Avatars and Shapeshifters
Justin Gibbens

September 4 - 27, 2014

Opening Reception: 5 - 8pm
First Friday, September 5, 2014

Thirty-some odd years ago when he first began moving graphite on paper, Justin Gibbens was rendering the boyhood standards: dinosaurs, creepy crawlers and other freakish fauna. Apart from trading in his #2 pencil for a watercolor brush and a few tubes of paint, not much has changed in three decades. Lifting the conventions of classic zoological illustration, he paints curious images of a forgotten natural history. In his latest installment of watercolor illustrations, Gibbens looks to the East. In some cases he tips his hat to the eminent 18th Century bird-and-flower painter Ito Jakuchu’s Colorful Realm series, and embraces the tragic drama and pageantry that unfolds in this 30-scroll set. On a separate tangent, Gibbens spent 6 weeks in India earlier this year, and was captured by the drama and pageantry that plays out daily, palpably and ubiquitously in that vabrant and timeless country.

Gibbens received his BA from Central Washington University in 1998, a Scientific Illustration Certificate from University of Washington in 2003, and studied traditional Chinese painting for a spell in Hefei, China. He was the recipient of a 2006 Pollock-Krasner Award, a 2008 Artist Trust Fellowship Award and won 1st Place, Sixth Grade Level in the Color-A-Saurus Drawing Contest sponsored by the Pacific Science Center in 1988. He is a founding member of PUNCH and is represented by G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, WA and Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland, OR. He currently has work in A Contemporary Bestiary, a group exhibition at the Hallie Ford Museum in Salem, OR. Gibbens lives in bucolic Thorp, WA.

(artist link)

Noon-5pm Thurs-Sat,
or by appointment.

Next Exhibition:

New Members Exhibition
(more info)


Justin Gibbens
Raga (detail)
watercolor, ink on paper, 26" x 40", 2014