Across the Oceans: Deb Sether (Corrine Woodman Gallery I)
World Suffering: 
Vicky Idema (Corrine Woodman Gallery II)

October 10 – November 4, 2017

  • Thursday, October 12, 12  noon – Conversation from the Corrine Artist Talk 

Both artists create figures from outside the Corvallis mainstream population, portraying the human factor behind the people they portray:  Sether on a cultural level, Idema on an humanitarian level. Idema’s work is political and current, Sether’s universal.

Vicki Idema statement:

My work hanging in this exhibit is part of a series depicting the suffering of both women and children throughout the world. It is my reaction to the sadness and horrors I see daily on television and the internet. These haunting images have affected me deeply. I have illustrated Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls, young girls caught up in human trafficking and Haiti’s earthquake-devastated children.

Closer to home are female farm workers from Salinas, clothed in layers upon layers just to protect themselves daily from the sun, pesticides, wind, and dust that they must contend with in order to earn a living.

These are images I hope never to see in Benton County. I am very fortunate to live in a beautiful town, free from the horrors of war and hurricanes; however, there are cracks in our perfect Benton County bubble–we have people living on the streets, many below the poverty level, with others suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. Taking time to pause and think will hopefully motivate some to act with helping alleviate the human suffering around us.

Deb Sether statement:

The symbols, graphics and arts of indigenous cultures has been a continuing theme in my work over the last 16 years. Direct, unpretentious and imbued with meaning – the rawness of the work creates strong reactions in me. Additionally, I find it fascinating how cultures respond graphically and artistically to their natural environments. This series explores different cultures – how they represent the public side of their spirituality and the ”faces” used to convey their messages.  

These busts originated with a workshop I attended at the Archie Bray Institute in Montana on making large scale ceramic sculpture. After returning home to the studio,  I completed the African headdress bust. It was such a joy to create this piece that I wanted to continue with a series of other culture’s masks/headdresses centering on the face and head while working in a larger scale.

Working in a larger scale is a challenge which I love. Large clay sculptures require special handling, drying and firing. Physically moving the large pieces and working in such a way as to minimize cracking and breaking during the firing process are of special concern. The moisture content of the clay dictates how and what can be done on a piece at any given time. I do a dance with the clay from its wet, plastic state and working up to decreasing levels of moisture content.  When the sculpture is finished it will take anywhere from a week to a month or more to dry. Patience is required for the work to dry enough to bisque fire in the kiln without blowing it up! Next comes glazing and another firing to a higher temperature to adhere the glaze to the clay. Lots of timing, luck and experience come together when I open the kiln door to a successful glaze firing. There are no “mulligans” or “do overs” when working with clay. It can be a very fickle mistress.  

Where are the kidnapped Nigerian Girls? by Vicki Idema

Bear Totem Mask by Deb Sether