Sunriver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery opens on May 21 with a show of Margot Voorhies Thompson’s mixed media works and Janet Gray Webster’s quilts following the winter/spring closure for the Lodge remodel. Both Thompson and Webster will be present at a reception in their honor on Friday, May 22 from 5–7pm in the upper gallery. The exhibit continues through June 26.
Thompson and Webster are friends of many years with ties between families. Webster’s parents, John and Betty Gray, fostered a generation of artists including Thompson’s father, Charles Voorhies. The Pacific NW College of Art named their library the Voorhies Fine Art Library.
Betty Gray is also named a leader in the creation of the Oregon Health Sciences University art collection as noted in Art on the Hill. The book depicts the university’s collection of Northwest artists including Thompson. In the May/June Sunriver show, Webster joins Thompson for their fourth collaborative exhibition.
Thompson shows mixed media paintings reflecting her interest in calligraphy. Creating her own vernacular that references historical, contemporary and futuristic letterforms, the artist encodes literature, historic events and other information in the artwork for the viewer’s interpretation. In this brightly colored imagery, the artist builds layers of shapes, piecing together a narrative often defined by the title. She notes the parallel of piecing and layering in both her and Webster’s artwork.
An Eliot Scholar at Reed College and educated at several NW institutions, Thompson’s numerous exhibits include those in the US and internationally through the US Art in Embassies Program in France, Mali, and Korea. The artist’s public commissions may be seen in Oregon at the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland State University, the State of Oregon Library and others. Her artwork appears courtesy of the artist and the Laura Russo Gallery, Portland.
Webster presents contemporary quilts. The artist notes that her quilt work exercises both her brain’s intuitive and logical sides: construction requires thought while design often needs inspiration. In her current pieces, she explores the traditions of Log Cabin and Nine Patch. In the first series, she blend’s cotton with silk ties (one tie per quilt piece), the tie design suggesting the general pattern of the quit. In the second series, the artist experiments with upholstery fabrics to represent seasonal changes in the landscape. The third group emphasizes layers, partially inspired by the mola tradition of Central America.
Webster’s education includes the noted Penland School of Arts and Crafts as well as instruction with Nancy Crow, internationally known quilter. Also a professional librarian and head librarian of the Guin Library at OSU, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, she also served as a library consultant for the American Craft Council in New York.
John and Betty Gray, along with Donald McCallum, began the Sunriver Resort in 1965. Throughout the Gray’s involvement an art gallery existed in the upper level of the Sunriver Lodge where they hosted the Sunriver Annual art exhibition. Many artworks from the Gray’s Sunriver Resort collection first appeared in those annual shows. In 2005, the resort posthumously honored Betty Gray naming the expanded gallery the Betty Gray Gallery of Art “in honor of her vision which inspired many of the early exhibits of fine art in the Sunriver Lodge.”
Sunriver Resort invites the public to celebrate the reopening of the lodge with the artist’s reception on Friday evening of Memorial Day Weekend as well as the exhibitions at the Lodge, open all hours. Billye Turner organizes exhibitions for Sunriver Resort and provides additional information at 503-780-2828.