The Nude in the 21st Century

The Heroine by Justyna Kisielewicz, Oil on European linen.

The twelfth annual international juried exhibit Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century will be on display from January 25 through March 15 at Clatsop Community College’s Royal Nebeker Art Gallery located at 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, OR.

Gallery hours are from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The gallery is open on Sundays and holidays by appointment only. Gallery visitors are invited to cast their vote for their favorite piece in the show anytime throughout the duration of the exhibit. The ballots will be tallied at the close of the exhibition and the winner of the “People’s Choice Award” will be announced.

A community reception will be held on February 22nd at 6:00 p.m., and this year’s juror Arvie Smith will be present to give a brief gallery talk. Awards to be announced at the reception include cash prizes, purchase awards, a special exhibit award to be held during the 2018 - 2019 exhibition season, and a select number of workshop awards. This reception is free and open to the public. The College also thanks the Cannery Pier Hotel, the Bridgewater Bistro, Erikson Floral Company, and the Ft. George Brewery for their support. A special post-reception gathering will be held at the Inferno Lounge, located at 77 11th Street immediately following the reception.

This year, over 500 images were submitted for consideration by artists from 29 states plus the District of Columbia, as well as international submissions from Canada, England, Latvia, and Taiwan. The 2018 exhibit will include 60 works of art by 41 artists from 13 states plus the District of Columbia, in addition to international artists from Canada and Taiwan.

Sarah by James McComas, Oil on Linen.

The juror for the 2018 exhibit is Arvie Smith, known nationally for his large format socially provocative figurative paintings and has shown in New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington DC, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, and Florence, Italy. His paintings are in collections of the Portland Art Museum, The Reginald Lewis Museum of African American Art and Culture, Petrucci Family Foundation, Charlayne Hunter-Gualt, Nelson Mandela Estate, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Jordan Schnitzer, Oregon State University, Portland Community College and the City of Portland. He has traveled and studied extensively in West Africa and Europe. Smith is Professor Emeritus of Painting at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon where he taught from 1984 to 2014. Prior teaching included Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Oregon and Oregon College of Art and Crafts, Smith studied printmaking at Il Bisonte and painting at SACI in Florence, Italy and received his BFA at PNCA and his MFA from Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art, where he was teaching assistant to Grace Hartigan. Recent exhibitions of Smith’s work include a solo show at the Portland Art Museum Northwest Gallery from July 2016 to March 2017, and “Constructing Identity: Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art” from January - June 2017, also at the Portland Art Museum. He recently completed a commission through RACC to create a design for a 18’ x 24’ mural to be installed on the corner of NE MLK and Alberta in September of this year. Arvie Smith was born in 1938 and currently resides in Portland, Oregon where he is a full time artist.

Stonebone by Gary Stutler, Charcoal and Conte on Paper.

A hands-on workshop entitled Figure Painting with Arvie Smith will be offered the day after the reception on Friday, February 23rd from 10:00 to 1:30 with a half-hour lunch break. This three hour intensive is designed to aid the artist in furthering her/his visual awareness and objectivity in seeing and painting the figure. Participants will explore beyond basic formal objectives to the emotive powers of the human form. The workshop will overlap the timeframe of the CCC Winter Term life drawing class, and limited spaces are available to the public for a fee of $30. Please contact Kristin Shauck at 503-338-2472 for registration information and a materials list.

Selecting artwork for each year’s show from among the hundreds of submitted images is never an easy task. Each year, a different juror is invited to select the work for the show, and each juror brings his or her own unique perspective and approach to selection process. "A truly talented group of artists submitted beautiful works for me to review making this a challenging and enjoyable process,” juror Arvie Smith reports. “The works I chose included those that conveyed originality, expressed mood and emotion, communicated movement, and utilized a pleasing use of color and light.”

For thousands of years, artists have been compelled to create images of the human form, and it is a subject matter with endless possibilities for creative expression. “The relationship that an artist can experience from rendering the figure offers clues to their very own nature as humans,” Smith explains. “There is no neutral way to paint or draw the nude as we will always leave our personal imprint, becoming part of the artwork itself.”

Justyna Kisielewicz, who will be exhibiting two paintings in this year’s Au Naturel, is a Polish native and a California based painter. Her paintings have been described as “cheeky, trendy, cool, and popping with clever and lively unexpected colors.” Her paintings are filled with references to modern pop culture and inspired by the tradition of American and European aesthetics. She has been described in international fashion and lifestyle magazines as the “rebellious artist from Poland” and as the “princess of pop culture.” Her work has been featured in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Juxatopoz, Hi-Fructose. Recently Kisielewicz’s work has been acquired to fill the permanent collection of the National Museum in Gdansk, Poland.

Fashionable by Lynn Chen, Oil on Canvas.

James McComas, who lives in Boulder, CO, was chosen to exhibit three paintings in this year’s show. His artwork has been featured in previous Au Naturel exhibits, and he received the “People’s Choice Award” in 2015. He has taught figurative painting at the Classical Art Academy in Boulder, Colorado and also served 26 years in the USAF as an F-15 fighter pilot. His artwork over the years has been primarily figurative, and he describes his source of inspiration to be “the grace, gesture, and beauty of the human form.”

Portland artist Gary Stutler, who is exhibiting three large charcoal and conté drawings of male nudes, strives to expose what he describes as the “discriminatory double-standard that allows/ encourages nude female images for public exhibition, but frowns on or even forbids the male nude.” He finds it unacceptable that the female form is widely “studied, revered, objectified,” while on the other hand, “the male form is devalued and hidden from view.”

Chen Lynn, who is exhibiting three paintings in the 2018 Au Naturel and is from Jiayi Shi, Taiwan, believes that "Beauty is an attitude toward life.” She explains that she always paints with “a free mind” and also explains that her work is influenced by “Chinese calligraphy, experimental techniques, as well as the ambiance of a living Zen."

Further information about the 2018 exhibiting artists is available on the 2018 gallery page. Direct inquiries to: Kristin Shauck, 503-338-2472.

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