Coos Art Museum will kick off a celebration of bronze sculpture with River of Bronze featuring works by 8 artists from Washington, Oregon, California and Utah. A free public reception will be held Friday February 17 between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. The exhibition will run through Saturday April 8.
For over 5000 years, since the beginning of the Bronze Age around 3200 B.C., humans have used bronze to create utilitarian, spiritual, and aesthetic objects. Over time this beautiful malleable metal composed of copper and tin has assumed many forms from early Sumerian friezes in temples to Mongolian bridle gear; bronze has expressed cultural ideas unique to each era. During February, March and April three exhibits will provide a fascinating display of unique work by contemporary artists using this ancient medium.
The other bronze exhibitions will also be occurring in February at Southwestern Oregon Community College. Teaching Bronze with works by Tom and Linda Walsh, and in March at the Bandon Public Library, Bronze with sculpture and photographs by Ken and Janis Ayers.
River of Bronze will feature numerous abstract, figurative, imaginary works by 10 artists from the west. Ann Morris an internationally acclaimed sculptor has six bronze sculptures in the courtyard of the University of Oregon, School of Education. For the exhibition Morris provides several works from Bone Journey comprised of vessels, bones and natural forms, “a symbol of our own journey through Nature and Time.” Holt Murray who spent part of his youth in Oregon was a leader in the 60’s California Artist Foundry Movement documented recently in Dave Hampton’s book “Pouring Metal in the South Bay.” Murray’s estate provides seven works from his Hardware Series, abstract works that “present the observer with implied function, interchangeability of parts and all use basic shackle form.” Geoffrey McCormack a multi award winning watercolorist with recent shows in Greece and China, presents Life at the Beach, six works that document his passionate involvement with surfing in Santa Cruz and Gold Beach. Steve Reinmuth who runs Reinmuth Foundry in Eugene, Oregon has twice been featured in Oregon Art Beat for his bronze sound sculpture. Charles Tatum, an African American artist born in Mississippi who was active in the arts scene in Portland in the 70’s, created abstract and figurative works inspired by African motifs and the West Coast Assemblage movement associated with the Watts Towers Art Center in California. Bryon Draper who teaches sculpture at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah specializes in fragmented figure sculptures combining “selected cast bronze fragments of the figure with blocks of stone.” James Fritz who teaches bronze casting at Southwestern Oregon Community College presents seven figurative works expressing movement and symbolic gestures. Mitch Rollicheck woodworker, lithographer, painter, sculptor provides five works inspired by Japanese aesthetics and a sixth work a replica in bronze of a bison skull. Thomas and Linda Walsh bronze artists with decades of experience between them they live in San Jose, California and will also be represented with a two-person exhibition at Southwestern Oregon Community College.