Sunriver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery presents Autumn in the High Desert, paintings by Daniel Florea and Pat Oertley, September 8 through November 13. The artists will attend the reception in their honor on Saturday, October 7 from 4-6pm.
In the early seventies Daniel Florea and his wife, in a dilapidated van loaded with paintings and art supplies, moved to Bend where “the light was good.” In Bend, he befriended the Cleveland family and subsequently, as art director, joined their toy company, one of the largest in the industry. With Florea, North Pacific marketed many products including his kite designs, the Bionic Buzzard and another, a tribute to Alexander Calder, which sold thousands.
The artist notes that Norma Cleveland enthusiastically introduced his artwork to Betty Gray, co-developer of Sunriver Resort with her husband, John Gray, and Donald McCallum. Mrs. Gray invited him to show at the Resort in his first solo show. He adds that in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Sunriver Resort Gallery was among the most prestigious galleries in Oregon and he regards Gray’s invitation as significant in his future career.
Motivated by the show’s success, Florea began his design career using “psychologically pleasing color schemes” in murals for hotels, churches and malls around the globe; press noted that the artist was “responsible for mauve across America.” He first used the color in the San Francisco Sheraton, finding that “mauve popped up everywhere after I used it in that lobby.”
A native of Portland, Oregon, Florea’s art expertise grew with his earlier study at Portland State University and the Pacific Northwest College of Art of the Portland Art Museum. In the ‘60s, he studied with famed Oregon artists LaVerne Krause, Louis Bunce and Jay Backstrand.
Florea, an adventurous man, walked the Lewis and Clark Trail across the western U.S. to St. Louis, walked across Israel where he maintains a studio near the Sea of Galilee, served as the first man on the board of directors of the Central Oregon League of Women Voters, is a decorated Vietnam veteran, a long distance, third world traveler/teacher and is a grand storyteller
of each experience.
Foremost, Florea is an accomplished artist whose expressionistic, acrylic paintings, suggesting folk art and appearing at Sunriver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery (upper level), reflect his most enduring love–painting stories of places about which he cares deeply. The exhibit images reveal many of those places–the colorful, wide open, memorable and historic spaces of Central and Eastern Oregon.
Bend artist, Pat Oertley’s brightly-colored, abstract paintings show layered, geometric shapes and other forms. Applying thinned acrylic paints, she lays the colors over one another, creating depth and accenting found, suggested shapes within the art She then adds colorful, thin strips of paper, cut from her older prints, at opposing angles over the more muted geometric shapes, fostering movement through the painting.
Sunriver Resort invites the public to the exhibition. Open all hours. Billye Turner organizes the Lodge art series, info at 503-780-2828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.