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Carla Cope and Erik Larson Exhibit, May 2019

May 3 Artist Talks

Carla Cope, painter

Carla Cope’s new exhibition of paintings, The Shadowline’s Daughter, is inspired by events, moments and memories of life lived in Homer Alaska. Carla was born in Homer, grew up fishing with her dad on the F/V Shadowline and studied art from a young age. She earned her BFA at Oregon College of Arts and Craft in Portland Oregon in 2003. She lived and painted in Oregon, Wisconsin, and California before returning to Homer to raise a family with her husband Dan.

Statement: The Shadowline’s Daughter

“The Shadowline’s Daughter is a collection of fragments of experience made precious through the act of making, gathered together to tell a story. It’s about what nurtured and sustains me: fishing, farming, and family, and my personal relationship to home and tradition. I draw from the scenes, colors and patterns I encounter and I’m interested in connecting to our collective experience of our local landscape and lifestyle.

I grew up in Homer in a fishing and skiing family, valuing art, creativity, history and individualism. I’ve lived and traveled in Oregon, Wisconsin, California and Mexico. When my husband Dan and I moved back to Alaska after years Outside, Homer seemed both wonderfully familiar and refreshingly new. I asked, “What can I offer this place, and what can it offer me?” I looked toward the mountains, out at the ocean and up at the sky. I closed my eyes and saw my brown fishing boots on the turquoise deck of the F/V Shadowline. I saw the intense, wild colors of the forests and hills where I love to walk. And then I began to paint.

When I paint, I get ideas out quickly and intuitively. I can transform a blank canvas into a sort-of-almost-done painting within a few hours, but then I need to look at it for a long time. I will look at it for days, weeks, months. I’m unconsciously solving the puzzle of the painting and waiting for that beautiful moment of knowing where to go next. Experimenting and revising is a crucial element of my process. I’m usually working on two, three or four paintings at any given time, in various stages. I’m always striving to resolve the painting while honoring the freshness and freedom of the first sketch. I love to play with this tension and I will often revisit the same imagery with this in mind.

I fiercely believe in the power of art to transform lives because it has transformed mine, over and over again. I tell my two daughters that I never expect them to be perfect, but I expect them to be curious, to try, to feel, to learn, and to always be open to change. I am driven by the need to create and am in touch with my truest self when I’m painting.

The Shadowline’s Daughter is dedicated to my family, whose acceptance, support and courage made this body of work possible. Many thanks to Bunnell Street Arts Center for your vision and belief.”

Erik Larson, potter


“Warmth fills each morning after a hot brew is transformed by the vessel which contains the promise of the day’s beginning. What do you call a friend? What draws you to them and how do you stay friends over time? Does hardship pull you together or is it history? Do tenuous circumstances inundate the existence of truth and solidify sustainability? I strive to create a vessel that you reach for each day, the one that you place in the front of the cupboard, ready for action.”

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