ASTORIA — The term “renaissance man” describes a person with many talents in a wide range of disciplines.
It’s an accurate term to describe Linley Logan, a Bremerton, Washington, multidisciplinary contemporary artist whose work covers a broad spectrum: printmaking, carving, painting, sculpting and more.
Logan brings his work to a new exhibit at Clatsop Community College Royal Nebeker Art Gallery this spring.
Titled “Indigenous Intrinsic Manifestations,” the show runs Thursday, April 13, through May 11 — with a workshop scheduled for Wednesday, May 10 — and gives North Coast art enthusiasts a chance to experience the depth of some truly original work.
Logan grew up in the Tonawanda Seneca Nation in New York, which is part of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy.
He is always moving, always creating.
“The act of creativity is more than visioning the creative,” Logan says. “It’s also being conscientious to follow through with your creative mind’s eye when your creative interpreted vision is insightful.”
His artistic training resume includes attending the Rochester Institute of Technology for Industrial Design and Fine Art in Rochester, N.Y., and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M.
The author of several articles published by the Smithsonian Institution, Logan has presented cultural program presentations for the Smithsonian Institution, authored articles on Haudenosaunee social dance traditions, served as a grant reviewer for national and regional arts organizations, and founded and directed a Cultural Retention Program in his Tonawanda Seneca community.
His interests and creations also span a wide range of geography and cultures: he participated by invitation in International Indigenous Visual Artists’ Gatherings in Hawaii 2007, and Rotorua, New Zealand in 2010.
His upcoming show at CCC is a reflection of his own Seneca heritage.
“I’ve done a number of shows throughout the years titled ‘Intrinsic Manifestations,’” Logan says. “Each show is drawn from a core of fundamental cultural values, specifically Seneca oral traditions.”
Those traditions envelop a worldview concept of humans’ relationship with the natural world.
He points out that the majority of cultures share the Seneca belief that nature is a life-giving force, something that led him to form a strong bond with the Hawaiian people and their culture.
“People everywhere reference the wind, they reference the rain, they speak of the natural world as a living thing,” Logan says.
The ‘happenstance’ of printmaking
A perfect example of the evolution of Logan’s work is his passion for printmaking, a skill that evolved through what he calls “happenstance.”
While taking a printmaking workshop at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center in Washington in 2005, Logan met a Hawaiian woman who taught at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
During the course of the weeklong workshop, Logan seized every opportunity available to chat with her about indigenous artists and their work; specifically, how to teach these artists art.
“It was a valuable experience,” he says.
His interest and skills made an impression.
At the end of the workshop, Logan heard of an International Indigenous Visual Arts Gathering being held in Hawaii in 2007.
The woman he had spent so much time chatting with at the printmaking workshop was on the committee that selected artists for the event.
In a nutshell, she told Logan that while the committee hadn’t formally decided on who to choose, all he had to do was submit four slides and he’d be in.
“That printmaking workshop was the first time I’d made a print in 20 years,” he said. “I went home and told my wife that I had to start doing artwork right then and there.”
Once he was selected, Logan originally thought to send a large painting to the gathering as part of his exhibit.
Once he discovered the costs associated with shipping it there and back again, he made a practical decision and went with prints.
“It’s an anecdote you hear from many artists at these gatherings, it’s just cost-prohibitive,” he says. “I literally didn’t want to pay or pack something too large.”
‘Time and depth’
Clatsop Community College is understandably thrilled to be hosting an exhibition by Logan.
Printmaking instructor Miki’ala Souza, printmaking instructor at CCC, credits ceramics teacher Rich Rowland with getting the ball rolling for Logan’s show.
“Richard is always conscious of including artwork by indigenous artists at the gallery,” she says.
Souza, who has worked at CCC for about a year, regularly attends shows at the Royal Nebeker Art Gallery on campus and is excited to see others embrace Logan’s work.
“This show is special in that it’s the first solo show by a contemporary, indigenous artist,” she says.
Souza adds that because Logan works in so many different mediams, the show will offer attendees a glimpse at how he works in each.
She also thinks people will appreciate the depth of Logan’s efforts and the disparate stories they tell.
“When I look at Linley’s work, I see elements of cultural heritage and stories,” she says. “But also some political issues, humor, and of course beauty. And he always manages to show time and depth in his prints.”
Logan enjoys seeing people’s reactions to his work, but understands it’s all about perspective.
While he doesn’t always agree with those who view art as political expression, he doesn’t discourage the notion.
“I don’t necessarily assert anything specific,” he says of his work.
When not participating in shows, Logan keeps applying his vast artistic repertoire toward his life’s work.
But with so many irons in the fire, does he have time to indulged a favorite?
“Probably painting,” he says. “Unfortunately, I don’t often have the uninterrupted block of time to paint that I’d like to.”
Still, being a busy artist has plenty of benefits.
“I am very fortunate to have these talents and enjoy all the mediums I can get my hands on,” he says. “It’s the art of life and a life of art.”
For information on Linley Logan’s upcoming exhibit at CCC, visit www.clatsopcc.edu/community/ccc-royal-nebeker-art-gallery or email Miki’ala Souza at firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard Rowland at email@example.com.