The Collective by Robyn Johnsen: A Look into the Female Experience

The university’s current exhibit in the Cawein Gallery, The Collective, by Columbia Gorge artist Robyn Johnsen presents the experience of femininity through vibrant and dynamic paintings.

Personally, I find viewing art exhibits to be a relaxing experience and a great way to disconnect from the craziness of life. The quiet of the Cawein Gallery and the emptiness of the room allows one to focus solely on the artwork, making it a great place to experience the exhibit. 

Upon entering the gallery, one is greeted by large portraits of contemporary women accompanied by various animals. The paintings are composed of vivid blues, pale yellows, and warm oranges and reds. The brightness and warmth of the colors invites the viewer in to closely observe the details of the paintings. 

The art features many traditionally femine aspects, such as birds, dresses, and florals. However, the paintings are far from dainty. The strokes of the paint are defined and the women depicted do not carry themselves in a “proper” way. The women are often posed in various poses that are not the common ways of posing women in art. 

One could easily lose track of time as they observe each painting and derive their own meaning from it. I especially liked the pieces A Covey and A Singular because I loved the aesthetic choices of these paintings.

The Collective is an exhibit worth checking out. It is free and the current exhibit is available for viewing until November 11th. Jazmine Henning


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