Make haste to the Emerald Art Center, where a solo show by a southern Oregon artist (plus paintings by center members) come off the walls on Aug. 25

(Above: Detail of “I like Dreaming,” one of Jacksonville artist Cammy Davis’ vividly colored paintings in her summer show at the Emerald Art Center.)

By Randi Bjornstad

Emerald Art Center director Paula Goodbar had wanted to feature Cammy Davis’ artwork in a show ever since she saw an exhibit of the Jacksonville artist’s work in Portland.

According to her artist’s statement, Davis grew up from second grade on with parents who “dropped out of society.”

“They traded our middle-class life for an Airstream travel trailer and three acres by the river in the woods,” she wrote. “(They) didn’t want to raise us in front of a TV, so we read books, raised animals and built sword fern teepees for entertainment. I learned early on to use my creativity to navigate my way through life.”

“Orange Poppies” is one of Jacksonville artist Cammy Davis’ paintings in a show at the Emerald Art Center

Davis studied fine art at the University of Idaho for two years, raised a family and then completed an interior design degree at Bellevue College in Washington. In addition to painting, she has been a jewelry maker and also creates art tutorials for YouTube.

“Cammy (Davis) has a wonderful aesthetic in her painting — she often listens to music when she paints and the rhythm shows up in her work,” Goodbar said. “Maybe for that reason, she uses a lot of song titles or lyrics as the titles of her paintings. I loved that idea.”

Davis’ show, which definitely evokes a sensation of summer, includes mostly very large abstract works augmented by several smaller ones. They have names such as “Sink or Swim,” “I Think About Summer” and “Everytime I think of You.”

Most are acrylic and texture on panel, but a few have the addition of pieces of sheet metal, affixed to the panel with screws that lend additional texture to the works.

“I really enjoy this show — it’s a little different from what we usually do, and the palette is wonderful,” Goodbar said. “People who see it are definitely intrigued.”

The gallery also has two other shows on the walls, one being the monthly exhibit of work by center members, and the other a grouping of artworks by a featured member.

“Woodpecker Yoga Pose” is one of Patti McNutt’s paintings in a show called “Birds”

This month’s featured member is Patti McNutt, with a display of large paintings of birds, among them a bluebird, seagull, chickadee and woodpecker.

“This exhibit, which I simply call ‘Birds,’ is an example of serendipity,” Goodbar said with a laugh. “Patti McNutt was here helping with intake for the member show, and just then I found out that two artists who had been on the schedule for the featured work said they didn’t have enough ready to show.”

McNutt told Good bar she had “a couple of bird paintings” she could bring in, “and I told her to bring as many as she wanted,” Goodbar said. “So she did, and I think this grouping is just so cool.”

McNutt, originally from Ohio, has lived in Oregon since 1985 and has been painting full-time for the past nine years. She works in a variety of media and styles, including plein air as well as teaching art workshops.

Emerald Art Center

When: Through August 25

Where: 500 Main St., Springfield

Gallery hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Information: 541-726-8595 or

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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