Rogene Mañas: Out Of My Mind and
Mike E. Walsh: India Series
January 24 – March 15, 2014
Friday, January 24, 5:30 – 8pm
Artist Talk: begins at 6pm
First Friday Artwalk:
Friday, February 7, 5:30 – 8pm
Unexpected Journey ~ Out of My Mind
Rogene Mañas retired from her national card company in 2006 to focus on art making. She studied at the University of Oregon and worked with numerous professional artists in the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, Italy and France in developing her skills. As an accomplished plein-air landscape painter, she made a sudden departure in style after spending winters in Mexico. Inspired by the allegorical nature of Latin American folk art, she shifted her focus from the external world to the internal one. Now as a contemporary folk artist, she makes art about thoughts and feelings, often combining nature images with human forms. Her work shows in galleries in Eugene and Portland. In 2011, she was featured on Oregon Art Beat, a regional program on PBS showcasing Oregon Artists: http://www.opb.org/programs/artbeat/segments/view/890.
She teaches unique and inventive mixed media workshops in Oregon, California and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Her work may be seen at rogenemanas.com, and at https://www.etsy.com/shop/RogeneManas.
Website and Workshop information: rogenemanas.com
I used to think I was going crazy. My mind was wild with obsessive thoughts. I did anything to avoid listening to myself. Meanwhile, as a single mother and a full time creative director, I was struggling to paint pastoral landscapes and sedate still lifes in my spare time. Making art had become work and for the first time in my life, I was avoiding it.
To quell my madness, I decided to make art from my feelings and thoughts. Go internal rather than external. I went from painting reality to painting what was inside my head. It was so freeing and enjoyable that it became an instant addiction. Each piece of art was a release and an expression of whatever was plaguing me. And in my transformation, I changed my life from being on a treadmill to being on a path.
While spending winters in Mexico and became enamored with Latin folk art. Being Spanish and Italian, I have an instant kinship with the drama, passion and color palette of religious and indigenous art. With this influence, I hope my work has become more soulful and primitive. I believe that Mexico gave me permission to go there.
I have invented methods of expression using an air-dried paper maché clay, assemblage and collage materials with acrylic paint and medium. The freedom of mixed media lets me create with whatever material works best to make my statement. Artwork has become Artplay. What a blessing to have found my way into my art and out of my mind.
Unexpected Journey ~ India Series
My new India Series, comprised of sculptural installations, constructions and assemblages was inspired by travel in India for one month in December, 2009. In a street market in Juipur I discovered the ancient Indian board game Snakes and Ladders, played in India since the 16th century, and later worldwide as Chutes and Ladders. Each house construction is covered with images of the board game, snakes, found objects and ladders suggesting not only transcendence, but also a popular culture of color, kitsch, visual chaos and contradiction. The houses and white plaster hands are symbolic of Occidental rule: India gained independence in 1947 after a century of British colonial rule.
The image of the house is a powerful emotive symbol through its association with the major events of human life. The house form embodies an entire realm of emotional responses, references to centers: beginnings, the “comfort zone,” and the private world of dream realization. I have used the house image in wood and paper constructions juxtaposed to found objects since 1980: Not to represent houses per se but explore their roles in terms of temples for emotional, political and symbolic personal rituals. They are houses only in an abstract and ritualistic way - far removed from their implied functions.
In my art practice content and size suggest artifact, ritual, specifically, the act of positioning found and constructed objects in new and informative relationships. Enigmatic juxtapositions often make reference to fetish, memory, time measurement, scale and history; the archaeological layering found in my mixed-media works simultaneously refers to the past and present as well as mimicking museum-like display in Plexiglas vitrines and wall to floor dioramas.