As the year comes to a close, Oregon Art Beat producers look back at some of their favorite stories.

Artist Samantha Wall

There’s lots to admire about Samantha Wall’s large-scale, powerful drawings, but I love the stories behind them almost as much as the work itself. Each figure Samantha creates represents a relationship she’s forged with her subject, and she pours those emotions into her work using only black ink on a white background. The result is a striking take on race, identity, and beauty that’s as interesting to think about as it is to behold.

Kelsey Wallace, Producer
More on Samantha here.

Greg A. Robinson

The tremendous disruption of tribal culture that has occurred since first contact — along with the popularization of designs of north coast tribes such as Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian — meant the lower-Columbia River peoples’ art forms had all but disappeared.

‘There are a few practitioners that are working in the art form but a lot of the art elements were something I had to figure out as I went.’
As I got to know Greg’s work, I began to recognize the original inhabitants’ distinctive geometric designs and appreciate the tremendous contribution Greg’s work is making to the revival of Northwest Oregon’s and Southwest Washington’s Native arts.

Jule Gilfillan, Producer
More on Greg here.

James Allen, Book Arts

When I first saw James Allen’s book sculptures, I assumed he used glue or tape or staples to shape pages the way he wanted them. Then we filmed him for Oregon Art Beat and I discovered that he only uses a very sharp knife and the pages of the book that he’s sculpting. He works anywhere – on the bus, sitting outside, waiting for someone at a café – and somehow he can envision how a page near the end of the book will look when he gets there. I’ve watched him work for hours, and still don’t know how he does it, but I know he does it extremely well. Hope you enjoy it too!

Katrina Sarson, Producer
More on James here.

Mixed media painter, Jill Mayberg

I first saw Jill Mayberg’s paintings several years ago at Art in the High Desert in Bend.  I immediately fell in love with her whimsical depiction of animals. Jill roughly plans her canvasses, but then follows her heart, adding mixed-media cutouts and lots of love!

Tom Shrider, Producer
More on Jill here.

Glass Sculptor Eric Franklin

I have never seen anything like Eric Franklin’s glowing glass sculptures. What a pleasure to run across something so singularly unique. Eric is the nicest guy in the world; shy and soft spoken. That is, until he turned on his torch. Then, a different Eric emerged: bold, confident, and as sure footed as a rock climber. No wonder he’s such a star in glass world — tens of thousands of fans around the world follow Eric’s beautiful work online.

Eric Slade, Producer
More on Eric Franklin here.