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

November 4, 2021  5:30pm

Join us on Facebook Live!

November 4 - 27, 2021

Christopher Shotola-Hardt’s life-long passion for ornithology continues.  Birds have played a dominant role in his painting exhibitions over the past twenty years. His paintings of birds are not field guide illustrations, rather they are bird-centric fine art works and portraits of birds in which he hopes to engender emotion, memory, and empathy. Shotola-Hardt is deeply concerned for our planet’s ecological health and future. Through his muted color palette, his use of taxidermy specimens, his quotations of past eras of bird illustration, his nods to art historical periods, his suggestions of historical architecture, and his observations of east European flea market relics, he hopes these pieces evoke moods and associations, harken bygone epochs and Zeitgeist. Depicting endangered and extinct birds alongside common birds, he aims to portray his avian subjects as somewhat vulnerable and fragile.    


“Portland’s ‘put a bird on it’ mentality, receives a firm rebuke in the hands of painter Christopher Shotola-Hardt, whose avian imagery is the product of careful observation, deep appreciation and empathy. Never mere decoration, birds are both muse and indicator species for Shotola-Hardt, whose paintings combine complex visual references to art history, religion, architecture, decorative arts, and ecology.”  
                                                                                 — Merridawn Duckler                                                                                  


Artist Bio

Christopher Shotola-Hardt received his MFA from Portland State University and his BA from Lewis & Clark College, with a year of study at Ludwig-Maximillians Universität in Munich, Germany.  He has exhibited throughout the Pacific Northwest and in New York.  His work is included in local, national, and international private collections and regional public collections, including the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Evergreen Air & Space Museum, Center for Research in Environmental Sciences & Technologies (CREST), South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART), and City of Wilsonville.

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Above:  Christopher Shotola-Hardt, Post-Anthropocene Heron, Acrylic on Ironply panel, 48” x 24”, 2021

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Above: Don Bailey,  She Likes to Break Camp, Mixed Media (oil and collage) 48" x 36", 2021 Below: Janice Yang, Rachel and Josie, Oil on Canvas, 24" x 24", 2021

Don Bailey &
Janice Yang

Blackfish is introducing two new members this month, Don Bailey and Janice Yang.


Don Bailey
Don Bailey’s portraits in this show explore Native American identity. Each portrait began with an image from an archival black and white photograph. Using color, Bailey re-contextualized the static, sometimes staged images taken to document what Americans thought (hoped?) to be a “vanishing race” and give life and timelessness to the men and women whose names were never identified in the original portraits. In some works, Bailey added original landscapes, traditional imagery, and contemporary cultural references to further reinforce the message that native people are here. 


Artist Bio

Don Bailey is known for his complex, richly colorful compositions. A Hupa tribal member, Bailey was raised on the Hoopa Valley Reservation in California and taught art at Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon, the oldest continually-operating federal boarding school in America.


Janice Yang 

Janice Yang’s paintings are reflections of her life and the people that she engages with. As a Korean-American immigrant, she explores the challenges that immigrants often experience as they search to find their sense of identity in between two different cultures. Janice creates narratives by painting human figures and working with realism. The subjects in her paintings are children of immigrant families that encounter cultural tensions and face challenges in finding the sense of true belonging. She elaborates the theme of the story in the settings of their everyday lives and juxtaposes them with their inner feelings and dreams to find their identity as seen through their symbolic objects and patterns around them. In each work, a narrative enables viewers to recognize and relate to the people that are often unheard and unrecognized. 


Artist Bio

Janice Yang is a figurative painter and an illustrator. Born in Connecticut, raised in South Korea, having cross-cultural experience has had an enormous impact on her life and her work. In her body of work, Yang explores people's cultural identities and cultural transformations and assimilations. After studying for three years at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, Yang moved to Oregon and graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland. Her work was selected “Best in Show” at PNCA’s BFA Juried Show. She also received the 2021 National Scholastic Art Award and a 2021 Golden Acrylic Artist Residency in New York.



Gallery Tour

Back Room Gallery

Monica Mitchell

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