fantastic.

  4. Superb, Bonnie…now more than ever we need art to raise us up and to make and to love. And Sydney is indeed the greatest work of art! Thank you for such a thoughtful, in-depth essay on truth and goodness. Your fan, Nancy

  5. Oh my…that Sydney! He is indeed a work of art. Out of the mouths of babes.
    Loved this blog very much, your photos and your words. Best sermon i ever heard.

  6. and how very lucky we are to have this small companion, this thinker who really does look at things carefully, often noticing things we haven’t seen. He’s a maker for sure, a looker for sure, a write…we’ll have to wait and see..,:-)

  7. I have a vision for children to enter the Federal art contest. ‘Duck Stamp’ program. I would like to hear ideas on how too from artist. Please email a response. Thank you, Kenny

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