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Art Watch 8/12-8/19 

Mary Medrano explores man vs. nature through art

"Bold and Beautiful"

Mary Medrano

"Bold and Beautiful"

A week ago, Mary Medrano opened her first solo exhibition in Central Oregon at the Rotunda Gallery in the Barber Library on the COCC campus. The exhibit is called Feathered Tales, featuring a series of 30 mixed-media paintings that Medrano created during the past six months.

Finding inspiration in the natural world, Medrano uses painting as a way to express her thoughts and emotions. Feathered Tales depicts a theme of man versus nature, with a solitary bird to represent nature and a variety of materials and shapes symbolizing litter and pollution. Triangles are used to represent glass shards, torn paper and collage portray litter, and paint and texture convey pollution.

"The consequences of clear cutting, air and water pollution, factory farming, oil spills, and fracking will leave future generations with an earth arguably in peril," says Medrano. "Working with a variety of materials including acrylic and oil pastels, painted paper, image transfer, sanding, painting, graphite, and ink, I am able to create an environment for each bird to reside."

Dark and foreboding though it may seem, Medrano uses a vibrant palette combined with powerfully elaborate bird images and overall beauty to evoke a sense of hope.

Medrano has pursued a lifelong passion for the arts that includes knitting, crochet and sewing, photography, and graphic design before beginning her painting career in 2002. An award-winning artist, Medrano has had work displayed throughout the United States, and in 2007, her art was selected as part of a premier world art event in the Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy, that featured artists from around the world. Medrano also receives recognition for her pet portrait commissions, figurative works, and portraits on canvas. She has donated a number of her pet portraits to the Humane Society of Central Oregon and other beneficiaries around Central Oregon. Medrano lives in Bend.

The exhibition will be on display through August 17.

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