(Artwork above: Dragonfly Diptych by Brent & Luke Lawrence)
Sunriver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery presents metal sculptors Brent Lawrence and Luke Lawrence with Courtney Holton, painter; the three artists’ work appears in the upper and lower galleries through Thanksgiving weekend until November 25. On Saturday, October 13 from 4:30-6pm, the artists will attend a public reception in their honor in the upper gallery.
Brent Lawrence, sculptor and a third generation metal worker, as a young boy observed his father’s early artistic endeavors welding with wire. Intrigued, he learned how to use an oxy-acetylene torch, cutting daisies from Campbell Soup can lids. At age ten, he became not only an artist but an entrepreneur, selling his creations to his grade school teachers; he continued art pursuits through early high school.
Following graduation from Portland State University, Lawrence worked in a bank (noting, “in a cubical”) and decided art was of greater interest. He returned to Sheridan and worked with his father, noted artist and gallery owner, Gary Lawrence, beginning to foster his own creativity.
Exploring his own style, he cut and welded bronze, steel and stainless steel into African animals – giraffes, elephants, wildebeest herds. Later creations were challenging 4” thick, contoured tide pools with welded rocks, kelp, clams and mussels.
Tiring of those time consuming 3D creations, the young artist learned casting, finding his preference for hands-on fabrication with the metals of his early training. He broadened his creative style, experimenting with chemicals to produce patinas. Over two laborious years, he perfected how to adhere these unique patinas to steel and stainless steel, and later adapted to a plasma torch to more readily cut steel into unique shapes.
Now, after 30 some years of artistic creation and experimentation, he painstakingly creates his modernized expression of man’s earliest art form – cave drawings. With elongated leather gloves and leather apron, eye protection and charcoal filter mask, he creates his difficult and long-desired replication of the Paleolithic art of 36,000 years ago. Using stylized images of elk, bison, bear, trout, salmon, even dragonflies and paying homage to a far distant past, Brent Lawrence successfully produces his distinct and singular art.
A professional artist since 1987, Brent Lawrence’s sculpture shows in galleries throughout the West. Cowboys and Indians Magazine and Southwest Art Magazine also featured his art. His work appears in the noted collections of Stephen Forbes (Forbes Magazine), Larry Graveel (former owner, Under Armor), Mike O’Meara (PGA Pro Golfer), Y.A. Tittle (Pro Football Hall of Fame), and many others.
Luke Lawrence, a fourth generation metal worker and third generation artist, graduated from the University of Oregon, majoring in philosophy which included the study of art’s emergence, it’s reflection of and impact upon culture. Following college, work in the Caribbean and traveling the US, he returned to work with his father, Brent Lawrence, and to his own art of wildlife sculpture.
He speaks of his enjoyment in working with his hands, with metal and creating, as well as his pleasure in working with and learning from his grandfather and father. Thus, he continues the precedent set by earlier generations in that his grandfather, Gary Lawrence, learned metal working from his father. Hence four Lawrence generations have created with metal.
Galleries in Park City, Utah; Sedona, Arizona; Whitefish, Montana; and Portland, Oregon feature the art of Luke Lawrence who works as a professional artist since 2009. His fire art sculpture received the third place award in the 2018 Bend Winter Fest competition.
Also in the current exhibition, Courtney Holton shows his recent “construction series,” featuring a dark background painted on canvas to which he adheres embellished metallic strips, producing a 3D effect. He also shows elaborately painted ink jet photographic portraits of Native Americans, desiring “to remember and to respect.” The artist, a native Oregonian, now divides his time between Bend and southern France where he presently studies printmaking with a renowned French printer.
Billye Turner curates exhibitions for the resort and for information, contact her at 503-780-2828 or firstname.lastname@example.org