Portland Center Exhibits

Arts Place exhibits artists noted throughout the region and across the nation. Artists that have been selected to show at Arts Place represent the varied disciplines of the visual arts as well as the many voices that are echoed in the art world.

If interested in being considered in an upcoming exhibition at Arts Place, contact Kimberly Anderson, Visual Arts Director, at kanderson@artsland.org or call Arts Place Portland Center at 260-726-4809 or Toll-Free 866-539-9911

Inquire in the fall about the Regional Student Art Exhibit that will be displayed in the spring at the Portland Center.

Current Exhibit

1/5/18 – 2/4/18
Monika Meler
How the Present Rearranges the Past

Artist Statement:

Should one recognize that one becomes a foreigner in another country because one is a foreigner within? -Julia Kristeva

I was born and raised in Poland, and at the age of 10, my parents and I immigrated to the United States. Like many immigrants, when I left Poland, I took with me a still picture of the place I considered home. I did not return to Poland for fourteen
uninterrupted years. Upon that return, I expected everything to resemble that still picture, and realized quickly that nothing was the same. I was a foreigner in this land that I belonged to, and realized that the immigrant journey is much more
emotional than physical. Confused and torn, I turned my nostalgia and longing for the Poland I remembered into a reality.

My work examines this desire for the place that no longer exists. The images in my prints explore the Poland that only exists in my mind. I use images that reference my father’s elaborate rose gardens, my mother’s rich textiles, and my parent’s
exquisite vases. These images are printed in many layers on top of one another. Images repeat, change direction, and dominance. All of these actions mimic the actions of memory

Upcoming Exhibit

2/9/18 – 3/11/18
Pamela Deaton
I am, We are.

Artist Statement:

My work has always been heavily influenced by nature and the human figure. I have an affinity for the art of primitive cultures. Their imagery is powerful and full of spiritual meaning which is what I strive for in the sculpture I create.  I feel very strongly that everything is connected and that we are all one. On a biological level (animal, vegetable, mineral) we are all made up of the same substance.  We all come into existence in some form and we all die, wither, or break down and return to the dust of the earth. I believe that we are connected spiritually and mentally as well as physically.  I address these connections through my work focusing on birth and death, our journeys through life, and our future generations that will inherit the resonance of our passing through.

The We dreamed series is a spiritual representation of all of us.  It stands for our existence together moving through this time and place. Creating our destiny and manifesting the destiny of our future generations.  It stands for the hopes and dreams that flowed into the creation of us from the beginning and what we are doing to those dreams with the passing of time.  It stands for where they wish we were and where we really are on this journey.

The paper clay material that I use has an earthy look and feel to it, linking my figures to the natural environment.  The material is reminiscent of a stone surface or an insect nest.  The support structure of each figure is made up of tree branches and wire armature. The surface of the paper clay is imbedded with ceramic elements and found natural objects. Tiny buildings, pathways, tombs, and caves also populate the visual landscape of each figure rendering the body as a symbol for the earth’s surface.  In this manner I try to bond nature with figurative imagery as our ancestors did in the hope of awakening a primordial connection in my viewer.

Past Exhibits

10/6/17 – 11/6/17
Scott Anderson

Artist Statement:

The works completed for the exhibition Inhale / Exhale are a continuation of a 30 year exploration and critique of human systems and ideologies. This has been the main thematic idea in my work, that I call dyscrasia. The word dyscrasia means an abnormality of the body or bad mixtures. I use the word to summarize my reactions to the imbalance that I see in the social body, both in historical and contemporary society. My work is an ongoing examination about systems, our need for them and our constant problem of outgrowing them. The paintings and drawings focus on comparing cultural constructions such as religion, gender, science, and history to represent systems in conflict. My goal is to engage the viewer on how to rebuild, revise and amend the various elements in our social structures. Serial works along with two large structures that can display numerous works. One structure is convex and relates to the concept of Inhale and one structure is concave and represents exhale.

Inhale is the natural bodily function that energizes the body. It occurs thousands of times daily, even while sleeping and is so automatic we almost never consider it. The Inhale images are more proactive and represent ego driven compulsions. Inhale images represent headfirst motion and are more aligned with ideological stances and arguments. The structure intentionally pushes the images into the viewer’s space with a convex curve. Seen from one side the images on the far side become invisible and is a metaphor for the blindness of certain dogmatic stances.

The Exhale structure is a concave mirror image to the Inhale structure and recedes. Exhale is release, and is tied directly to the human sigh as an expression of relief. In Exhale the paintings and drawings are intended to be more reflective, resigned and less combative. The various images in exhale curve around the viewer and offer a constant visual accessibility that is denied in Inhale.

Inhale and exhale is also a reference to that deep breath and realignment that is an essential part of a special leave.

I would like to thank all the colleagues that I have worked with in the School of Art for their support over the last 22 years. Thanks to all the students that have kept me on my toes and pushed me to be a better instructor. A special thanks to Dave Hahn for helping me construct the Inhale /Exhale structures. Special thanks to my wife Kimberly for her unwavering support.

9/1/17 – 10/1/17
Ed Smith
Forms and Figures

Artist Statement:

I have only memories of what I wanted…. These forms are physical manifestations of beliefs and ideals of virtue.

Nothing was foretold or prefigured….How I wish there had been an omen, something. Looking back I don’t remember any. It would have been easier had there been. As someone raised and formed by heroic tales it would seem essential. Maybe the absence of such an omen forced the creation of the work….

How much better to have had the Hellenistic “Great Poet”, or a Callisthenes, instead of having to do it? I’m no authority – not even on myself. But I know what I want to hear….This is what develops when a young man is immersed in myths, heroic tales and hope. Should the times have been different a warrior might have emerged, a leader, a visionary….The best and only route left was that of the Artist.

7/24/17 – 8/20/17
Robert Patrick
Cosmic Myths

Artist Statement:

I paint fantasy environments as metaphors for landscapes of the mind. This world view is a product of combining senses shaped not only by light, but by sounds, smells, touch and taste. These synthesized perceptions are understood and translated through a personal language of biomorphic symbols.

My painting surfaces are large custom made canvas tarpaulins secured to walls through grommets around their perimeters. This creates a hard backing to the canvas for a muralist painting experience and a flatness that emphasizes area rather than object when exhibited. I use smaller brushes in order to grow the image through incremental paint strokes that are minute relative to the painting surface. This slow building allows for thinking and feelings to evolve during the visual making process.

Of profound interest to me is how painting functions as a means of expression.  Communicating personal perception requires that my organic symbol language contains references to shared human conditions even if understood only viscerally. I explore archetypal clues evoked visually that are recognizable irrespective of history or culture, an imagery that arises not merely from a nature we perceive but from the nature we are.

1/06/17 – 2/5/17
Jeff Dallas
Shifting Perspectives

Artist Statement:

“Making art is an expression of who I am and an exploration of how I perceive the world. Growing up in the Northwood’s of Wisconsin instilled in me a sense of awe for the natural world. In my later teens, I began to study meditation, which made me interested in the actual process of how I see the world. As a painter, I try to capture the momentary experience of moving through the landscape. My paintings show multiple viewpoints simultaneously, giving the viewer an overall impression of a place. I work on site initially and finish my paintings in the studio with the aid of photos, my imagination and memory. For me, painting is about my curiosity and delight in both the landscape and the process by which I experience it.”

2/10/17 – 03/12/17
Ball State University Print Making
Student and Mentor Exhibit

Ball State offers courses of study in four kinds of printmaking: intaglio, lithography, relief, and serigraphy. Courses in these techniques of printmaking present a basic understanding of the media as well as methods to take advantage of the versatility of the processes. Students are expected to go beyond mere technical proficiency and must use the processes effectively to express innovative and personal ideas.

03/17/17 – 04/14/17
Regional Student Art Exhibit
Art is a Poem Without Words

Opening Reception is 3/17/17  from 4-6pm

The Regional Student Art Exhibit is an annual gallery show of local student artists attending local area schools.

4/21/17 – 5/28/17
Hector René Del Campo

Artist Statement:

“Being a first generation Cuban-American, I use cultural color fields, as well as the aesthetics of street art to explore how one’s upbringing is directly influenced by ethnic heritage. By exploring the dualities between heritage and environment, the abstract chaos of my foundation layers builds an intense tactile landscape while my geometric qualities are a direct relation of the concrete jungle around me.
This work explores how we may be able to accurately record and express our experiences through memories. I commonly juxtapose the stenciling of parallelograms creating spacial, three-dimensional and atmospheric spaces. Throughout the development of my work, the clarity of my forms in connection with the dense, tactile layers of bleeding physically controlled but visually chaotic drippings creates such a vivid duality rich of action and construction.”

6/02/17 – 7/07/17
Mona Gazala
Past and Presentiment

Artist Statement:

I am an American-born artist of Palestinian descent. My artwork is informed by a heritage rooted in places of great archaeological significance, and by a lifetime spent growing up in the post-industrial Midwest. The artwork I construct makes lyrical connections between the decay and renewal of our post-industrial rust-belt cities and the endeavors of the archaeologist to rediscover and preserve lost beauty and lost worlds. In the process, it often elevates that which we consider blight, discarded and undesirable to something of greater significance.
While paying homage to iconic historical imagery and the vernacular of museum displays, my art is also driven by a need to address modern-day social issues. Poverty, displacement, racial and gender inequality are some of the divisive forces that bely the elemental beauty of the ruinous urban landscape.”

Thomas W. Abbott
Reflections of Home

Opening Reception: FREE | November 11 |5:30-7:30pm

Artist Statement:

“The majority of the painting subjects in this show are inspired by things that I see around me every day.  I’m forever fascinated by the contrast of light and shadow and how it can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Other painting subjects stir an unexplained emotion within me that inspires my desire to capture it. It is with that spirit that I’m compelled to put brush to paper.”

October 07- November 06, 2016
Katherine Fries
Objects in Memory

Artist Statement:


“At the center of this body of work is the relationship between people and objects, where my role is that of storyteller and preservationist. These roles blend and diverge – offering a spectrum of interaction, narrative, and cataloging.

Since I was small, I have always been aware of my relationship with the objects that have surrounded me. I contemplated their meaning, stories, and origins. As a storyteller, I grasp at any known narrative of who, what, when, where, and how. As a preservationist, I long to know context, strive to understand relevance, and assert its prominence for posterity.

With that in mind, these works share carefully selected collections of objects, images, people, and events, reflective of narrative threads based on personal experience. The collections are an accumulation of memories in that they seem random, yet are intertwined, becoming clues of values, interests, relationships, and experiences.”

J.T. Thompson
Labyrinth of Illusion

Opening Reception: FREE | September 9 |5-7pm

Artist Statement:
“I am currently working in a style I call Geometric Surrealism. This style explores the use of multiple views of spaces and corridors, using varied light sources to create spatial depth in abstract compositions. My work is inspired by the tension between certain dualities: the conscious and subconscious, light and dark. As an abstract artist, I am philosophically interested in the subjectivity of the mind, and it’s capacity for skewing perspectives of external events or the physical world.”

Gregory Davis
“Impermanence of Knowledge”

Andrew McPherson
Planar Shift


Left Image: “Divesting Dandy” 48×50 inches, acrylic on sintra, 2012

Ju Yun
Visitors From the East

Artwork: “Hidden Beauty Secrets” Oil , 36″x 48″

“I was born and raised in South Korea before immigrating to the United States of America. I am constantly reminded of how it feels to be between two polarizing worlds. Transitioning between traditional Korean art and wholly contemporary subjects and methods embraced within that in-between space, I often find a sense of spirituality and a great source of creativity.”

Regional Student Art Exhibit
Fanning the Flame of Creativity

Jessica Summers
“I draw inspiration from actual spaces within my home, and often respond to them with small observational works focused on capturing specific moments of light and shadow.  While these direct pieces can exist on their own, they can also lead to more elaborate narrative works.   For these, I use drawing to stitch together photographs taken from multiple points of view to construct images that could have never been captured in a single glance.  By manipulating the conventions of perspective, I craft spaces that are believable yet subjective and thus produce a visceral experience for the viewer.” 


Jacinda Russell – Photographer & Brent Cole – Glass Artist
Treading Water

David Michael Slonim
Color Speaks

Abstract painting is music for your eyes. Just as instrumental music is an arrangement of tones for your ear, abstract painting is an arrangement of tones for your eye. There is no secret meaning, no hidden agenda. It’s simply meant to be enjoyed, like a fine meal or a piece of music. As the great painter Delacroix said, “The first virtue of a work of art is that it be a feast for the eyes.”