More past exhibition information here.

Visitors to the East Oregonian Gallery at the Pendleton Center for the Arts in April were greeted by a sea of portraits that vibrate with brilliant color and lend tender insights to the inner lives of the characters portrayed. The paintings – more than 40 in all – by Hermiston artist Arlen Clark.


Clark has been painting for the past 35 years. He took one art class with northwest painter Sandra Campbell when first became interested in painting. “She didn’t teach us how to paint, she just told us we could paint anything we wanted, any way we wanted,” says Clark. “I spent the next several years trying to figure out what I DID want to paint, and how I wanted to paint it.”


Like many successful artists, he started out his exploration of painting by making copies of paintings by the old masters. He made several paintings after Vermeer’s iconic works, but didn’t connect with the style. Shortly after, he made a trip to St. Thomas and was struck by the vibrant colors and lush foliage. He also was interested in painting portraits of his wife, Linda, from old photographs. At the same time, he was voraciously studying art history and the work of all the icons of modern art. This deep exploration has giving his work a rich collection of associations. Viewers might recognize references to everything from Picasso and Gauguin to Australian aboriginal work.


Clark says he thinks about the paintings all the time, usually working on one painting at a time until the character and surroundings are fully fleshed out. He works as a janitor at the Hinkle rail station west of Hermiston. “I don’t have to think much at my job, it’s mainly just repetitive tasks, so as I do my work I think about the compositions.”

April 4 - April 27, 2013

Made possible through the generous support of Alerita Burns

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July 5 - July 26, 2013

“Keiko Hara: Prints 1981-2013” is a retrospective exhibition of more than 30 years of Hara’s printed work exploring variations of an on-going theme.


The series, entitled "Topophilia", conveys a sense of the place inside each human being where an exceptional inner power exists. 


“It is our individual topophilia that connects us while at the same time cultural and political boundaries separate us,” says Hara. “As an artist, I want to transform this topophilia into my artwork.”


Because the printing process may be repeated any number of times, an edition of prints is produced in which all of the prints are the same. However, instead of an edition of images, Hara often creates a series of one-of-a-kind images. Each print is a variation created by changing registration, inking and overlaying during the image-making process each time a new print is pulled.


Changing lights and reflection from certain environments adds yet another layer of imagery to Hara’s hand printed work. Tools and technology go beyond their mechanical, functional uses to create a bridge between human hands and the soul.

Made possible through the generous support of Marjorie Iburg.

October 2013 - Peter Bryan studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Memphis College of Art. His major art influences include DaVinci, Caravaggio, Jackson Pollock, James Lavadour and the art of the Southwest.


Bryan is a head injury survivor who credits the therapeutic power of art making with helping him to cope with various effects of his injury. He sought refuge in sketch books as a child and continues to sketch today. His latest sketch books led him to the series for the Works on Paper exhibit.


The works are done on a heavy paper using dimensional fabric paint, cattle markers and other unconventional mark making tools. The implements produce clean lines with great contrast and clarity and a color variety and texture that Bryan likes.

Susan Murrell: Embedded

March 6-29, 2014


Susan Murrell lives and works in La Grande, Oregon and her site-specific installations,
paintings and works on paper are exhibited nationally. She has been awarded residencies at international programs including Yaddo and Ragdale, and in 2012 she was a recipient of the Golden Spot Award at Crow's Shadow Institute for the Arts.

She is an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Oregon University. This exhibit was made possible through the support of Shari & Dave Dallas.

R. Keaney Rathbun

April 3-25, 2014


Rathbun’s mixed media sculptures and screenprints are autobiographical narratives. The images are figurative and gestural, and are deceptively simple metaphors of human experience. They are joyous and whimsical, emotional and poignant. They represent an optimistic and naïve spirit embracing the moments that make up his life.


Free admission made possible through the generous support of Read & Bose, PC.


See a video of Keaney talking about his creative inspiration and techniques HERE



Select Past Exhibit Highlights

                          2010  Daniel Duford, David Eckard, and Heidi Schwegler

                          2011   Sang-ah Choi, Bruce Conkle, and Stephen Hayes

                          2012  Ellen Lesperance, Akihiko Miyoshi, and Michelle Ross

                          2013  Mike Bray, Cynthia Lahti, and D.E. May


View lots of images from the exhibit when it was at the Museum of Contemporary Craft HERE. Read up on Joan Didion and find several great essays HERE.


We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon. The exhibition is made possible by major funding from The Ford Family Foundation, along with the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Oregon Arts Commission (OAC).

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live


This traveling exhibit is a showcase of the 12 Oregon artists honored by the Ford Family Foundation with Hallie Ford Visual Arts Fellowships. View some of the best work being done in the United States, accompanied by a fantastic 20-page catalog you can read online or pick up in print during the exhibit.




Reflection of the Columbia Plateau featured the work of participants in an annual printmaking retreat that the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland and Crow’s Shadow Institute have offered jointly for almost a decade. To extend the collaboration, Karl Davis, executive director at Crow’s Shadow invited the Pendleton Center for the Arts to exhibit half of the works in their East Oregonian Gallery.

The prints in the exhibit represented thirty program alumni and reflect the power of place, community and collaboration. Sponsored by Ferranti – Graybeal Insurance Agency.

Tom Prochaska and Christy: In the Footsteps of Charles Heaney

Feb. 2016

In September of 2014 Tom Prochaska and Christy Wyckoff packed up their camping gear and set off to retrace the footsteps of artist Charles Heaney, who had traveled through eastern Oregon more than 75 years ago.


Charles Heaney (1897-1981) worked for the Oregon State Motor Association from 1929-1931, and as he traveled throughout the state to identify locations and install highway signs, he made sketches of what he saw. Those sketches became the basis for his artwork.


During the Depression, Heaney worked for the Oregon Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, creating sixty-four paintings and nine woodcut editions. A monumental painting from that period titled The Mountain still hangs today at Timberline Lodge.


Both Prochaska and Wyckoff are retired from Pacific Northwest College of Art, with 58 years of teaching between them. Prochaska earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at the Pratt Institute and works as a painter, printmaker and sculptor. Wyckoff earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Washington and works primarily in the medium of printmaking.


The pair took the entire month of September to travel throughout Central and Eastern Oregon, visiting the sites that served as the subjects of Charles Heaney’s work. They made drawings, watercolors and prints in response.


“Although Heaney was on our minds as we worked at sites connected to him,” Wyckoff explains, “we primarily responded in our individual ways to the landscape in front of us rather than making ‘art about art.’”

In the Footsteps of Charles Heaney, is traveling from The Hallie Ford Museum in Salem. Free admission to the Arts Center exhibit is made possible through the support of the Oregon Arts Commission and Shari and Dave Dallas.

Watch Christy give a brief talk about the exhibit HERE.

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