Coming soon: Five local women artists join forces for a two-part show at the Maude Kerns Art Center

(Artwork shown above is “Weary of the Chaos” by Rebecca Mannheimer)

By Randi Bjornstad

Five Eugene-area women artists will come together in a month-long show at the Maude Kerns Art Center that opens Feb. 24.

Zoë Cohen's "Saltwater" is part of a show at the Maude Kerns Art Center from Feb 24 to March 24
Zoë Cohen’s “Saltwater” is part of a show at the Maude Kerns Art Center from Feb 24 to March 24

The art divides into two parts. “Beyond Language” features abstract works by Zoë Cohen, Suma Elan and Rebecca Mannheimer, who use layering techniques in their painting that allows for the incorporation of unexpected and unplanned, intuitive results.

The approach allows for “expression beyond words,” as Mannheimer puts it, revealing “a kind of storytelling and sense of history.”

On the “Unspoken” side of the exhibit, Soasey and Robinson collaborate to produce a show made up of found objects displayed via collage that tells — or at least implies — a variety of possible stories for viewers to interpret within them.

About the artists

Zoë Cohen — Cohen earned a bachelor’s of fine arts from the University of Oregon and has shown her work locally at Oregon Art Supply, the now-closed Jacobs Gallery, the Maude Kerns Art Center, the UO’s Erb Memorial Union and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, as well as galleries and museums in Portland, Philomath and out of state. She teaches at Oregon Art Supply.

Suma Elan's "Blue Line" is in a new show at Maude Kerns
Artist and therapist Suma Elan’s “Blue Line” is in a new show at Maude Kerns

Suma Elan — The artist uses art therapy in her private psychotherapy practice and has exhibited her own work throughout the Eugene-Springfield area, including solo exhibits at DIVA and the Eugene Public Library.  Her work also has been included in shows on the Oregon Coast and in Corvallis.

Rebecca Mannheimer — In addition to earning a bachelor’s of fine arts in painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Mannheimer has studied ceramics and graphic design at the UO. Her work was represented by the Blackfish Gallery in Portland in the mid-1980s and has been shown in many galleries in Eugene, including the Mayor’s Art Show, and throughout Portland.

Beth Robinson's "Rogue in the Badlands" is included in the five-artist show
Beth Robinson’s “Rogue in the Badlands” is included in the five-artist show

Beth Robinson — Book arts was Robinson’s emphasis in her bachelor’s of fine arts from the Oregon College of Art and Craft, and she also has an associate’s degree in specialized technology and visual communications from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. She has worked for years as a picture framer and paper restorer. The focus of her art is an examination of the process of bereavement. She has shown her work locally, throughout Oregon and in national shows, including a solo show at the Piacentini Studio and Gallery in Bend.

An assemblage called "Men in Hats" by Beverly Soasey is part of the "Upspoken" exhibit at the Maude Kerns Art Center
An assemblage called “Men in Hats” by Beverly Soasey is part of the “Upspoken” exhibit at the Maude Kerns Art Center

Beverly Soasey — Soasey studied graphic design at Lane Community College and fine arts at the UO and specializes in mixed media and assemblage with a focus on texture, pattern and color. Her work has been shown extensively, throughout Oregon as well as in New Jersey and New York. Soasey’s most recent show was at the Karin Clarke Gallery in downtown Eugene.

“Beyond Language” and “Unspoken”

When: Feb. 24 to March 24, with an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 24 and an Artists’ Talk featuring all five artists from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on March 16

Where: Maude Kerns Art Center, 1910 E. 15th Ave., Eugene

Gallery Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday during exhibits

Information: 541-345-1571 or online at

Randi Bjornstad

Has more than 30 years' journalism experience after a previous stint as a land-use planner. Got first rejection slip at age 11, but the editor wrote an encouraging note. Lives in Eugene, Ore., with husband-and-photographer Paul Carter, adorable dog Tallulah and quirky cats Pearl, Audrey, Garbo, Harry and Ozma.

randi has 175 posts and counting.See all posts by randi

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