This month, the Allied Arts Gallery at the Park in Richland will present “Black & White,” a new featured art exhibit from Mary Dryburgh and Ruth Allan. Dryburgh and Allan combined their unique talents for a beautiful monochromatic show. Though they work in different media — Dryburgh in print and Allan in porcelain — their respective art pieces share certain themes and characteristics, resulting in a diverse but unified collection.
Dryburgh and Allan have known each other for 20 years, and the Black & White show demonstrates their long involvement in the art world and in producing work with their respective materials.
For this exhibit, Dryburgh pulled black-and-white prints from her extensive body of work dating back almost 30 years. She has been using the techniques of woodcut and intaglio printing (or etchings, as they are more commonly known) since she was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin.
Dryburgh emphasizes the importance of her work’s narrative base and the stories that can be found even in abstract images.
“In my opinion,” Dryburgh says, “art is always about communication.”
Allan, a ceramic artist from Wenatchee, provides a complement to the prints with her own black-and-white porcelain vessels that display patterns similar to the line quality of Ruth’s prints.
The notion of monochromatic art has inspired Allan’s work for more than 50 years. She specializes in saggar firings, which result in rust, peach and black pieces, and Raku firings, a style of pottery that comes from eastern Asia and produces a flamboyant iridescence.
Though she celebrates this range of colors, Allan also says, “I find black and white nuanced in a way color can sometimes lack or obscure.”
Unlike the narrative threads that run through Dryburgh’s prints, Allan’s vessels are more abstract and do not contain any intentional stories. But, “I do like to inspire the viewer,” she adds.
The tones and patterns on Allan’s ceramics evoke a sense of mysticism that can also be found in the prints. Despite the clear differences in these two artists’ bodies of work, the Black & White show highlights the harmonious way the pieces come together.
Mary Dryburgh and Ruth Allan’s exhibit will be on display until March 24, and the reception will be held on March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.
On Mar. 18 and 19, the Gallery at the Park will be holding an adult workshop centered on basket weaving. Throughout the weekend, participants will be able to learn how to make remarkable projects using natural materials such as cedar, copper and willow bark.
This class is available to anyone, regardless of skill level. Even beginners will have the opportunity to learn good foundational skills in the art of basket weaving.
The class instructor, Judy Zugish, has been making baskets for many years, and you can learn more about her by visiting her website at twigtwisters.com.
The materials fee for the class is $120, payable at the time of the class. To register, stop by the Gallery at the Park on Lee Blvd. or register online at galleryatthepark.org.
Starting in March, Tenesha Shelby will be holding children’s classes once a month from 1 to 3 p.m. The topic for March will be mixed media portraits, and in April the topic will be watercolor with crayon resist painting. Visit the gallery for more information about the children’s classes.
The Gallery at the Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It’s at 89 Lee Blvd. near the entrance to Howard Amon Park in Richland, and you can visit online at galleryatthepark.org.