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Elizabeth Malaska To Exhibit Work At CCC

From: Kristin Shauck
To: Media
Date: 09/17/09
Subject: Elizabeth Malaska To Exhibit Work At CCC PR

Clatsop Community College
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/17/09
Contact: Kristin Shauck 503-338-2472

Portland Artist, Elizabeth Malaska, To Exhibit New Work At CCC In Show Entitled Rite of Passage

The newly renovated Art Center Gallery at Clatsop Community College (CCC) in Astoria, OR will open its exhibition season with a show entitled Rite of Passage by artist Elizabeth Malaska of Portland. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, October 8th at 6:00 p.m. in the Art Center Gallery. Local guitarist Dave Drury will be providing music during the event. The gallery is located at 1653 Jerome Ave. in Astoria and is ADA accessible. The gallery reception and exhibit is free and open to the public and will remain on display through November 6th. Selected to exhibit in the 2009 Au Naturel competition by internationally renowned artist and juror Rick Bartow, Malaska was also offered the coveted prize of a solo exhibition at the Art Center Gallery.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Malaska earned a BFA in painting and drawing in 2006 from California College of the Arts, and also studied painting and drawing at the Blue Door School in Rome, Italy. In addition to painting, she has studied native crafts, ecology, and philosophy at various institutions on the east coast. Malaska has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions on both the east and west coasts for nearly a decade, and in 2007 was awarded an artist residency at the Art Farm in Nebraska. Malaska is currently an MFA candidate at Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she will continue to study painting and critical theory, and expects to graduate in 2011.

Searching for that elusive, spiritual quality through allegory, Malaska plumbs the human subconscious, searching for mythological images sifted out of mundane reality. As a lover of nature, Malaska explains that she is inspired by the time she has spent “in the wilds, under the stars, where life seems very different than it does when surrounded by civilization.” She strives to illuminate the subtleties of reality and human consciousness in her art.

Malaska describes her new body of work in Rite of Passage as an exploration of the transcendent, which she defines as “some experience beyond our normal everyday lives.” She believes that “we humans have a need for the transcendent and seek it out.” In her artist statement, she describes how some cultures have performed specific ceremonies designed “to guide individuals into states outside the mundane…[which]…often brought the participants to the edge of life and death, or at least to the edge of their previously known experiences.” In contemporary life, perhaps we try to simulate this kind of experience in other ways, such as through various forms of art like film and literature. In Malaska’s paintings, the human figure plays a starring role, solitary and usually in nature. She explains that these images are “of transcendence attempted, sometimes successful, sometimes failed. I am interested in the interior processes that each individual traverses within his own life, and the roads we’re each willing or long to take to satisfy our submerged need for a connection with something greater than ourselves.”

Malaska will continue this theme of exploration in an afternoon workshop entitled, The Artist as Explorer, which she will conduct in the Drawing and Painting Studio at the CCC Art Center on Friday, October 9th starting at 1:00 p.m. and running through late afternoon or early evening. In this one-day workshop, participants will explore different methods for discovering and developing imagery for artwork in addition to developing tools for creating marks that may launch participants in new, unexpected directions. Starting with some guides on this journey, the participants will take a look at other artistic explorers and then set off to gather their own fodder. Next, the group will reconvene to participate in a painting “marathon” aimed at pushing each participant beyond his or her own preconceived limits while discovering some new creative tools. At the workshop’s conclusion, Malaska will lead a discussion of the participants’ findings in terms of how these discoveries of the day may continue to be used, and ways in which such opportunities for discovery may be created in the future. The workshop is free for CCC students and will also be open to the public for a fee of $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

For information about The Artist as Explorer workshop or about the Rite of Passage exhibit, please contact Kristin Shauck at kshauck@clatsopcc.edu or 503-298-2472.

Gallery interior new lights

The Art Center Gallery is also now accepting submissions for the 2010 Au Naturel juried competition through November 23, 2009. For more information, please contact Kristin Shauck at kshauck@clatsopcc.edu or 503-298-2472 or visit the College’s website at www.clatsopcc.edu and click on the link for the prospectus under “Downloads” found in the upper right corner of the page. More information and images from previous Au Naturel exhibits may be found at www.aunaturelastoria.com

Clatsop Community College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.

painting of man and doorway

Paining of sweat lodge

painting of rider in forest

Examples of artwork by Elizabeth Malaska that will be on display, along with others, at Clatsop Community College’s newly renovated Art Center Gallery in the exhibit, Rite of Passage. The exhibit will be on display October 8th – November 6th, 2009. Submitted photos.


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