For the past 47 years the Arts Council of Pendleton has invited anyone in Northeast Oregon and Southeast Washington to share their work in the Open Regional Exhibit. Here’s the work recognized with awards this year.

Best of Show – Emily Somaskey, Chrysalis (Above)

Adult First Place – Maggie Middleton, Miss O

Adult Second Place – Ann-Marie Cunningham, Macrophage

Adult Third Place – Sheila Coe, A Pair

Teen First Place – MacElle Kirsch, Sumatran Tiger in the Jungle 

Teen Second Place – Jack Hess, Untitled 

Teen Third Place – Natalie Sieders, Woman in Red

Honorable Mention – Linnea Keats, Stained Glass Scarf

Honorable Mention – Colleen Blackwood, Sense of Place

Honorable Mention – Sarah German, Yellow #1

Honorable Mention – Deborah Bruce, Waterford Peppers

About this year’s Judge

Nika Blasser received her Bachelor of Arts in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking from Portland State University and her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. In addition to exhibiting work in solo and group exhibitions, she teaches college-level art classes and serves as the Marketing Director for Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts.

I have an ongoing interest in the intermingling of a mediating hand with the reclamations made by the forces of nature. Many of my works involve heavily repeated elements—a simple form or action repeated until a mutation unfolds. The repetitive process, whether making the same mark with a pencil or piercing a thousand holes, becomes a meditation for me until I reach a physical limitation. I am also continually trying to push the boundaries of what I can create out of common substances, working to let the materials direct the movements of the process and reveal their most essential, and often unseen, nature. Some of the most mundane materials unfold in remarkable ways when given the opportunity—charcoal powder becomes a sooty waterfall, carborundum discloses patterns of sound and a reflective surface trembles to a visible heartbeat—all of which are able to transcend their ordinary origin. I am fascinated by meditative, obsessive mark making and forcing seemingly organic forms out of materials. The center of my work lies in compounding organic forms and exploiting the dynamism of my materials. Most of my pieces are highly formalist which leaves the audience room to have their own space of meditation and exploration into the works, extrapolating meaning and creating associations through their own eyes and mental filters.