PORT TOWNSEND — Northwind Art Best Gallery presents “Folding Space” with paintings by Jeanne Toal and sculpture by Randal Leek.
The exhibit opens today at the gallery at 701 Water St., Port Townsend, and extends through June 27. Hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday though Monday.
Both artists work within the abstract, organizers said. Toal’s paintings are created with oil paint, gold leaf and mixed media; Leek’s sculptures feature the “tactile intimacy” of wood and stone.
Leek, a Washington state native, creates abstract sculptures with precise edges contrasting with the untouched roughness of weathered forms often found on the shores of Puget Sound and in the forests of the Cascades.
“My sculptures are intended to have an element of intimacy; to be touched and lived with,” he said.
“They don’t intentionally express some aspect of the human condition, other than a kind of wonder.”
Leek lived and worked overseas for more than 25 years in humanitarian assistance including Sudan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Albania, India, Pakistan and most recently in Afghanistan.
He has been the featured artist in Yakima Magazine, and his sculptures have been exhibited in the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and in galleries in Edmonds, La Conner, Ellensburg, Cannon Beach, Yachats and Yakima, where he now lives.
He received a master’s in engineering degree from Washington State University.
Toal talks about her painting journey as an expression of the power of healing.
“One way I’ve tried to tap into the mystery of life is through the world of healing. What heals? What is healing?”
These questions propelled Toal through an early career in painting, a deep dive into medical writing, a decade working with mentally and physically ill individuals living without homes, another as a body therapist in hospitals and hospices, five years in a refugee resettlement program and now, again, painting full-time.
“The paintings in this exhibition are the result of recent investigation into liminal states. Each painting carries a history of accumulated layers and discovery,” she said.
“I use my hands as much as my brushes to apply oil paint, metal leaf and other media. Several paintings include the color indigo, once one of the world’s most valued pigments and understood to be connected to the mystical.”
The artists will get together for an online discussion at 7 p.m. June 16.
They will talk informally about their work, their influences, their inspiration and their processes. Viewers are encouraged to bring questions.
The online Zoom event is free, but registration is required at NorthwindArt.org.