Oregon Native Saints
April 3 – April 27, 2019 EXTENDED THROUGH JUNE 1st!
First Friday ArtWalk, May 3rd, featured stop and talk at 7:30 pm
Karin Clarke Gallery welcomes spring with a glorious exhibit of new paintings by local artist Olga Volchkova. Russian-born, Volchkova was trained as an icon painter and conservator, and is well-known in this region because of popular exhibit Olga Volchova: The Nature of Religion, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) (2015-2016), and an in-depth feature on her on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat. “(Volchkova) uses her knowledge of Orthodox iconography and her love of botany to create provocative paintings that explore the history of florae. Through intensive research about each plant specimen she portrays, Volchkova creates visual narratives that explore the mythologies humans have created around plants, while expertly rendering the form of each leaf, petal, and tendril.” (from JSMA website)
This special new series, created just for the Karin Clarke Gallery show, is called “Oregon Native Saints”. It celebrates or “canonizes,” as the artist says, local plants, like her St. Camas, St. Beargrass, and St. Rhododendron. Volchkova does an incredible amount of research before she begins each piece; the works are rich with detail, what the artist calls “little jokes”, which will delight and charm the viewer. Each painting took her at least a month to complete- working 10 to 12 hours a day – and it’s evident in the beautiful craftmanship and luscious surface quality that is unique to her process.
Each painting in the exhibit will be accompanied with a text pane, that will explain the story behind each piece and the special properties of the plant. In addition to paintings, Volchkova, for the first time, is offering limited-edition prints made of her paintings, and they will be available for sale during the show. (unframed, signed, $100) Volchkova will discuss these special new works during the first Friday artwalk, at 6 pm on April 5th.
Trained as an icon painter and conservator, Russian artist Olga Volchkova uses her knowledge of Orthodox iconography and her love of botany to create provocative paintings that explore the history of florae. Through intensive research about each plant specimen she portrays, Volchkova creates visual narratives that explore the mythologies humans have created around plants, while expertly rendering the form of each leaf, petal, and tendril. She depicts all manner of plant life: decorative types such as lilies, peonies, and roses; edible specimens such as vegetables, fruits, herbs, and plants with purported medicinal properties; as well as potentially toxic examples such as belladonna and datura. Often quoting passages from medieval manuscripts along the borders of her paintings, she succinctly details each plant’s long history and illustrates significant moments.