Piece by Central Oregon Artist Dawn Emerson to be Exhibited in the Governor’s Office

(Just Passing Through, 2018, mixed media on Evolon, 33 x 50 inches by Dawn Emerson)

Central Oregon artist Dawn Emerson will exhibit Just Passing Through in the Governor’s Office of the Capitol Building in Salem from April 8 to May 30.

Emerson uses mixed media, printmaking and pastel to create dynamic and colorful compositions that merge abstraction and realism. Her works often include specific details from the natural world—the graceful movement of a horse, a rabbit perking its ears to listen, an aging juniper yawning deeply through its roots. As she visually describes what she calls the “essence” of these subtle moments, Emerson expresses her keen observations and deep appreciation for the preciousness of life. The exhibition takes its title from the realization that we, like all living things, are on this earth so briefly—we are just passing through.

Emerson is an artist and educator based in Terrebonne, Oregon. Originally from Massachusetts, she moved to Central Oregon in 1991. She began creating artwork in the pastel medium in 1992, building from a bachelor’s in English with a minor in Art from Brown University and a career in graphic design, illustration and arts education. Emerson’s training in pastels and printmaking occurred primarily through workshops and mentorships with accomplished artists. She has spent the past 26 years creating art, teaching and experimenting in her Central Oregon studio to push the boundaries of the pastel medium. Her work has been exhibited nationally, and is available through Mockingbird Gallery in Bend.

The Art in the Governor’s Office Program honors selected artists in Oregon with exhibitions in the reception area of the Governor’s Office in the State Capitol. Artists are nominated by a statewide committee of arts professionals who consider artists representing the breadth and diversity of artistic practice across Oregon, and are then selected by the Arts Commission with the participation of the Governor’s Office. Only professional, living Oregon artists are considered and an exhibit in the Governor’s office is regarded as a “once in a lifetime” honor. Artists whose work has previously been shown in the Governor’s office include Henk Pander, Michele Russo, Manuel Izquierdo, James Lavadour, Margot Thompson, Gordon Gilkey and Yuji Hiratsuka.



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