(Above: Detail from a painting by artist Uyen-Thi Nguyen of Opal Whiteley, who lived from 1897to 1992, and was one of Cottage Grove’s most famous, mysterious, and enigmatic residents.)

By Randi Bjornstad

A special exhibit titled Garden of People, A Portrait of Cottage Grove  by artist Uyen-Thi Nguyen anchors the Emerald Art Center’s displays for June.

Nguyen, who lives in Cottage Grove, came up with the idea during the pandemic and set herself a 100-day challenge to portray present and past people in her community in paintings, working primarily from photographs to create the body of work. Her subjects ranged widely in age, background, and appearance, and she has turned the project into a self-published book.

Garden Medley by Patti McNutt

Along the way, Nguyen also received a $2,000 grant from the Lane Arts Council to help defray her time and expenses. Her book, paintings, and prints are available for viewing and purchase on her website, utnpaintings.com.

The art center also has shows featuring work by three of its members: Patti McNutt, Mia Furstner, and Trish Krambeal.

McNutt’s display is called Abundance and is a collection of still life paintings done during the past two years, either in her studio using arrangements of objects or outdoors on location, en plein air.

Acrylic pour by Trish Krambeal

Furstner, who originally came from The Netherlands, became a painter in her 30s after her arrival in the United States, and the paintings on display, Retrospective of a Creative Life, come from photographs she has taken through the decades.

A very different tone comes from Krambeal, who creates colorful abstracts using the acrylic pour method.

As always, the center also has a monthly exhibit of new work by other members.

Shows at the Emerald Art Center

When: Through July 1, 2022

Where: 500 Main St., Springfield

Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, plus 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the Second Friday Art Walk on June 10

Information and activities:  541-726-8595 or emeraldartcenter.org


A landscape painting by Mia Furstner