2014 Au Naturel Exhibit Opens at CCC Art Center Gallery

The eighth annual international juried exhibit Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century opens January 23rd at Clatsop Community College’s Art Center Gallery located at 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, OR.  The show will run through March 20th, 2014. Gallery hours are from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The gallery is open on Sundays and holidays by appointment only.

A reception honoring the selected artists will be held on Thursday, January 30th at 6:00 pm.  Charles Froelick, owner and director of Froelick Gallery in Portland, was selected as this year’s juror, and will be present to give a gallery talk.  Awards to be announced at the reception include cash prizes, purchase awards, a solo show award to be held during the 2014-2015 exhibition season, and a select number of workshop awards.  The Bridgewater Bistro, Clemente's Restaurant, and Dairy Maid are generously providing hors d’oeuvres for the event, and Erikson Floral Company is generously providing flowers. This reception is free and open to the public. The College also thanks the Cannery Pier Hotel for its continued support.

A No-Host Post-Reception party at the Astoria Coffeehouse and Bistro, at 243 11th Street in downtown Astoria, will immediately follow the reception.

This year, artists from 28 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands submitted nearly 800 images for consideration. The 2014 exhibit will represent 45 artists from 17 states in addition to international artists from Canada and Germany.  Juror Charles Froelick says, “I applaud the high quality of works submitted for review - there were so many exceptional artists to choose from. The final edit was difficult - my humble apologies to those not included and a general congratulations and thanks to ALL artists who submitted!"

The artwork featured in the 2014 exhibit encompasses very diverse approaches to the figure.  "I intentionally chose a broad range of media and techniques to present the many profound ways to interpret the human form,” explains Froelick.  “The show includes introspective self-portraits, realism, psychologically expressive, social observation, spiritually reflective, sexy, sensual, and a bold stripper.   The human form is fascinating- I was honored to have the opportunity to select artists that I think are making great work with what is often considered a very challenging subject.”  

Portland artist Reed Clarke, also a part-time resident in Gearhart, has been selected to exhibit in the Au Naturel multiple times.  He is inspired by great artists such as Rembrandt, Velazquez, Degas, Freud, and Fischl.  Although Clarke is compelled to paint the human figure, he elevates the actual painting process over subject matter, striving “to have the courage to paint over the early pleasing parts of a painting and arrive at something beyond what I thought was going to be the destination when I began.”

Annie Heisey, also of Portland and first-place winner of the 2012 competition, has been invited to exhibit in the show for the fourth consecutive year. In her painting practice, she continues to explore the theme of self-examination.  “Who are you when you are alone?” Heisey wonders.   “Technology has given us a world in which we need never be alone. The way you portray yourself becomes less genuine the more aware you are of an audience, and through social networking such as Facebook and Twitter, your audience is in constant attendance.  In such a situation, it is difficult not to play to the crowd, and in the process lose sight of who you are when the performance is over and the audience goes home.”

While both Clarke and Heisey work in a more realistic mode, Don Copper of Chicago works in a much more abstract manner, “seeking to eliminate the boundary between the subject and pure image.”  Copper, also an award winner in the 2012 exhibit, confesses that he “regularly indulge(s) in figure drawing,” for the challenge.  However, Copper feels that the “most profound” effect after a life drawing session is that it transforms how he sees. “Everything becomes extraordinary,” he explains, “---the light, the surfaces, the details - and I feel more engaged with the world around me.”

Further information about the 2014 exhibiting artists will be available online at the Au Naturel website after January 23rd.

Please direct inquiries to:  Kristin Shauck, 503-338-2472.

Attached Images (3):

Reed Clarke, Portland, OR

Artist and Model - Oil on Canvas, 48" x 36" 

Oil painting showing artist painting nude model

Annie Heisey, Portland, OR

Haunted - Mixed Media on Paper, 30" x 40" 

Nude female figure seated on chair; looking down with face hidden by long hair


Don Copper, Chicago, IL

arabesque - Pastel, Charcoal, Graphite, Correction Fluid on Paper, 30" x 22"

Abstract nude figure


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