With the theme “Animalia”, we are very excited this year to have a prestigious group of artists hailing from Skagit County in Allen Family Focus Gallery. Painter Robert McCauley, glass artist Shelley Muzylowski and the collaborative team of Rick Allen (glass sculpture) and Lanny Bergner (metal & mixed media sculpture).
Robert McCauley – McCauley grew up in Mount Vernon as the son and grandson of loggers, and his work is rooted in nature and its tension with humanity. He has created a mode of realism that is haunting and full of ambiguity. His distinctive animals manage to seem literal and symbolic at the same time, the viewer is suspended between these realms. McCauley has had a distinguished national career as an Artist and Professor, and has received numerous awards including a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982. A retrospective of McCauley’s work will be featured in several Northwest museum shows in 2018, including the Museum of Northwest Art starting in April.
Shelley Muzylowski Allen – Using glass as her medium, Muzylowski Allen sculpts animal forms that capture tension in movement, and recall the connections between humans and the animal kingdom throughout myth and history. Striving to bring a painterly quality to her dynamic medium, she layers color to add depth to the sculpture being made. The textures and patterns have the fluidity and gesture of brushwork and enrich the strong, three-dimensional form. Along with her husband, Rik Allen, she has taught at Pilchuck, nationally and internationally. She was part of famed William Morris’ sculptural team, and has received numerous awards and honors for her work.
The collaborative team of Lanny Bergner and Rick Allen
Lanny Bergner is a mixed-media sculptor, installation, fiber and sculptural basketry artist. The ethereal quality of Lanny’s work is in contrast to the mundane materials he uses to construct them. They are created using industrially woven bronze, brass, aluminum and stainless steel mesh, silicone, wire and glass frit. Using only a linesman pliers and cutting shear, he employs inventive yet simple joining techniques to transform mesh into semi-transparent organic structures. Bergner’s work is in numerous museum collections, and he has been received international recognition and honors for his work.
Rik Allen has had solo exhibitions of his sculptural work and installations throughout the country. His current series of work has been in the form of spacecraft, rockets, and scientific apparatus. While many of Rik’s pieces have a reference to his curiosity for science, they also convey humor, simple narratives, and a lightheartedness that is embodied in much of science fiction’s antiquated vision of the future. Along with his wife Shelley Muzylowski Allen, he has exhibited and taught nationally and internationally – and has been reviewed and featured in American Craft Magazine, American Art Collectors and other publications.