The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents the sculptural work of Nehahlem-based artist M.J. Anderson from February 12 to March 26 in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase (COVAS) at the Newport Visual Arts Center. Anderson’s exhibition, “Convergence,” will include four marble torsos of a similar size but of different material and color—black portoro marble, white statuary marble, red suriya marble and grey bardiglio marble. Anderson will also include a print she produced during a recent fellowship at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. The COVAS Showcase features artists from Oregon’s seven coastal counties, with Anderson representing Tillamook County. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, February 12, noon to 4pm, with the artist speaking at 4pm.
“I carve in response to the unique qualities of each stone I touch. It’s an intimate and reverent dialog of lasting consequence,” Anderson says. “And being a woman sculptor, I attempt to convey the essence of what it feels like to be human, to be a woman. Whether working abstractly or in the figurative vein, I approach the form as if it has always existed. I am increasingly delighted by the endless possibilities that the human form and spirit provide as a vehicle for expression.”
M.J. Anderson received her Bachelor of Arts with honors from Portland State University in 1977. A lifelong Oregonian, Nehalem is currently her permanent residence though she maintains artist studios on the Oregon coast and in Carrara, Italy. Besides her work for gallery exhibition, she works with designers and architects on private and public art commissions as well as liturgical commissions. She has completed commissions for the Noosa Botanic Gardens in Queensland, Australia, the Justice Center in Salem and the Seattle University School of Law, among other locations.
M.J. Anderson has exhibited her work broadly throughout the Pacific Northwest and nationally. She has received artistic awards from the Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family Foundation and the Pollack-Krasner Foundation, among many others. Her work is in the permanent collections of such institutions as the Portland Art Museum, the Hallie Ford Museum and the Museum of the Northwest.
“Art lingo aside, I make a fair bit of noise and dust with both old-style hammer and chisel as well as grinders, air hammers and lots of sandpaper!” Anderson says.
“We are proud to show M.J. Anderson’s marble sculptures at the Newport Visual Arts Center,” says OCCA VAC Director Tom Webb. “She has clearly established herself as one of Oregon’s most celebrated artists and sculptors.
The Newport Visual Arts Center adheres to all health and safety protocols provided by the Governor’s Office as well as the City of Newport. All visitors to the VAC are required to wear proper masks.
The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts manages the Newport Visual Arts Center and the Newport Performing Arts Center, and serves as the regional arts council for Oregon’s seven coastal counties.