05/29/14 9:50 am Age: 145 days

Alumni Artists Featured in Local Art Show

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Artist Reception Show Continues Until June 14

Trees are a source of inspiration for artist Wanda Thompson.

Creative works by three Walla Walla University alumni will be featured in a show at Wenaha Gallery in Dayton, Wash. The show will run through June 14.

A reception for artists Caprice Scott, Wanda Thompson, and Joyce Wilkens will be held on Sunday, June 1, from 1-4 p.m. Artwork will be available for purchase during the reception and the continuing show.

"Soli Deo Gloria"

Carprice Scott, a porcelain artist and College Place resident, is showing her work in functional and decorative porcelain.

“God created me to create, and I feel a spiritual connection with Him when I’m working on pottery or sculpture,” says the maker of three-dimensional ware that spans the gamut from vases to lidded boxes, from ceramic fruit to purses in porcelain.

“In creating something I feel is of beauty, I have a tiny idea of who God is and the joy He takes in His creations.”

Scott’s hand-built pottery incorporates images from the natural world, and inspiration derives as well from her three years of living in Europe and traveling the globe to 11 countries. Throughout the seasons, Scott takes regular drives to the Blue and Wallowa Mountains, in search of greenery to press into clay.
“In the Wallowa Lake area, there is a small grove of Aspen trees where I clip some leaves,” Scott explains. “I also look for pine cones. Although I’ve used a lot of things for clay impressions, my go-to and first choice is always something from nature.”

Language, as well, is a driving force in Scott’s art, and she finds various ways to incorporate the written word into her work.

“It is beauty in itself, whether in a book, a love letter, or scrawled by a child with a piece of chalk on the sidewalk.”

"Nature's Quiet Places"

Wanda Thompson, a graphite artist and College Place resident, is showing her pencil works of natures scenes.

Finding inspiration in nature and the quiet places of Europe, Thompson focuses on peacefulness, and often, on trees.

“I love trees!” Thompson says. “In our home, we have eight tall-to-the-ceiling Ficus trees plus two other large ones.

“But my favorite theme is bare trees because I love the shapes of the bare branches.”

While Thompson’s primary focus is on graphite and watercolor drawing, lately she finds that her camera is becoming a close friend, because she is always keeping her eyes open for unique trees and unusual landscapes to interpret in her studio.

From the highlands and islands of Scotland, to the Dolomites in Italy and Lapland in Finland and Norway, Thompson absorbs nature through hiking and hillwalking, “away from the rush and noise of the world.”

"Tea Cup Art...And Reflections"

Joyce Wilkens lives in Spokane. While watercolor, oil, wood, and fabric are all mediums in which Wilkens works, books are a focus of her time these days, and her two recently published works are Teacup Art . . . and Reflections and Walking Sticks — Wanderings and Wonderings. The unusual subject matter appeals to a broad audience, and copies of her books reside in the libraries of Conrad Anker, the renowned mountain climber of Everest and K2; Tom Till, one of the nation’s top photographers; artist Guy Buffett; and former President George Bush.

The books, it seems, are as well traveled as their author.

“We spent three months working in Africa in 1985, ” Wilkens says. “That’s when I started up photography.”

That’s also when she and her husband, Keith, started their walking stick collection, which has grown, along with Joyce’s passion for hiking, nature, the beauty of wood, and the stories behind what is made from that wood, all of which fuel Wilkens’ inspiration for her books.

“On a mission service trip in 1998, I traveled to a very primitive area of southern Madasgascar,” Wilkens remembers.” I took with me a watercolor painting I had done of lemurs in trees. I found a small craft store and asked if someone there could carve me a walking stick with a lemur on it, in exchange for the watercolor painting.”

The deal was struck, a one-of-a-kind walking stick found its way to Wilkens’ home and into her book, and “Madagascar not only has a piece of my art, but also a part of my heart.”


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