Arts & Culture

‘Eclectic’ invitational art show at SPSCC showcases 10 artists from region

An overview of the Juror’s Invitational, on view at The Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College.
An overview of the Juror’s Invitational, on view at The Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College. Courtesy of SPSCC

The Juror’s Invitational, on view at The Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College, is full of surprises.

Upon entering, you are confronted by Chris Wooten’s wire-and-bead sculpture of a dancer hanging upside down from the ceiling, smaller figures and strands of beads dangling from her outstretched arms.

Across the room, you’ll spot the grille of a Hummer with the wall-painted title “Dumb Love,” a conceptual installation by Lisa Kinoshita.

Around the corner hang colorful acrylic paintings of masked rhinoceroses, parts of Jason Sobottka’s whimsical yet dark Adventures Through the Anthropocene series.

“It’s an eclectic show,” gallery coordinator Sean Barnes told The Olympian.

The second annual invitational showcases work by 10 award-winning artists from 2018’s Southwest Regional Juried Exhibition.

Chris Wooten’s “Flower Girl,” which is part of a larger piece called “Rain Garden.” The artist used steel, colored copper and plastic wire, as well as glass and metal beads. Spencer McDowell Courtesy of SPSCC

Besides works by Kinoshita and Sobottka of Tacoma and Wooten of Brown’s Point, the exhibition includes oil paintings by Susan Aurand of Olympia, encaustic and collage works by Teri Bevelacqua of Olympia, mixed-media paintings by Judith Hochman of Olympia, mixed-media pieces by Carrie Larson of Hoquiam, oil paintings by Spencer McDowell of Olympia, ink-on-paper works by Patsy O’Connell of Gig Harbor, and stone and mixed-media sculptures by Vladimir Shakov of Brown’s Point.

The 2018 regional exhibition juror, Asia Tail, a Tacoma artist, arts administrator and curator, selected the recipients of the merit awards, while college President Tim Stokes selects the pieces the college will buy from each year’s regional exhibition.

Despite the disparity of the winning work, a theme emerges in the show, Barnes said.

Susan Aurand’s “Seeing in and Through” was created with oil and acrylic on panel, wood, metal, and shell. Spencer McDowell Courtesy of SPSCC

“This work meets at this confluence of our relationship with the natural world,” he said. “It seems that all of these artists are trying to describe in some way their relationship to the natural world.”

That’s true, he said, even of Kinoshita’s conceptual pieces, which include a necklace made with water buffalo horns, and of McDowell’s skull paintings, which evoke tattoos and tarot cards.

Shakov collects stone for his sculpture from the foothills of the Cascades, and Aurand depicts skies and dragonflies in her three-paneled paintings.

“For me, making an image is a celebration of, and communion with, the natural world,” she wrote in the artist’s statement that hangs with her work.

Juror’s Invitational

  • What: South Puget Sound Community College’s second annual invitational features the work of 10 artists who won awards at last year’s Southwest Regional Juried Exhibition.
  • When: Opening reception is 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 22; exhibit on view through April 19. Regular gallery hours are noon-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
  • Where: The Gallery at The Minnaert Center for the Arts at SPSCC, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia
  • Admission: Free
  • More information:, 360-596-5527