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Art next to the new MAX line: Gideon Street Studios

by: RITA A. LEONARD - Gideon Street Studios, just north of Powell Boulevard, provides work and exhibit space for four local artists. The creative quartet, from left: Todd Sargood, Eric Boyer, Jacob Ryder, and Anton Pavlenko. “Gideon Street Studios”, a collaborative work and exhibit space at 1212 S.E. Gideon Street, between Powell and Clinton and just east of Milwaukie Avenue, nurtures the diverse talents of four Inner Southeast artists.

The studio provides creative work space for a wire sculptor, two oil painters, and a furniture maker. Working separately in the same space, these artists’ media challenge each other with new perspectives on the creative process.

Metal fabricator Eric Boyer learned to work with woven steel wire mesh in a Vermont blacksmith shop. While experimenting with the material, he began transforming it into three-dimensional shapes and artistic vessels, showcasing its unusual translucency, shadows, and moire patterns. Starting with human forms in high relief, he progressed to fabricating sculptures in-the-round, fashioning airy creations that hang independently or rest on display surfaces. These sculptures express both form and depth with their abstract rendering of linear qualities.

Anton Pavlenko, who immigrated from the Ukraine as a child, has enjoyed creating landscapes in oils since he was a teen. He focuses on trees and waterways, rendering a sense of the landscape's moods along with their shapes. He is constantly inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and enjoys painting the world around him in a balance of color and form.

Furniture-maker Jacob Ryder exercises his sense of modernism and minimalist artistry with a variety of handmade furniture made of glass, steel, wood and reclaimed materials. He produces two lines of furniture: Saint Furniture and J. Ryde Visuals. Saint Furniture combines industrial steel lines with the beauty of colored glass, lending a classic modern touch to chairs, beds, and other accessories. J. Ryde Visuals creates chairs from recycled skateboards and snowboards, and designs custom retrofit cargo bikes and freakbikes. “I call them ‘rolling sculptures’ or ‘rideable art’,” he says.

Todd Sargood, who received his MFA in painting and drawing at the State University of New York, focuses on contemporary abstract paintings. “I am a painter, installation artist, and coordinator of the Habitat for Artists West project,” he comments. “We install small, temporary artist studios out in the community so the public can interact with working artists.”

These four artists have a deep appreciation of the creative process, and enjoy comparing each others’ work in a quest to inform and expand their own talents. Their gallery/studio, which faces a changing landscape of MAX light rail construction, has been featured in the SE Artwalk. Each artist has his own workspace at the studio, with a street-front gallery where visitors can view the output of their varied talents.

The artists recently expanded their open hours to 12-5 pm, or by appointment. They regularly rotate their own and others’ artwork in the gallery to expose a thought-provoking array of styles. Contact them, or preview their work, online at: www.gideonstreetstudios.com