Mary Bess Johnson & Penny Berglund
Saturday, November 4th
Undersea Photographer Mary Bess Johnson and Potter/Jewelry Maker Penny Berglund, Are Gallery North’s Featured Artists for November
Like treasure discovered under the sea, the “Baubles” exhibit at Gallery North features hand-wrought pottery and jewelry by Penny Berglund surrounded by brightly colored sea creatures photographed by Mary Bess Johnson.
Mary Bess Johnson
For decades, Mary Bess Johnson has traveled around the globe photographing in some of the world’s most interesting diving sites. Her next trip will be an expedition to photograph aquatic life in Antarctica in 2018! When Mary Bess first began her adventures as a photographer, she was fascinated to discover that undersea creatures which appeared merely as dark shapes or sparkles of light when seen by peering over the side of a dock could become detailed and brightly colored when photographed with strobe lights.
Through her photography, Mary Bess is able to bring us along with her on her dives. She is committed to sharing her undersea experiences with her dry land friends. Mary Bess includes fascinating tidbits about the undersea world on her greeting cards. Her sea-life themed playing card decks double as field guides for identifying marine life. The undersea photography in this exhibition draws from three of Mary Bess’s bodies of work: Baubles: jewel-colored fish; Adventurers: nudibranchs in unique habitats; and Patterns: a close focus on colors, shapes and textures. These images are presented on metal and tempered glass.
“I want my photographs to allow people to appreciate the colors, textures and delicate structures of undersea dwellers.” – Mary Bess Johnson
“Sunburst” by Mary Bess Johnson
“Seeker” by Mary Bess Johnson
Pottery by Penny Berglund
Former Gallery North member artist Penny Berglund returns for the month of November to feature her pottery and jewelry. Penny draws spiritual nourishment from Eastern Washington’s desert vastness. She is a native of the “dry side” of Washington, and finds her artistic inspiration in the basalt formations of the Gorge and channeled scab lands, the furrows of the dry land wheat fields, and the cloudscapes of an almost endless sky. These vivid textures and color contrasts have found their way into her ceramics and jewelry pieces. Her work is stunning when viewed from a distance but its true beauty is revealed in the details when inspected more closely.
Penny has worked in clay for more than twenty years. In this show, she will be presenting her decorative wheel-thrown pottery, which is primarily raku and sagger-fired, along with selected functional pieces. Penny’s jewelry pieces echo the intriguing surfaces of her ceramic work. Pendants and earrings made from etched copper and tinted with patinas parallel the work she does in raku. All of her jewelry is created from metals that have been modified by etching processes or hammering before the pieces are constructed.
Earrings by Penny Berglund
“Raw flood-carved landscapes, cultivated fields, and towering cloud forms speak to me about the creative process for the earth itself. The colors and especially the textures of Eastern Washington environments have been important influences in my work.” – Penny Berglund