LA GRANDE — Two new art shows open at Art Center East, 1006 Penn Ave., during a reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 8. The event includes an artist talk by Nicole Freshley at 6:30 p.m.
“Tideline to Alpine,” an exhibit showcasing the work of Wallowa County artist Nicole Freshley, opens in ACE’s Main Gallery. Raffle tickets for Freshley’s artwork will be available for purchase, in person and online, beginning at the opening reception. “Tideline to Alpine” is on display through Sept. 3.
“Where I live affects my work profoundly,” said Freshley, who specializes in plein air (outdoor) painting.
“Tideline to Alpine” encompasses new original watercolor and gouache paintings inspired by the tidal flats of Willapa Bay, Washington, the Wallowa Valley in Northeastern Oregon, and the peaks and tarns of the Wallowa Mountains.
“A day painting in the mountains is my favorite kind of day,” she said. “I find inspiration in light, movement, bold lines, color combinations, and scenery pastoral, rural, or wild. The inspiration is endless and there would never be enough time to paint everything I want to.”
Sue Orlaske Retrospective
“Sue Orlaske Retrospective,” an exhibit to honor the late Sue Orlaske, longtime studio artist and Union County community member, will open in ACE’s Orlaske Gallery. The show continues through Sept. 3.
Orlaske was born in southwestern Michigan but moved to Oregon in 1977 to attend graduate school and continued to live in Oregon until her death in October 2021. She had both a B.S. and an M.S. in Biology. She had no formal art training but from a young age was interested in art and produced detailed pen and ink drawings. In the 1980s, Orlaske became interested in pursuing art in a more serious way. She started taking classes in pottery at Valley Art Center in Forest Grove.
In the early 1990s, Orlaske and her husband, Mitch Wolgamott, moved to Northeastern Oregon, briefly to La Grande, and then to Summerville. Orlaske then became a full-time artist with a well-equipped studio where she produced ceramic/clay art as well as two-dimensional art. Her themes often included abstract and representational natural elements.
“ACE staff and the board of directors continue to thank the family of Sue Orlaske and the community for their grace and generosity,” said Darcy Dolge, ACE executive director.
After Orlaske’s death, her art collection was donated to ACE for the purposes of fundraising. The “Sue Orlaske Retrospective” will include a large collection of Orlaske’s pottery, oils, prints, pastels, and Batik watercolors. In honor of her legacy, proceeds from this exhibit will go toward ACE’s Youth Scholarship fund and Gallery Program.
Both shows will close with a reception on Friday, Sept. 2, 6-8 p.m. This will include an official ribbon cutting for the newly named Orlaske Gallery.
For more information about ACE, or to view exhibits online, visit artcentereast.org.