Theresa Andreas-O’Leary & Shu-Ju Wang

The Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center
527 E Main St., Hillsboro, Portland, Oregon
May 1 – May 31, 2007

There are still two more weeks to catch the exhibit of paintings and prints by Theresa Andreas-O’Leary and Shu-Ju Wang at the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center; the exhibit is up through the end of May, 2007.

Andreas-O’Leary and Wang met in 2006 during Portland Open Studios and hit it off right away. Both have traveled and lived all over the world and are both inspired by the natural and man-made worlds that they live and travel in. Both work in vibrant and layered colors, Andreas-O’Leary in acrylic on canvas and Wang in gouache and screen prints.

Figs and Cardoon

Above, Figs and Cardoon by Theresa Andreas-O’Leary.

Andreas-O’Leary, a Portland native and self-taught painter and muralist, has worked in all paint media over the years but recently has focused on acrylics for its vibrant color and translucency. Her canvases range from a few inches by a few inches to large pieces that measure in feet and take up most of the wall. When she returned from South Africa to Lake Oswego in 2000, she set up Andreas Studios where she paints and displays her work. In her studio, one wall is painted black, allowing her vivid canvases to bask in their full glory.

She once called herself a ‘stripe-y’ painter, referring to how she prepares her canvases for the final image. Taking a page from impressionist painters where light is literally represented as the composite of the color spectrums, she paints a layer of segmented colored stripes over the entire canvas. From there, she builds the image layer by layer while controlling the translucency of the paints to allow the original color spectrums to show through at places, or to only vibrate silently underneath at others.

Theresa Andreas-O’Leary received the Chronicle Public Art Award for her composition, “Vine Light”, which now hangs in Lake Oswego’s City Hall.

Shu-Ju Wang was born and raised in Taiwan, but settled in Oregon after stays in Saudi Arabia, California, and New Jersey. Originally trained as a engineer, she left the high tech industry in 2000 to become a full time studio artist working in painting, printmaking, and artist’s books.

Cobwebs in the Fetish Cabinet

Above, Cobwebs in the Fetish Cabinet by Shu-Ju Wang.

Like Andreas-O’Leary, Wang has worked in many painting media but has recently focused on gouache, an opaque watercolor used in many traditional painting techniques throughout Asia, particularly Indian and Persian miniatures and Chinese paintings where she draws much of her inspiration. She also favors working on a small scale, another influence of the miniatures. Of gouache, she can’t praise it enough, “you can paint in thin, thin layers, glazing and building up the image, or you can take advantage of the opacity and make bold statements; and you can come back and re-work the paint after it dries.”

Wang also has several screen prints in this exhibit. She is nationally known for her screen prints using a Japanese made children’s toy, Print Gocco, to make large and complex imagery. She has taught the technique locally and nationally. The toy-factor makes her studio visit a fun event for the whole family, and she plans to do Print Gocco demo again for the 2007 Portland Open Studios event.

Shu-Ju Wang is represented in public and private collections throughout North America.

For more information about the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center, see http://www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/WCAC/.

To see more of Shu-Ju Wang’s work, see http://fingerstothebone.com/.

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