By Alec Clayton
The “pARTners” exhibition at Childhood’s End Gallery showcases works by three artist couples who live and work together: papercut artist Nikki McClure and her partner, fine woodworker Jay T Scott; steel and ceramic sculptors Robin and John Gumaelious; and mixed-media painters Chuck Gumpert and Christopher Mathie. The show includes both collaborative and individual pieces.
Each of these artists, individually and collectively, are well known and loved for their work.
McClure and Scott are represented by a 101-inch-long cedar wall panel by Scott adorned with a gold-leaf design by McClure and, mounted at either end of the panel, a lighted wall sconces built by Scott with surface designs my McClure.
The Gumaeliouses collaborate on comical and surrealistic figurative sculptures of fantasy creatures. Many are hybrid human and animal figures. There is a group of five doll-like figures that hang on the wall between Gumpert’s paintings and more free-standing figures on sculpture pedestals, such as “Happy Cat Owner,” a huge-headed harlequin figure with a cat riding in its pocket, and some riding hybrid bird-human-animal figures riding little wire tricycles.
Gumpert and Mathie are both painters and are represented here by individual pieces and two collaborative works. They share a 700-square-foot studio and say they work back-to-back on separate artworks but are surprised at how often their pieces share similar color schemes and emotional effects. The two collaborative works are “Sailing Day,” picturing a group of sailboats on a stormy sea, and “Beach Day,” picturing groups of figures standing on a beach at the edge of the surf. Plus, one entire wall is devoted to Gumpert paintings and another to Mathie paintings. All of their paintings, collaborative and individual, are brightly colored with highly expressive brushwork — some abstract and many depicting sea, wind and sky.
Childhood’s End is open to the public, but there will be no opening reception because of prohibitions against large gatherings. Capacity is limited.
Due to the COVID pandemic, Olympia Arts Month took place of the traditional Arts Walk. Throughout October, there were in-person displays of art, as well as virtual programs and activities presented by participating locations and artists. In keeping with current CDC and State guidelines, in-person performances and gatherings were not a part of Arts Month.
pARTners: art exhibition
Through Nov. 15; in-person 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; virtual 24/7
Childhood’s End Gallery, 222 4th Ave W
Free, artwork for sale