End Note May 2001

Lucinda Parker:
A Painter of Exuberance

by Nadine Fiedler '89
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When the Portland Art Museum recently finished its unprecedented expansion, it unveiled a new gallery of Northwest art. Prominent among their collection are works by Lucinda Parker '66.

"Lucinda is one of the region's most important visual artists, with an evolving style and consistent vision," wrote Willamette Week in February 2001. Parker is an exuberant painter whose colorful abstract works are immediately recognizable and whose paintings have been incorporated into many public sites in the region. She is represented in Seattle by the Linda Hodges Gallery, which presented a solo show of her work in February.

Parker's work was also chosen for the Portland Art Museum's 2001 Oregon Biennial, a prestigious exhibition that focuses on a small number of artists who represent the current important movements and the state of art in Oregon. Her artwork has been in several biennials, a testament to her importance to the state's art community.

The museum held a mid-career retrospective of Parker's works in 1995. Art critic Randy Gragg wrote in the Oregonian that she is "peerless in her glee for what she does, in her catholic fascination with the visual world, and in the steel will of her focus. . . . Though movies are now our grandest cultural expression, she still strives to make painting a big event, fusing the macho performance of making capital-A Art with intimate, feminist psychological symbolism."

Prudence Roberts MALS '98, formerly the curator of American art at the museum, wrote in the show's catalogue that "She is an abstract artist who is as comfortable discussing the content of her work as its formal qualities; a painter who loves the act of painting and the lush physicality of her medium, yet calculates the effect of each individual stroke. . . . Parker's formidable intellect and fund of knowledge about such diverse subjects as architecture, botany, music, poetry, and a host of other topics invariably find their way into her work, through the use of titles, symbols, or both."



Lucinda Parker in her studio, January 2001. Large painting in background, Ledge & Swamp (acrylic on canvas), measures 12' x 5'.



Parker is an associate professor in painting and drawing at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she received a dual degree with Reed (PNCA was then called the Museum Art School). "The first two years of my education at Reed were priceless," she said. "I look back on my experience with Lloyd Reynolds as my adviser as being quite special." She later earned an M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute.

To view Parker's painting Avid Diva, visit the Portland Art Museum. Other images of her work are on the Linda Hodges Gallery site.



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