Local artists on display at Eugene Airport

Gloria Campuzano’s oil painting “Oregon Pacific Crest” will be on display with other abstract artwork at the Eugene Airport until April 20.

Paintings by at least two South Lane artists, Gloria Campuzano and Sally Schwader, are among several hanging in the Eugene Airport at its current art exhibit.

The exhibit, “Oregon Abstract”, opened at the Gallery at the Airport on Friday, Jan. 21 and is on view through April 20.

Juried by artist Jenny Gray, the exhibit features 30 pieces of abstract artwork by members of the Art Center, and one painting on paper by the Art Center’s namesake, Maude I. Kerns.

The mediums represented include woodcut prints, oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, mixed media, ceramics, encaustic, and photography.

“Oregon Abstract” is dedicated to abstract artwork, defined as art that does not seek to represent external reality in a concrete way. The artwork was selected on the basis of how it fit the theme of the show, its aesthetic quality, the intention of the work, and the skill and proficiency demonstrated in the use of the medium.

Campuzano said her piece, “Oregon Pacific Crest” was inspired by nature but also in part by yoga positions.

“Abstract is very difficult to explain because it doesn’t represent reality, but it represents textures, or colors, or shapes, or forms,” she said. “It’s like a visual language of those things. And everybody interprets it differently.”

In Campuzano’s piece, she said some people see a trail and others might see a lake, but she was not specifically trying to represent these things.

Though getting some attention in the airport gallery now, the painting has some history — it was one of Campuzano’s first after she began painting in 2003.

It took Campuzano some time to come around to painting. When she was in kindergarten, Campuzano recalled, her teacher asked her to paint a pair of socks, but to paint them differently than her classmates. The young Campuzano got the idea to paint the socks different colors. When the teacher came back to see the artwork, Campuzano received a punitory pinch on her arm for not following directions; two differently colored socks couldn’t be a “pair”.

“And so after that I was horrified to even draw a line,” she said. Years later, “I told my husband that story and he brought me one day a kit with canvases and all kinds of paints.”

After trying various styles, Campuzano settled on oils. She took to the new hobby quickly, playing in the realm of the abstract. 

“I don’t paint reality because I cannot paint what the Creator made. I really cannot do that,” she said. “I live by the river and the sunsets and sunrises are just masterpieces. So, I just paint from my imagination, like dreams.”

Campuzano’s “Oregon Pacific Crest” painting hanging in the Eugene Airport was painted in such a way.

The artwork, including Schwader’s acrylic piece, “Hanging By A Thread”, can be viewed and even purchased online by going to mkartcenter.org and clicking on “Current Exhibit” under the “Exhibits” tab.

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Maude Kerns Art Center at [email protected].

The  Maude Kerns Art Center website can be found at www.mkartcenter.org.