Artist explores nature through a Taoist lens in new exhibit

MC Reardon’s “EXHALE: earth” exhibit is a collection of paintings and mixed media, as well as photographs that will be included in her newly published art book called “FOREST”

MC Reardon’s “EXHALE: earth” exhibit is a collection of work inspired by ancient Taoist artists that consist of paintings and mixed media and a collection of photographs that will be included in her newly published art book called “FOREST”. This show will also feature clay artist, Chasse Davidson. Her new work echoes the textures of the forest.

Join us for a glass of wine and complimentary nibbles at this opening reception: 5-7 pm on Friday, Nov. 8.

The exhibit will remain on display through Monday, Dec. 9, open 9 am to 5 pm Thursday-Monday.

Artwork: Mixed Blessings by M.C. Reardon
Mixed Blessings by M.C. Reardon

EXHALE : earth

A collection of photographs, mixed media and paintings by Oregon artist M.C. Reardon

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

In body of work, I explore the current state of dissonance between Humanity and our Planet using ancient Taoist art as both inspiration and vehicle of expression. The Taoist artworks that influenced my work for this show came from many sources, but primarily from the project ‘Taoism and the Arts of China’, created by Stephen Little for the Art Institute of Chicago.

Through my personal understanding of Taoism, I have learned that when I work within to heal and center myself, I am aware of an ever-present connection to something bigger than myself, larger than the collective ego, or our consensual reality. Taoism describes this as the Way; the True Nature that resides in all beings; that has its own force, own direction, and shares wisdom through one’s Inner Truth. The Way does not consume, dominate or submit, but instead, allows space for me to Just Be; to interpret my own experience of the world and my True Self, as it relates to Cosmic Harmony.

It is an inherently peaceful way of evolution throughout my life path, that helps me navigate the stormy waters of Ego and inspires me to keep walking when there is no other option but to walk forward, following my own Red Thread.

Based upon my research of Asian philosophical history, I imagine many of these Taoist artists lived and died under feudal control, and may have never known the freedom of Democracy. Perhaps Nature and the Way provided them not just physical sustenance, but also spiritual renewal, order within the chaos, and peace in the struggle.

Centuries later, their work is a reminder to all of us that Nature does not live in the boundaries that we do, in tiny squares on a satellite map, but within a vast landscape (and Cosmos) that we have built our homes upon.

Artwork: Spiritchaser by M.C. Reardon
Spiritchaser by M.C. Reardon

FOREST

A collection of photographs by Oregon artist M.C. Reardon

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

This series of photographs contains personal memories of the forest, particularly in the Pacific NW. There are reflections of my senses and spirit; when the harmony of a forest left unaltered by humanity creates balance within me, and the lessons of a forest growing into itself build foundations of collaboration, mutual sustainability and interdependence in my life as well.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, my little brother and I would venture out after school to an enormous strip of forest land in our suburban neighborhood; building forts from broken hemlock branches and placing large maple leaves on our small faces, like colorful masks, while rain dripped from a cold cloudy sky. That was a time when many forests of the Oregon Coast were magical old-growth stands of ancient trees, lush green moss and lichen.

On Mt. Hood, one could walk for miles without seeing another human being. Baby bear cubs played in pine trees, deer silently peeked out from behind rhododendrons, and the sound of multiple bird songs filled the canopy above. Progress has changed the landscape over the decades, and now I find it so difficult to find those quiet-but-alive places. However, from time to time, I get lucky and I stumble upon a different way of being, where life lives in harmony, and my heart can feel the earth moving, while my ears hear the wind and my eyes watch leaves flutter. Then I feel whole again, with a deep sense of belonging.

]Author Joanna Macy once wrote: “As we work to heal the Earth, the Earth heals us.” May this work inspire you to contemplate the idea of wild nature simply enduring; going about its daily business, living in the present moment, at peace…and yet…still influenced by our presence.

Artwork: Clay Vessel by Chasse Davidson
Clay Vessel by Chasse Davidson

Clay Art

Exhibited with M.C. Reardon’s EXHALE: earth and FOREST works is an exquisite display of clay art by Chasse Davidson.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Chasse’s journey with clay began 22 years ago. Early on, female form was her central focus, although she now works primarily with wheel thrown vessels.

For this exhibit she has a new body of work that is inspired by the textures and patterns found in coastal forests. Davidson finds endless possibilities in experimenting with the proportions of bottles, vases, and vessels as she joins and alters her pieces. She has worked extensively with raku and horse hair firing techniques, and since recently acquiring a larger raku kiln, her work is growing in scale.

Chasse is the leading pottery and ceramics instructor at the Toledo Clayworks in Toledo, OR. Located on Main Street, in a beautifully remodeled historic building, in the heart of Toledo, this space is a creative hub within the community.

The Chessman Gallery is inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Hwy. 101 in Lincoln City.

For more information about this show or any of the many events going on at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, call 541-994-9994, head to lincolncity-culturalcenter.org, or become a friend on Facebook.


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