Between the constant observer and the ardent creator there lies one supreme truth, art is a tool of self discovery. Such verity attracts those whom travel too close to the art realm; who dip their feet in the waters but choose to stand upon the shore. Though artists Chris Claussen and Kenneth Hoving walked distinctive avenues in their lives they were destined to discover the same path. Influenced by unique expressive desires each artist set upon the creative course to share modes of history, experience and philosophy. Direct in method, Hoving's bronze casts exemplify the smooth, earnest narrative while Claussen prefers the less direct and most mysterious practice of abstract new media to convey his personal axiom; both artists command their media with absolute understanding.
Describing his creative process, Chris Claussen assures, "Nothing is off limits." Awarded for his fine art photography, commercial advertising and painting prowess, Claussen downshifted his life after fifteen years of devotion to commercial projects in order to focus on family and creative process; experimenting on a new body of work comprised of oil, acrylic, photography, pigment transfer, concrete and sculpture techniques. Chris began self training in the arts at age nine when he discovered a book on contour drawing in his school library. Continuing self taught discipline he later succumb to more formal training through high school and collegial studies further receiving private instruction from artist Kay Orr and photographers Sanford Mauldin, Keith Ball and Shevaun Williams. His current body of work, inspired by the Tao Te Ching and the Japanese concept of Wai-sabi, requires the viewer to look closely, be present and let go of preconceived notions wherein infinite possibilities are revealed through simplicity and beauty comes to life through imperfection. Claussen notes, "When I recognize a potential medium or combination of media, I set out to explore, educate, and experiment. These current works stem from my desire to combine my love for painting, photography and sculpture in a new and innovative way. The pigment transfer, a relatively new technique, is similar to Polaroid transfers on a larger scale and concrete is a beautiful medium that absorbs oil paint unlike any other surface. Due to the inherent imperfection in the process's of both, each piece takes on a life of its own, with unique challenges, opportunities and surprises. Adding these media to my palette allowed me to evolve my style to suite my visual interpretation of the essential, unnameable process of the universe." This June, Claussen will have over twenty of his emotive mixed media compositions on display for "Two Roads, One Path".
Hoving was born and raised in Western Washington in a small town of under 2000 people where he worked in the fields picking strawberries, raspberries, bush bean, and pole beans for summers from the age of six until he could do field work at age fifteen. Kenneth attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1952 and leaving in 1954 to join the army after deciding that his desires to go to graduate school would be better funded with the GI Bill at his back. While in service he was stationed in Germany as an Army medic where he married his fiancé in August of 1955. After the completion of his service tour Hoving finished his undergraduate work at Calvin and went to the University of Washington for graduate work receiving his master's degree in 1960 and PhD in 1962 in psychology. Dr. Kenneth L. Hoving began sculpting in 1997 when he was preparing to retire from the University of Oklahoma where he had served as Graduate Dean and VP for Research for both the Health Sciences Center and the Norman Campus. With retirement impending Hoving began sitting in on classes taught by renowned sculptor Paul Moore and was tutored by Moore, over a number of years, following retirement. His first works were commissioned pieces of individuals associated with the University of Oklahoma, including Savoe Lottinville, who was the Director of the OU Press, former OU president Paul Sharp, which current President David Boren commissioned for the Paul Sharp auditorium on the OU Campus. In addition, Hoving completed commissioned works of Julian Rothbaum, a former regent and JR Morris, former interim President of OU and its Provost for many years. Subsequently Dr. Hoving completed a 6 ft by 12 ft high relief commissioned privately for the Lynden Christian High School in Western Washington. Post the completion of early projects Dr. Hoving began to create narrative subjects of grand experience and historic importance. The artist attempts to capture the feelings of his subjects most of which exhibit a positive outlook on life. Hoving, who prefers to limit his bronzes to small editions of 15-25, will have twelve sculptural bronze cast on display for the June exhibit.
Paseo Originals Art Gallery will feature the new works of Chris Claussen and Kenneth L. Hoving in the exhibit "Two Roads, One Path", which will run June 1st through the 30th free and open to the public. The gallery will host an opening reception on June 1st from 6:00-10:00 PM during the Paseo First Friday Art Walk. The artists will be in attendance for the opening reception which will offer live music by Nate Laughlin, light hors d'oeuvres and libations by the evening's winery. On the following day, Saturday, June 2nd at 3:00PM, there will be an artists lecture in the gallery where the artists will discuss their respective creative processes. The exhibit, "Two Roads, One Path" will culminate with a cocktail closing reception to be held Saturday, June 30th from 6:30-9:00PM. The artwork on display for the early summer exhibition represents years of developed creative method and attendees are assured to experience emotive inspiration from the alluring visual display.