Artist Talk with Jean Behnke and Michael Peterson

SJIMA is pleased to present an Artists’ Talk with printmaker, Jean Behnke and sculptor, Michael Peterson on Saturday, November 4 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m as part of the current exhibition, Dialogues from the Forest: Part 3 – Rocky Outcroppings.  The talk is FREE for members and children under 18; $10 for non-members.

Jean Behnke creates prints by hand, both on and off-press, using a mylar matrix and natural materials from the environment as both tool and as inked surfaces for creating layered images.  Growing up in the densely forested Northwest, these places left their imprint on her early imagination and making Lopez her home for the last 26 years has shaped what she makes and how she makes it.  The role of accident, “seeing what the press has to say”, is welcomed; the results are strong, resonating images with beautiful inked surfaces. Jean will speak about her work trajectory, recent monoprints, and her wood and bronze sculptures which radiate the regenerative potential and inherent energy of nature.

Jean Behnke holds an MFA and her sculpture and print work have been reviewed in Art in America and Artweek.  Jean has exhibited in numerous solo shows from Bellingham, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, St. Louis, San Antonio, Odessa and Austin, Texas.  Her work is held in many public and private collections in the US.  Jean is represented by Smith & Vallee Gallery.

Michael Peterson uses a chainsaw as his primary carving tool, cutting and hollowing multiple forms from Pacific Madrone burl, then carving, gouging, sandblasting, hand sanding, waxing, staining, pigmenting and bleaching, after natural drying causes the wood to bend, curl, split and contract.  The larger forces in nature play an active role in each final work.  The works exhibit a profound reverence for nature and trust.  Nature is a partner in Michael’s work and the sculpture defines itself under his hands. His profoundly worked surfaces expose the clear kinship between artists, natural source and time. 

Introduced to wood in 1975, Michael Peterson has developed a body of work that has grown to include Evolution/Revolution, a traveling solo exhibition curated by the Bellevue Art Museum touring to a wide national audience; A Revolution in Wood at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and Craft Spoken Here at Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Michael’s work is in numerous private and public collections throughout the US and England. 

Northwesterners Jean Behnke and Michael Peterson, nationally known and widely acclaimed artists, reside on Lopez Island in the Salish Sea of Northwest Washington State.