This month, the Gallery at the Park in Richland is celebrating a diverse array of media with three unique and disparate artists — Paul Lewing, Loren Lukens and Adam Sims. With these artists, the gallery exhibit features landscape painting, pottery and photography.
Paul Lewing began his career as a clay artist after studying with Rudy Autio, one of America’s best-known clay artists and muralists, and earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s from the University of Montana. For more than 20 years, Lewing made his living as a potter, first making functional pottery before working exclusively on ceramic tile starting in 1986. But he was always a painter at heart.
Several years ago, Lewing’s wife bought him water-soluble colored pencils for proposal drawings of tile commissions. Doing this reminded him of the joy of making finished two-dimensional artwork, and he began drawing landscapes and animals in pencil and in tile. He has recently started using acrylic paint for his paintings because he enjoys “trying to make acrylic paint do things it doesn’t really want to do.”
“It’s hard to describe the pure visceral joy of making marks,” Lewing says. “But part of it is the joy of returning to exactly what I wanted to do when I was 10 years old.”
Lewing is also the author of China Paint & Overglaze, published by the American Ceramic Society in 2007, and articles of his have appeared in numerous magazines and textbooks. In 2018, the University of Montana honored him with a Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Loren Lukens creates pottery for everyday use, combining form and function to construct beautiful works of art that also serve a purpose. He discovered the beauty of clay in the early 1970s as an undergraduate art student at a small, midwestern liberal arts college, and he has loved pottery ever since.
Lukens describes his work as “extensions of traditional pottery with contemporary variations.” He enjoys making strong, sleek sculptures with bold surfaces and rich glaze treatments. His pieces are dynamic from a distance and have an intensity of detail up close. He describes painting as an “increasingly important” facet of his work, and he enjoys the challenge of painting in three dimensions while maintaining the form of the piece.
Lukens’ studio and showroom is Brace Point Pottery in Arbor Heights, a beautiful neighborhood in downtown Seattle. The showroom is filled with a variety of pots and is always changing.
Learn more by visiting Lukens’ website at lorenlukenspottery.com.
Adam Sims first became interested in photography in the spring of 2007, when he attempted to photograph lightning during the occasional thunderstorm. He had purchased his first digital SLR camera by the end of that summer, and he spent the next four years practicing and perfecting his photography skills. In March 2012, he had his first public showing at the Pendleton Center for the Arts.
Sims appreciates the difficulties that arise when photographing scenery and nature. Aside from having to figure out how to compose his shots, he says, “I am at the mercy of things that I cannot control,” meaning the weather, tides, location of subjects in the night sky and other unpredictabilities of nature. He will often revisit the same place or subject multiples times and stand in the same spot for hours at a time to try to capture that perfect shot.
But, according to Sims, “It’s these challenges that make this craft so exciting for me.”
The exhibit for Paul Lewing, Loren Lukens and Adam Sims will be on display at the Gallery at the Park from June 4 through June 27. The reception will be held on June 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.