Large-scale paintings, prints and drawings portraying the dramatic mountains of Oregon and Alaska will be on display in Greg Pfarr’s new exhibit at the Newport Visual Arts Center — “A Sense of Place in the Pacific Northwest.”

The exhibit opens this Saturday, March 7, and will have a public reception on Saturday, March 14, running from 2 to 5 pm and featuring a talk from Pfarr at 3 pm.

After being discharged from the army in 1968, Pfarr received his BFA in painting, drawing and printmaking and his MFA in printmaking and painting from Ohio State University. In 1980, he moved to Oregon with his wife and has since taught at a variety of post-secondary institutions, including Chemeketa Community College and OSU, but his primary commitment has been to his art.

“I am fortunate to own (or rather to a caretaker of) a Ray Trayle press,” Pfarr said, “and thus am able to print in my home studio.”

Besides work on Oregon’s Cascade Range and the high-altitude glaciers of Alaska, his other subject matter has included the urban-rural interface, burned forests, glaciated valleys and expansive skies.

Since 1990, Pfarr’s work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows nationally, including the Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Art Downtown Los Angeles and the First Street Gallery in New York City. His work is in the permanent collections of the China National Academy of Arts, the New York Public Library and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University, among other locations.

Pfarr’s work was recently honored by the Oregon Arts Commission with an exhibit at the Oregon Governor’s Office from August through September 2019, considered to be a lifetime achievement for artistic excellence. Some of the same works will be on exhibit at the Newport show.

Nature and wilderness have always been important to Pfarr, who has backpacked in the Cascades for decades, returning to his studio to complete his work. Many of his prints and paintings reflect this interest.

“I like to witness severe climate and landscapes, around six to eight thousand feet,” Pfarr said. “It’s almost a spiritual exploration. The forms of nature at that level can be quite varied, and they can be both abstract and realistic. I like to play off that tension.”

In recent years, Pfarr has also been able to make several trips to Alaska to gather subject matter for a series of paintings, prints and drawings focused on glaciers.

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“A Sense of Place in the Pacific Northwest” will be on display through March 29 in the Runyan Gallery of the Newport Visual Arts Center, 777 NW Beach Drive, available to view 11 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday.

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