Opening Reception: October 3, 6 - 8 pm
First Thursday Reception: October 4, 6 - 8pm
Portland-based artist Mark Palmen creates experiential, elaborate artworks including holographic light installations, large scale sculptures and hand-sewn creations. Palmen’s visual works are influenced by his diverse interests ranging from art history and fashion to metaphysical investigations surrounding the cosmos. On view in the gallery will be his latest body of work, a collection of intimately sized embroideries which explore the artist’s musings on intergalactic communication.
Palmen considers his series of glimmering artworks as “beacons”; metaphorical human touchstones within a vast universe. Although his works are imbued with layers of meaning, the artist subverts notions of sentimentality in favor of open-ended considerations.
Palmen’s lustrous obsidian beads intermingle with thin strands of woven gold and silver embellishments which sparkle and mirror the surrounding movement and light, and his quietly dazzling embroideries highlight an intuitive material process balanced by thoughtfully restrained formalism.
Mark Palmen earned his MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR and his BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL. Revered fashion designer Vivienne Westwood was a major influence and mentor, who hired him as her personal assistant after he graduated. Palmen later became Director of Public Relations for the Westwood brand in New York, NY. He worked in the fashion industry for years before returning to his art practice. In 2004, Palmen created his own company whose philosophy centered on the blending of art and fashion through events, public relations and creative direction.