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August -September 1999

Jan Erion and Cheri O'Brien
new paintings

The exhibition is filled with a combination of interior and exterior scenes. The interiors feature images of food-filled dining rooms, some with people (an offshoot of her "Dinner Party" series), scenes of the artist's studio and, narrative scenes from the artist's childhood and present day family. Many of the images include scraps of keepsake fabric from her family's past, old collagraph prints by the artist and other unusual collage elements from magazines and newspapers. The exteriors, a new development in the artist's reperatoire, feature scenes of lakes, both Lake Washington in Seattle and lakes in Europe. The stylistic hallmarks of Ms. Erion are her choice of bold complimentary colors, heavy black outlines and multi-media textures. The complex interior lighting and psychological spaces suggest the work of Pierre Bonnard, but with a female fauvist twist.


        Jan Erion is a printmaking instructor at Pratt Art Center in Seattle and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Contemporary Arts Council of the Seattle Art Museum. In 1997, she was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to do a work in support of a national AIDS awareness program, which now hangs in their corporate collection. Last summer she exhibited at the Grant's Pass Museum of Art and this year, as in years past, she participated in the Artworks for Aids exhibit at the Seattle Center. She has exhibited extensively in Seattle and has been vigorously involved in many aspects of the local art scene.

Jan Erion
"Hotel Avalon" 1999
mixed media on canvas


        Cheri O'Brian from Everett, paints in an expressionist style not unlike that of Ms. Erion. But they are falt; she works in acrylics on canvas. Her mealoncholy humans and animals, with enlarged heads and snake-like Olive Oyl arms, have profound personality despite their cartoony appearance. Her subects have included couples on dates, religious icons including various saints and a variety of animals in situations with other animals or with humans. This year's show of new work, following up on a show curated at the Alexis Hotel by Mr. Moose in 1998, will feature a group of wild circus scenes and some small portraits.

In two exhibitions this year, Ms. O'Brien focused on animal themes: "Woof: The Dog in Art" at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery and "Like Cats and Dogs" at the Pratt Art Gallery in Seattle. Ms. O'Brien, like Ms. Erion, has shown work in Northwest Aids Foundation exhibitions for several years as well as exhibiting in 1999 and 1998 University of Washington's Henry Art Gallery "Bash" exhibitions and several Bumbershoot shows. She was Snohomish County Artist of the Year in 1997.

Cheri O'Brien
acrylic on panel


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