Arts and Entertainment

Blue Heron shows contrasting works

A detail of Jennifer McNeely’s mixed media piece, “Hysteria.” - Courtesy photo
A detail of Jennifer McNeely’s mixed media piece, “Hysteria.”
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Blue Heron Gallery will present the work of artists Joey Katzer and Jennifer McNeely in an exhibition opening from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1. The reception will feature live jazz music by horn player Richard Person, pianist Jim Hobson and bassist George Heidorn.

Katzer’s intaglio prints offer colorful and fanciful visual metaphors for life. Katzer said she’s driven by her impulse to question the nature of truth, irony, cliché and humor through her work.

She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts, then received her Master of Arts at Pacific Lutheran University. She has shown her work in both solo and group exhibitions throughout the region for a decade, including a recent show at Tacoma’s Kittridge Gallery. Her pieces are in many public and private collections. Katzer’s work has earned awards including the Purchase Award by the City of Edmonds.

Fellow Cornish alumna McNeely creates conceptual mixed media sculpture on the premise of breakdown and repair, specifically alluding to the cultural situation and compulsions of women.

Highly personal, McNeely’s work explores contradictions — hard and soft, masculine and feminine, grotesque and beautiful. She works with materials such as fur, metal, fabric, nylon and hair.

McNeely created a new body of work for the Blue Heron show.

“I’ll be using more found objects as raw material,” she said. “I usually don’t show the same work twice.”

In an extremely labor-intensive process, McNeely ties and weaves long strands of fabric matter and then covers each nodule with a protective coating, carefully stitching it closed.

She then hand-stitches every nodule on to woven strands, a time-consuming and somewhat obsessive process. She compared the body of work to the biology of DNA: “No two will become alike. Each will unfold uniquely.”

McNeely has shown her work in many solo and group exhibitions including 301 Bocana Gallery in San Francisco and the Francine Seders Gallery in Seattle. She is also a frequent guest lecturer at universities. McNeely received the 2005 Artist Trust GAP grant.

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