Regis High School students and people in Stayton’s surrounding area may know Eric Loftin as a teacher in the Fine Arts department at school.
There will be an opportunity to become more familiar with Loftin-the-artist when he and fellow artists Debi Miller and Spencer Miller display their work during the Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Showcase: “Beyond the Surface,” opening June 2 at the Cannon Gallery of Art at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.
“The presentation of art to peers and to the public is the final step in the art-making process, and it is integral to the study of art,” said Paula Booth, director of the Cannon Gallery. “In this sense, it is vital that our BFA students see the exhibition of work as important as the making of the work … By completing the BFA program they have made a commitment to their art and to a creative life.
“They have worked so hard over the last year and their work shows it.”
Loftin’s favored genre is contemporary mixed media compositions that address texture, time, and nostalgia. His work incorporates a wide variety of materials including collage, paint, watercolor, ink, Conte Crayons and even ceramic.
“I value work that demonstrates an intuitive process of responding to the interaction of materials throughout a composition … This speaks of my connection to growing up in the Pacific Northwest, the spiritual qualities of natural forces, and the emotionally charged experiences of my life,” he said.
Loftin draws a relatively strict line when it comes to his own work principles and instills that in his pupils. He believes that a strong work ethic, a strong art vocabulary, and the capacity for critical thinking are the foundation of becoming a successful artist as well as a successful student.
“I act as an editor and mentor for the students, sure, but ultimately it’s their responsibility to do the work,” he said. “It’s really important to be self-motivated.”
After graduation he will continue teaching and encouraging young artists at Regis but will take a year off from his own studies to concentrate on assembling work for an exhibit next March at Portland’s Splendorporium, where he will be the featured artist. Loftin plans to pursue his Master’s degree the following year but otherwise the canvas remains fairly blank at this point.
“I think my wife and I may have different ideas about what will happen after that,” he said, amused. “We’ll approach those decisions when the time comes.”
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If you go
What: Western Oregon University BFA Thesis Showcase: “Beyond the Surface”
When: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, June 2 – 13. There will be an opening reception for the artists from 4:30 – 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 3.
Where: Cannon Gallery of Art, 345 N. Monmouth Ave., Monmouth
Contact: For further information, contact Paula Booth at (503) 838-8607, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Annette Utz