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Go Dutch, in Newport

Published on July 2, 2018 1:15PM

Henk Pander, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most noted painters will hold his first exhibit in Newport, opening with a public reception this Friday, July 6.

“Times of Our Lives,” on show in the Runyan Gallery of the Newport Visual Arts Center, will feature several of the acclaimed artist’s large-scale watercolors, including works from his recent series, “War Memories, Liberty Ships and the Climate Refugees of Vanport.”

Friday’s reception will run from 5 to 7 pm, with a short talk from the artist at 5:45 pm.

Born in the Netherlands and trained at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, Pander arrived in Portland in 1965 and, except for brief periods, has lived in Oregon ever since. He taught painting and drawing at the Museum Art School, now the Pacific Northwest Museum of Art, from 1965 to ’67 but has otherwise supported himself and his family as a working artist. He is known for creating works that challenge the status quo of modern art of the Pacific Northwest.

“This will be Henk Pander’s first exhibition in Newport,” said Visual Arts Center director Tom Webb. “And we are honored to showcase some of his latest watercolors, including work recently featured in the “Vanport Mosaic” festival held this spring in Portland.

The Newport show will include 10 to 12 large watercolors, with subject matter including landscapes from across the state, Vanport Flood escapees and other historical narratives, and a piece from his series on the wreck of the New Carrisa.

Pander received the Oregon Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2015, a Master Fellowship in painting from the Oregon Arts Commission in 1991, a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in 2006, and a Prix de Rome Silver Medal from the Netherlands in 1961, among many other awards.

Roger Hull, author of “Henk Pander: Memory and Modern,” said Pender’s training provided him with skills that related to Dutch art extending back to the 17th Century as well as to 20th-Century movements such as Expressionism and Surrealism.

“In his drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings, Pander depicts subjects ranging from the death of friends to erotic fantasies,” Hull wrote, “from the wreck of the New Carissa to the ruins of Ground Zero, and from the skylines of Portland and Amsterdam to abandoned airplanes and automobiles in the American West.”

Pander is also a noted portraitist. His portraits of Governors Tom McCall and John Kitzhaber hang in the Capitol in Salem. In 1976, he was commissioned to paint the posthumous portrait of C.S. Price, Oregon’s pioneering modernist painter, for Timberline Lodge.

Pander’s works are in many collections, including those of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the City of Portland, the Portland Art Museum, Frye Art Museum in Seattle, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, where a 50-year retrospective exhibition of his work was shown in 2011. His public commissions include works at the Oregon State University, Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem, the Portland Center for the Visual Arts and other locations.

“Times of Our Lives,” hosted by the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, will run through September 2, available to view from 11 am to 6 pm, Tuesday through Sunday at 777 NW Beach Drive.

Pander will also present an extended artist talk on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 4 pm in the Runyan Gallery.

As part of the “Times of Our Lives” exhibit, the Visual Arts Center will screen documentary films about the artist by his son, Jacob Pander. Screenings will run from noon to 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday in the center’s Media Room.

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