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Nika Blasser created the individual works in her “Blue Mountain Series” using silver leaf, ink, acrylic and salt on 8″ X 10″ panels.
December 9, 2015
For her “Floating World Series,” Blasser used copper leaf, ink, acrylic and salt on a 11″ X 14″ panel.
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The Nightingale Gallery at Eastern Oregon University rings in 2016 with a solo exhibition of paintings by Pendleton artist Nika Blasser.
“Shadows of the Floating World” opens with a reception for the artist from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8 in the gallery in Loso Hall. The exhibit will run through Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Blasser’s paintings explore the idea of landscape through layering and materials that are visibly impacted by time. Her most recent paintings developed out of an earlier series of “saltscapes,” which were made only with salt and pigment on paper.
“Visitors will be treated to a unique exploration of landscape painting created in an individual way, reminiscent of the creation of the landscape itself,” said Cory Peeke, Nightingale Gallery director. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to introduce Nika’s work to the eastern Oregon community.”
With the works in “Shadows of the Floating World,” Blasser has developed an increased complexity within her imagery through the layering of a variety of unrelated materials.
The first layer in her new paintings is textured and often topographical in nature, which is then highlighted by either copper or silver leaf. This layer of reflectivity creates a luminous base.
Multiple layers of ink and paint provide visual structure and atmosphere over the leaf.
Finally, Blasser paints areas of saltwater over the surface, allowing crystalline structures to emerge as the water evaporates. The salt crystals form with somewhat unpredictable results. This element of chance – and the tension created between things that she can control versus things that she cannot – is a perpetual inspiration for her artwork.
Blasser received her Master of Fine Arts in Intermedia and Drawing from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking from Portland State University. She has exhibited her work throughout the Northwest and Canada and spoke at EOU during fall term. In addition to her studio practice, she is the marketing director for Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts.
Nightingale Gallery hours are 12 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information visit www.eou.edu/art or connect on Facebook.
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