The Oregon Coast Council welcomes Coos County artist Susan Lehman to the Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase (COVAS) at the Newport Visual Arts Center from December 3 to January 29. Lehman’s exhibition, “Imbedded Collage,” will include work from her current series of abstract seascapes and landscapes in which the artist employs strips of recycled silk kimonos along with various lace, fabric and wallpaper scraps within layers of acrylic paint. The public reception for “Imbedded Collage” will be held on December 3, 5-7pm at the VAC, with an artist talk scheduled for 6pm.
Susan Lehman studied fine art and textiles at California College of Arts and Crafts (CCCA) in Oakland, CA, graduating with distinction in textile arts. She first started teaching adult art classes and showing her work during her second year at CCAC. Lehman went on to teach children’s art across the curriculum at the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School in Sacramento, CA. After retiring to the Southern Oregon Coast, Lehman has devoted herself to painting full time.
Originally a textile artist, Susan Lehman’s woven and stitched layers have given way to collaged papers, and she now works primarily in acrylics. The textures inherently available in textiles are now being translated into paint and paper. Elements of water, forests, rocks and waterfalls appear in the fluidity of her initial floating of paint over a wet canvas. She then creates collage papers from recycled packing papers, tissue and paper towels and blends the painted papers with the painted canvas. Lehman then floats another layer of fluid acrylic paint onto the wet surface to further strengthen the composition set up in the under-texture. Collage then can be added and subsequent layers are developed. What emerge are abstract expressions of ever-changing dune landscapes, and the fluid and often violent movement of the sea, river and clouds.
Susan Lehman has exhibited her work extensively along the Oregon coast and around the Pacific Northwest. She won a First Place award at the 2016 Summer Show of the Northwest Collage Society in Seattle. Her work was included in the 2015 “Expressions West” juried exhibit at the Coos Art Museum and the 2014 Book Show Invitational at the Illahe Gallery in Ashland. Her recent work has been featured at Fisher’s Fine Art in Roseburg, the Coos Hospital in Bandon, the Umpqua Community College, the Rob Schouton Gallery on Widby Island, WA, The Art Foundry Gallery in Sacramento, and Ballard Works in Seattle, among many other venues.
Susan Lehman has taught adult art classes at the Art by the Sea Gallery and Studio T in Bandon, the Port Orford Arts Council and the Diva Art Space in Eugene.
The COVAS Showcase is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4pm.