4x4: Art by Design
Featuring abstract work by 4 regional artists:
Tim Celeski (Indianola, WA)
David Owen Hastings (Sequim, WA)
Leslie Newman (Indianola, WA)
Brian O’Neill (Bellingham, WA)
June 9 – August 7, 2022
Thursday—Monday 12 to 5
Jeanette Best Gallery
701 Water Street, Port Townsend, Washington
An exhibit featuring works by Tim Celeski, David Owen Hastings, Leslie Newman, and Brian O’Neill, four regional artists focusing on modern, contemporary, and abstract art in mediums including prints, collages, quilts, ceramic vessels, digital painting, and abstract wood sculpture. Over thirty years, these artists have shared long and interesting professional and personal histories and have much in common. Starting out as graphic designers, each progressed creatively and successfully through four professional careers to ultimately migrate to the world of fine art.
4 x 4: Art by Design features complementary forms, shapes, colors, depths, and intensities that radiate throughout each artist’s work. This exhibit demonstrates the shared history, experience, visual skills, and unique perspectives that each artist brings to his or her expressions.
The pieces shown below are a limited selection of the full exhibit. Visit Jeanette Best Gallery for more!
Artists’ Talk and Meet + Greet: Saturday, June 11 at 1pm
With a background in graphic, digital, and furniture design, I create three-dimensional art that’s meant to be seen, experienced, and above all, touched. With a modernist aesthetic and contemporary and classic toolsets, my work explores new directions in abstract art. Precise, curvilinear geometric shapes combine organic themes with the natural beauty of wood and the potential of modern materials.
Carving wood, I look for reclaimed, cast-off material, unique in pattern and imperfection determined by the life of the tree. In formable materials, I look for fluid and abstract forms with generated textures and contrasting surfaces. Each piece is unique, tactile, and infused with sensuous surfaces meant to be touched. Beginning with precise drawings, I carve raw materials, machine forms for casting, or use additive processes to create new 3D forms. The results are panels, vessels, and free-standing sculpture sized from 10 inches to over 12 feet.
All of the pieces you see are created in my shop in Indianola, Washington, using a combination of modern methods—computers and digital tools for three-dimensional design accuracy with classic tools and traditional woodworking skills to transpose and bring out the character of wood into new forms and shapes.
David Owen Hastings
For over twenty years, I have been a professional print and collage artist. In my artwork I explore patterns, shapes, colors, and textures I find in nature. I love working abstractly, and that is why I call my pieces “organic abstractions.” Plants and leaves, microorganisms, and weathered surfaces are all inspiring to me. My paper-based artwork often incorporates monotype printing, sometimes mixed with my photography, and is stitched with a sewing machine. My finished artwork has rich layers and patterns with a very tactile quality that is reminiscent of encaustic painting.
I have also been a lifelong knitter and sewist. Besides stitching paper, I’m entranced with the world of modern quilting. I create contemporary designs for quilts and everyday items that I elevate with my own unique approach. Fabric dyeing, printing, and fabric manipulation are also a passion. I love helping people explore their own creativity through my workshops and lectures. I’ve traveled to Japan to study traditional shiboritechniques using natural indigo dye.
Abstraction is freedom. Without the constraints of representation, I explore space, form, line, and color, creating artwork that invites a long look and sparks imagination. I leave it to the viewer to dive in and discover their mood and meaning and hope it provides escape from the frenetic state of today’s world.
I use and am inspired by new media digital tools, methods of global online sharing such as Instagram, and digital and traditional painting. My process, while intuitive, draws on fundamental art principles. I aim to create compositions that are energetic and unexpected. Some of my influences include Matisse’s cut-outs, mid-century art and design, and the works of Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, Stuart Davis, and David Hockney.
I look to art to inspire, surprise, and bring forth a wave of feeling that reminds us of our wondrous existence. I feel it in my process of creating these works. I hope the viewers of my work share in this sense of wonder.
I find great satisfaction working with basic raw materials that can be coaxed, nurtured if you will, into objects that have shape and balance—a rhythm in their proportion, scale, and surface texture. It is my hope that some of these universal rhythms of nature are embodied in my pieces, evoking the simple strengths that reside in stone and the natural landscape.
Most of my forms are vessels. They have an interior and an exterior; the visible form and the more hidden space inside is an anthropomorphic relationship I enjoy exploring. Each piece comes into existence and develops a personality as it evolves, much like all of us.
My inspirations are a varied. I’ve got this wabi-sabi meets mid-century modern thing going on, what I’m calling “Modern Primitive.” For me, any design discipline involving the relationship of shape, form, and color (architecture, fashion, product design, etc.) all inform my work as well as the beauty of the natural world.