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Helzer Gallery highlighted work of Coos Bay painter
Photos and Story by James Hill
The Helzer Art Gallery is featuring the work of the late Gan Martin in an exhibit called, “Coastal Images – Paintings and Works on Paper,” through Sept. 12. Martin dabbled in a tradition of Oregon painting that goes back to the early 20th century. While he certainly was in touch with later trends in art, including modernism’s tendency to explore abstraction, Martin was at heart a figurative artist. His drawings and paintings exemplify the traditions of regionalism: he depicted the natural world and the incidents and objects of daily life.
Martin lived in Coos Bay for more than 40 years, so the coast line of Oregon and its forests and farmland were his territory. This exhibition includes examples of Martin’s work with ink and colorwash, with pencil and with enamel-based paints. His solid understanding of compositional construction and his fascination with expressive color make his work as vibrant today as it was when he created it.
The Rock Creek gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The gallery is located in Building 3 of the Rock Creek Campus. For more information, contact Prudence Roberts at (503) 244-6111, ext. 3434.