Fri, Oct 13|
Newport Visual Arts Center
Art Exhibition: Transcending trauma
Artist Steve Pickering has no conscious memory of the terrible automobile accident that left him battered, bruised, and dealing with a concussion. In the aftermath, he began to create as a means of documenting inner explorations and outward expressions of physical and emotional sensations.
Time & Location
Oct 13, 2023, 10:00 AM – Nov 24, 2023, 10:00 AM
Newport Visual Arts Center, 777 NW Beach Dr, Newport, OR 97365, USA
About the event
Stop by the Newport Visual Arts Center October 13 through November 26, 2023, to view “Lucky to be Alive” – a new exhibit featuring the art of Steve Pickering, presented by Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.
Artist Steve Pickering has no conscious memory of the terrible automobile accident that left him battered, bruised, and dealing with a concussion. In the aftermath, he began to create as a means of documenting inner explorations and outward expressions of physical and emotional sensations. The impact of that crash is now the subject of Pickering's new exhibition, which takes the viewer on a journey through his subconscious – with the energy and freedom of his collage and mark making – arriving on the other side of his trauma with excellently executed compositions.
"Initially this art paired aggressive marks with static ones, juxtaposing the energized with the serene," said Pickering. “The work has gradually evolved to a more balanced dynamic of these elements."
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Pickering earned both a BFA and MFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is included in the collections of City of Portland, Microsoft Corporation, Kaiser Hospital of Santa Rosa, California, The Print Consortium of Kansas City, Missouri, and in many private collections. Throughout his career, in addition to exhibiting nationally, Pickering taught at Loyola University, repaired porcelain, designed custom picture framing, and even performed in and designed costumes for a dance concert in San Francisco choreographed by Joah Lowe. Prior to his move to Newport in 2020, Pickering lived in Portland for nearly 30 years, where he focused on designing picture framing.
"Steve was a very active artist for a long period of his life," said Chasse Davidson, Director of the Newport Visual Arts Center. "He stepped away from it while pursuing another career, but trauma brought him back to his craft and passion. It assisted in his mental and psychological healing. That really grabbed my attention."
Pickering’s current body of work combines collage and a mix of media, creating abstract works on paper. Materials include envelopes that arrive in the mail, as well as “street finds”. Collages are laid down first and serve as a base for additional media. Pencil marks are added; some deliberate and aggressive, others delicate and sometimes random. Pickering also makes use of acrylic paint, crayon, colored pencil, and graphite.
"The dynamic strength of composition and raw, unfiltered energy contained in each work is exciting," said Davidson. "This exhibition truly celebrates the transcending and healing capacity of art."
An opening reception is planned for Friday, October 13th from 4pm-7pm. An artist talk will take place, and wine refreshments will be served. Exhibits at Newport Visual Arts Center are free to the public and can be viewed most Wednesdays through Sundays, from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM. The VAC is located at 777 NW Beach Drive, Newport. For more information, visit www.coastarts.org/events/pickering