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​​In-person and Virtual Opening Reception & Artist Talks

October 7, 2021  6pm

Join us on Facebook Live!

See more virtual events for this exhibition below!

October 5 - 30, 2021


Both artist and scientist by education and sensibility, I make art that combines abstracted biological forms with the dynamics of color interaction. At my day job I used a microscope to examine cell samples from patients for signs of cancer. I found the abnormal cells visually fascinating, having variable shapes both subtle and extreme. By taking these microscopic forms out of the lab and presenting them anew --in paint on canvas -- I gave them a different life, one of playfulness and intrigue instead of sickness and dread.


The paintings in this exhibition build on previous work exploring pattern by varying and repeating forms in ways I find visually exciting. On a formal level I’ve increased the value range of my colors, effecting deeper space and more active movement across the picture plane. Because of my love for so-called women’s work—quilting, sewing, stitchery, etc.—I’ve consulted these crafts for compositional and mark-making ideas. The simplified biological forms continue to engage me in ways I find mysterious, possibly suggesting a nascent personal language.                                                                                                        



Ater received her BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and has BS and MS degrees in Biology and Health Sciences respectively. She has exhibited widely in the Portland area, and her work is part of local, national, and international private and corporate collections.

Above:  Lynda Ater, Suspension 1, 36 x36”, acrylic on canvas, 2020

Mars Disappointed to Discover Life on Earth.jpg

Aaron Johanson, Mars Disappointed to Discover Life on  Earth, 13 x 17,” Silkscreen and pencil, 2020


2020+, flows chronologically and is based on personal experiences, observations, musings, news stories and sentiments gathered from people and animals around me. The show touches upon events of national significance as well as personally meaningful but insignificant observations. The “+” in the title signifies only that my imagery spills over into early 2021. I acknowledge that I have left many serious issues unaddressed due to limitations of space and time. 





Johanson has exhibited extensively both in Portland and in Japan, and his work has been published nationally and internationally. He received his BA from the University of Oregon, has traveled extensively, and from 1996 to the present day has been Elections Monitor for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 

Virtual Events

Thursday, October 5, 5:30 - 6pm

Virtual Artist Reception

Livestreaming on the Blackfish Gallery Facebook Page. 

This First Thursday will be virtual 5:30-6pm and in person 6-9pm.

Saturday, October 23, 2 pm

Virtual Artist Talks

Join us for virtual artist talks from Lynda and Aaron, premiering from our YouTube channel.


Gallery Tour

Back Room Gallery

Jana Demartini/ On a Search Path

I’v been obsessed with the idea of ‘cracking’ for at least 2 years. 

It has been disturbing for me to watch the disintegration of our civilization moral fabric so I’ve been impelled to express my concern by the means close to my expressive abilities.


I am searching for a convincing way to express a very difficult subject,

i.e cracking, disintegration by various technical/media approaches. 

By sharing the so far results in that search in the Backroom allows me to share my experimenting on a small scale, hoping to learn about which approach gathers better response.

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