Tom Fawkes: Terra Cognita

Tom Fawkes is a highly regarded Portland painter who creates landscapes and wood constructions of the southern Mediterranean countryside. Based on photographs that he takes on his trips to Italy, the south of France and Spain, Fawkes' work captures the light, color, texture, and architecture of the southern Mediterranean landscape.

A major exhibition of the artist's work, "Tom Fawkes: Terra Cognita," opens June 12 and continue through Aug. 21 in the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. Organized by Director John Olbrantz, the exhibition features a range of landscapes and wood constructions created over the past 10 to 15 years, including a number of new works created specifically for the exhibition.

Fawkes received his BFA degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and his MFA degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. From 1972 to 2004, he was on the faculty at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, where he has earned a reputation as a popular and influential teacher. He has been featured in numerous one-person and group exhibitions over the past 30 years and is included in numerous public and private collections throughout the United States.

Since the late 1980s, Fawkes has created landscapes that capture the color, light, texture, and ambience of the Italian garden at a particular moment in time. At the same time, he has created wood constructions that explore the concept of architectural elements that frame or define a larger space. Here, architectural elements such as doors and windows open up onto lush gardens or green vistas beyond. As illusionistic tours de force, these works challenge the viewer to determine what is real and what is not.

Fawkes will present an illustrated slide lecture on his work Friday, June 11, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall; a preview reception to meet the artist will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. in the lobby downstairs.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Sunday and Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free and Tuesday is an admission-free day.

For further information, please call 503/370-6855.