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Art in limelight at new Civic Center

INDEPENDENCE -- "It looks (Edward) Hopper-ish to me," said Andrea Peyton, admiring a high-contrast acrylic painting of an industrial scene called "The Black Door."

INDEPENDENCE -- "It looks (Edward) Hopper-ish to me," said Andrea Peyton, admiring a high-contrast acrylic painting of an industrial scene called "The Black Door."

Peyton and Paul Gentry, co-owners of The River Gallery, had been hanging and displaying artwork inside the new event center on the ground floor of the Independence Civic Center.

Gentry commented the work was "classic precisionism," an art style that focuses on the geometrical forms of architectural subjects.

"It's realism, simplified," Gentry said.

Expect to hear art criticism sprinkled among policy and political discussions inside Independence's municipal headquarters during the next six months.

Independence officials and The River Gallery are co-presenting "Art in the City," a juried art show from August through January.

The recently completed event center will double as an exhibition hall for paintings, pottery, quilts and other work by artists from across the state.

The event will kick off on Saturday, Aug. 6, with a reception and presentation of the juror awarded pieces.

"There's a great space in this building, not everybody in the community knows about it, and this is as good a way as any to help break it in," said Gentry.

Independence approached gallery leaders this past spring about staging an art show to both support The River Gallery and showcase the new 4,400-square-foot facility, said Mike Danko, community development director.

If the show does well, the city may attempt an annual art-related gathering here, Danko said.

"Keizer holds a `mayor's invitational' art show at its civic center that's turned into a great event," Danko said.

Yuji Hiratsuka, an Oregon State University professor of art, and Eileen Cotter Howell, a respected painter and instructor in the Northwest, were jurors for this exhibition.

The gallery received 110 submissions during the past three months. The jurors selected 58 of those pieces, many of them Northwest-inspired, for display.

That includes photo-realistic oil paintings, linoleum cuts, exquisite quilts and a soft sculpture called "The Dolly Llama" that need only be seen to be understood.

The artwork will be on display and for sale to the public through January. Danko said the city has obligated $4,000 for art purchases and may form a committee to select pieces to adorn the Civic Center.

"All buildings look better with art in them," Peyton said.

Art on Display


A free gala reception for "Art in the City," a juried art exhibit that will run from August through January.


Independence Event Center, 555 S. Main St., Independence.


Saturday, Aug. 6, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Of note:

The Pink House Cafe and Ovenbird Bakery will be donating finger food. Jurors' monetary awards for some of the pieces will be announced. The celebration won't end with the gala on Aug. 6. At 7 p.m., The River Gallery, 184 S. Main St., will host a gathering with free food and music.

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