New art exhibit ‘Subjective’ at Frances Anderson Center: two views of one subject

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"Subjective" consists of two views each of 10 subjects: 20 paintings of loved ones immortalized once by a stranger and once by their kin. This portrait is by Gwen Semmel; the other is by Becca Bernstein.

The Edmonds Arts Festival Museum and the Edmonds Arts Commission are pleased to present “Subjective:  a ‘blind’ collaboration between Gwenn Seemel and Becca Bernstein” through April 29 at the Frances Anderson Center, 700 Main St. These pairs of portraits reflect the very different perspectives of two artists, collaborating by painting the same subject, but without seeing each other’s work.

Bernstein’s work focuses on human relationships, family and aging. She explores issues of human fragility and strength in what she describes as “the awkward dance of human interdependence.”

Becca Bernstein earned a BA in Drawing, cum laude, at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. She also studied at the University of Glasgow and interned at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She was selected by Southwest Art Magazine as one of 21 artists to watch. Her awards include the Kimberley Gales Emerging Artist Award, the Lake Oswego Public Art Award, a Regional Arts and Culture Council Public Art Installation Commission among others. Her work can be found in the public collections of the City of Lake Oswego, Oregon, the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, Cascade Aids Project and the Oregon Ballet Theater.

Gwenn Seemel is a full-time artist dedicated to the genre of portraiture.  She paints likenesses of individuals for commission but also portraits of groups of people for the purpose of exploring a particular issue. She is the recipient of grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Celebration Foundation, and the Haven Foundation among others. Her work is in the collection of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Born in Saudi Arabia in 1981, Seemel has lived most of her life in France and the US. Her family settled in Oregon, where she graduating summa cum laude from Willamette University in 2003.

The EAF Museum and EAC Display Case are available for viewing Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.- 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For information, call 425-771-1984 or 425-771-0228 or visit www.eaffoundation.org and www.ci.edmonds.wa.us/ArtsCommission/ to learn more about programs and visual art exhibits in our community.

This exhibition is part of an ongoing tour of Subjective around the Northwest. An exhibition catalog is available locally at the Edmonds Book Shop and on the artists’ websites: www.onefaceatatime.com and www.beccabernstein.com.

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