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Jacques and Mary Regat to show in the Gallery

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We are pleased to welcome back to the Gallery, Jacques and Mary Regat. The Regats are painters and sculptors from Alaska whose subjects reflect Alaskan culture and heritage.

Jacques Regat is a self-taught painter and carver from France who is also a trained machinist, and tool and die-maker. In Alaska, while sharing his talent at the Native Welcome Center, he developed a strong kinship and respect for the cultural myths and history of its people, which became an inspirational theme reflected in many of his works. He is a graduate of the University of Alaska in Anchorage.

Mary Regat is also primarily a self-taught artist who began sculpting while living in a remote logging camp on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. Her first efforts were a 28-foot dugout canoe. She eventually took up residence in Anchorage and began sculpting in stone. Her style is expressive and impressionistic, capturing the emotions and moods of her subjects.

Jacques and Mary met and married in Alaska. As partners and independent artists they create a beautiful and varied collection of bronze works. The Regats work in bronze, silver, wood and stone lithographs oils and acrylic. Both are highly reputed and enjoy popularity both individually and as partners.

We will be showing distinctive sculpture by these talented artists through the months of October and November. Plan to attend First Friday on October 5 when The Regats will be present. It will be a great opportunity to meet the artists and maybe even acquire a new piece of sculpture.

Images: Jake and King of the Mountain

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Northwest Coast Indian Art

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Indigenous art of the Northwest Coastal Indians has its origins in the geographic area covering Northern California to Southwestern Alaska. Some familiar tribes include the Chinook, Tlingit, Haida, Coast Salish, Tsimshian, and Quileute. Categorized by such iconic art forms as totem poles, ceremonial masks, basketry and carved panels, this art is defined by the use of bold, stylized shapes and distinct colors. Common subjects include animals, humans, and mythological interpretations incorporated as often to satisfy superstitions, as to honor events or individuals.

Indian art of the Northwest Coast has been identified as far back as 6000 years ago. It is thought that the long months of winter offered these tribes the opportunity to devote this time to their ceremonial traditions and the creation of this symbolic and highly representational art. The artifacts served both function and aesthetics and were utilized for practical as well as ceremonial purposes.

Masks and totem poles are perhaps most synonymous with Northwest Coast Indian art. Cedar, native to the area was readily available and most often used in carving. Common animal subjects in all tribal art forms included ravens, eagles, killer whales, and salmon. These were often depicted as mythological entities, illustrating the transcendence of earthly attributes.

The raven was considered of great importance and thought of as something of an imposter, with the ability to mimic other forms. The eagle’s size and power, symbolized social status and prestige, as well as peace and friendship. Whales and salmon were also familiar motifs. Whales became the subjects of stories handed down by the tribal elders and illustrated through art. Salmon, an abundant food source, were also honorably portrayed.

Native American art of the coastal Indians is unique to this part of North America and has a history rich in lore and tribal traditions. If you are interested in learning more about Northwest Coast Indian art, we are lucky to enjoy fantastic collections in both the Portland Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum. If you’re attending First Thursday, be sure to visit Quintana Galleries. This gallery has specialized in Native American art, including Northwest Coast Indian art for 40 years in the Portland area.

If you would like to view authentic totem poles, put Pioneer Square in Seattle on your list; and if you find yourself in Victoria, BC, Thunderbird Park at the Royal BC Museum.

Even closer to home, we will be showing the sculpture of Alaskan artists Jacques and Mary Regat during the month of October. The work of these fine artists reflects their love of Alaskan culture and heritage. Jacques and Mary will be in the Gallery on First Friday, October 5 to share their art and enjoy the festivities. Be sure to put it on your calendar!

Remembering September 11, 2011

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It’s hard to believe that eleven years have passed since the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Since then, many artists have used their medium to express the emotions of the world through music, dance and the visual arts. We had planned to highlight some of the art created in response to this event, but it turns out that countless people have expressed their complex feelings through artistic expression. To learn a little about this massive body of work, we refer you to this New York Times article.

Rip was also inspired to sculpt and Strength of America was created. In his inspiration statement, Rip explains the symbolism of the piece. “With determination and pride, the figure raises high a lamp, symbolizing the light of truth, freedom and justice. The serpent in his right hand represents the evil acts and forces of terror from 9/11. Emerging from the jagged rubble, the lines of the piece become more fluid as the eye travels up to see a bald eagle carrying the American flag to safety, emblematic of the American spirit.”

This limited edition sculpture is unique in that the first three of the edition were given as gifts to the cities that lost innocent lives in the attacks of September 11. You can view one at the Pentagon building in Washington DC, which was presented by the artist to the Legion of Valor. The second can be seen in commemoration of those who died in Shanksville, PA; the third is awaiting placement at Ground Zero in New York City.

Strength of America is also publically viewable at the Historic Belmont Firehouse right here in Portland. If you can’t make it to the Gallery or the Firehouse to see this piece, enjoy this video.

To learn more about the evolution of the Freedom Tower, watch this fascinating PBS video.

Wow, September already!

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As we roll into September we are enjoying the remaining hot, summery days. At the Gallery we are revving up for a lively fall with new artists and exhibits, exciting Gallery news, and our upcoming 20th anniversary!

In the meantime, though, we want to remind you that these will be the last few weeks of showing Hood River artist, Gayle Weisfield’s watercolor paintings. We still have some beautiful wood turned bowls by Mel Borg and exquisite segmented wood turned bowls by Tim Maben.

Russell Ford is back in the Gallery. Be sure to come by and see his colorful blown glass bowls. Keith Appleman is the newest member of our Gallery family. He creates sculptural blown glass lights and combines them with exotic wood bases—very unique.

In addition, we have work by JM Broderick, Michael Orwick, and Steven Thor Johanneson.

In October our featured artists will be Bev Jozwiak and Jacques and Mary Regat. Our gallery will be full of new paintings and sculptures. Rip will be back from Africa with tales to tell. If you want to be the first to know about Gallery happenings, follow our blog (of course!) and sign up for our email newsletter here: http://www.caswellsculptures.com/ (go to the bottom of the page).

So, enjoy the sun, but don’t be a stranger—and remember, we have air conditioning!

Mary and Joseph and The Crucifixion are home

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We are thrilled to share this video that highlights the actual installation of Mary and Joseph and The Crucifixion at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita, KS last week. We will have more about this project in the upcoming weeks, but enjoy this video in the meantime!