"Points of Departure" --Kay O'Rourke & Friends: Katie Creyts, Tom O'Day, Bradd Skubinna & Ken Yuhasz January 11 - February 2, 2013



The Art Spirit Gallery is proud to start our 2013 season with “Points of Departure” featuring Kay O’Rourke and Friends” Katie Creyts, Tom O’Day, Bradd Skubinna & Ken Yuhasz.  Join us for the Opening Reception on Friday, January 11 from 5-8.  Everyone is welcome!


Also join us in the gallery for an informal talk by the artists about their work starting at 1:00 on Saturday, January 12.


“POINTS OF DEPARTURE” -an overview by Kay O’Rourke

Three years ago now, my life took on a new form, I lost my father and found out my mother had Alzheimer’s. Being a narrative artist, this part of my life came into play. I, at the time, didn’t realize what an impact it would have on me and my siblings.

I always explore what is happening to me through my work. It helps me solve problems, chat about pretty things and chat about my everyday encounters with people or animals. I have always worked this way since I was first able to make marks. I have conversations with my life.

Thinking how Alzheimer’s is kind of like “the Jack in the Box”, you get a surprise when the lid pops open...it can be sad, disturbing, challenging and illuminating. The trickster figure through history and cultures reminds me a little of what happens with Alzheimer’s.

I decided to ask a few artists to join me, who I thought worked very much out of the proverbial box and could have a discussion on what I was feeling...”What happens if the box you open contains not what you expect but something that is life changing. What do you do with that information? How do you incorporate it into a life that already has a set course but it must change? You have no choice?

These artists thought I was putting them back in the box. Why was I surprised? We as a group (more or less) decided they would take some of my work and reconfigure it through their own unique vision. My story and my work became their “Point of Departure”.

Katie Creyts, through objects and installations splices fiction and reality together. She entangles fantasy with metaphorical shifts which create a dialogue with reality. She challenges the difference between these two concepts. Katie and I share the difficult stories of personal and/or familial vulnerability and frailty.

Tom O’Day’s work is about transition and constant flux. His work reflects the reality of our changing lives, occurring day-to-day and minute-to-minute. What we’re left with is the experience and memories (if we are lucky) of each episode of our lives. Transforming the objects and processes of earlier work, the “remains” become reintroduced in new formats denying the static nature of art while affirming the role of chance.

Bradd Skubinna sees his work as self-referential (about itself). He wants art that is beautiful, humorous, and somehow self evident. The art needs to be its own justification. Objects, materials or simple actions present themselves to him as possibilities for art making. The inspiration comes first and then he tries to locate its meaning. 

Ken Yuhasz, through his eclectic choice of materials evokes humor and whimsy. The viewer recognizes objects and then the play begins as they are transformed into something new and literally brighter. Ken attempts to build into his work “a renewed ignorance of the impossible”. Meaning he would like to remain ignorant of the unlikely, maybe not exactly impossible, juxtapositions of form and function that his work becomes through his building process. He is trying not to think whether or not the object will make any literal sense, but only resemble something that could possibly exist. Ken is widely known for his neon work. Recently his “Aer O Toaster”, an appliance of unusual size, was installed at the Spokane International Airport.

This show represents a group of artists, brought together by myself and they in turn take who they are and bounce it off me to new places of art making, that reflect only a conversation, a journey beyond me and themselves. It will be up to the viewer to decide where this collaboration takes them.      --Kay O’Rourke


About the artists:

Kay O’Rourke is a practicing painter living in Spokane WA, who currently shows with The Art Spirit Gallery. She has also shown nationally and internationally and is in several museum collections around the country.

Katie Creyts: Assistant Professor at Whitworth University, Spokane, WA. Katie is a member of the Saranac Art Projects Collective in Spokane and has shown in numerous exhibitions around the country.

Tom O’Day: Professor at Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane WA. Tom has had recent shows at the Jundt Museum, Whitworth College and Saranac Art Projects in Spokane. He has been showing in galleries for 30 years.

Bradd Skubinna: Instructor at Spokane Falls Community College and Whitworth University, Spokane WA. Bradd is a member of the Saranac Art Projects Collective in Spokane and shows at Francine Seders Gallery in Seattle.

Ken Yuhasz: Owner of Acme Glass Works, Design Studio, Spokane WA. Ken has shown at the Jundt Art Museum and Tinman Gallery, Spokane WA;The Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles CA; and the Reed Whipple Cultural Center, Las Vegas, NV.