Wood and fiber
The Rogue Gallery & Art Center has put together an exhibit that features a collection of wood carving, wood turning, furniture, weaving, quilting, silk painting and other textural arts by regional artists.
"A lot of our gallery members work with wood and textiles," says Judy Barnes, director of the gallery. "We wanted to put them together in a show."
The show includes wood turning by John Dowling, quilted pieces by Kara Jordan, weaving by Kathy Fennell and artwork by Roger Butterfield, Jack Hardesty, Warren Straus, Connie Simonsen, Kristin Hoppe, Zelpha Hutton and Krista Johnson.
A reception for the artists will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at the Rogue Gallery, 40 S. Bartlett St., Medford.
For Dowling, this is the third exhibit of his wood-turned bowls. He's shown his work at the Hanson Howard Gallery in Ashland and the Dragonfire Gallery in Cannon Beach.
"I began working with wood only about five years ago," Dowling says. He had worked with porcelain sculpture in the past, and as a poet with works published in Southern Oregon University's West Wind Review and other regional magazines.
"I put the pen down," Dowling says. "And my creative drive transformed itself into turning bowls."
Dowling works in his shop at his home near Pilot Rock outside of Ashland. He says the event that turned him from poetry to wood came one day when he and one of his daughters were visiting a shop. She picked up a wood-turned bowl, looked at her father and said "you can do this."
"It was just one of those moments," he says. "I've always been fascinated with the curve. I used to ride a motorcycle out across the desert, and I was pleasantly obsessed with the curve of the highways."
Dowling says that his bowls are not functional, they're not made to hold a salad.
"There's something compelling about bowls as artwork, and people are attracted to the natural beauty of wood. Then I got to thinking that maybe the bowl could be a canvas and that coloration could be an embellishment of the curve. So much of the sensuousness around us has to do with the curve.
"It's an odd obsession," Dowling laughs. "And we're all looking for one that's not harmful."
Dowling eventually became acquainted with another artist in the Rogue Valley who helped him get his work shown.
The wood and fiber exhibit will be open through Dec. 22 at the Rogue Gallery. The nonprofit venue was founded in 1960 by artists, educators and leaders in the community. The facility serves the Rogue Valley with art education, exhibitions and artists' services.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call 772-8118 or see roguegallery.org on the Web.