Beneath the Surface

Virtual Exhibition

Beneath the Surface

The Artwork of Rebecca Crowell, Allan Servoss, & Bruce Warren

Virtual exhibition on view July 17, 2020

Bold imagery, large swaths of land, and contrasting structures are explored in this exhibit featuring three artists of regional and national renown. 

There is a solitude in this work, a quiet world. In the light and shadows of the city scapes that photographer, Bruce Warren, captures with his antiquated view camera, one wonders, where are all of the people? In the saturated colors and fine details of Allan Servoss’s landscapes one could imagine themselves enjoying some alone time. In Rebecca Crowell’s own words, she describes a “duality of intimacy and vastness in the landscape.”

We have time and space to explore.

Rebecca Crowell
For me, painting is a way to process meaningful experiences, a path to discoveries, and an attempt to connect in a personal way with those who appreciate my work. Certain moments and impressions seem to capture an essence of a place, time, or feeling. Accessing these memories leads to my abstract vocabulary of color, texture, line and shape. While my work is highly personal and linked to my own experiences, I hope that it also expresses a more universal connection to nature and to our humanity. For years, experiences in wild, rugged landscape have been the primary sources of my imagery. Abstracting from this kind of landscape has taught me what I most want my paintings to be—strong yet nuanced, bold yet intricate, and possessing a quiet, contained energy. My sources have expanded now to include architectural references and objects as well as purely abstract elements. I’ve been painting professionally for over 30 years and remain challenged and energized by my process. My primary medium is oil paint mixed with cold wax medium, but I also enjoy printmaking, drawing, and water-based media. I work with a balance of spontaneity and careful editing, moving back and forth from intuitive flow to thoughtful analysis.

Rebecca Crowell is an abstract painter known for rich, complex surfaces created with cold wax medium and oils. She has been a practicing, professional artist for 35 years and is represented by numerous galleries in the US and in Dublin, Ireland. Her work is included in hundreds of art collections--private, public, and corporate. Rebecca has been teaching workshops in the use of cold wax medium since 2009 in the US, and internationally since 2012, and is co-author of the award-winning Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations (Squeegee Press, 2017). Participating in international artist-in-residence programs has been an important source of inspiration for her work. In 2013, she was awarded a Fellowship at Ballinglen Arts Foundation in County Mayo, Ireland and has returned there to paint and teach each year since. She has also been awarded artist residencies in Spain, Sweden, Portugal, and the US. Rebecca and her husband Don have a home near Osseo, Wisconsin and one in northern New Mexico.
Allan Servoss

After years of working on location, I found that going to the studio and working from memory and imagination was giving me greater freedom.  I often have no preconceived ideas, starting with a unifying, broadly applied color and then let things happen.  Any particular piece may go through many starts and stalls until an image both in my mind and on the paper (or hardboard in the case of a painting) begins to emerge.  The resulting images are a union of actual places woven together with places I’d like to see addressed to myself and to whom it may concern.

I’ve been working at drawing and painting for the the past 40+ years going back and forth between watercolor, casein, colored pencil and acrylics.  I’ve been fortunate to be exposed to a few fine artist /instructors and have had encouragement from other artists and my wife, family and friends over the years.  Any success I’ve had is attributable to those relationships.

Bruce Warren

It has been forty- seven years since I decided to seriously pursue the art and craft of photography. Most of my work over the past twenty- seven plus years has alternated between landscapes, architecture, and abstraction. The photographs presented here are a part of an ongoing study of places and things found in and around Eau Claire, Wisconsin. While most of the subject matter is architectural in nature, my intent is not to produce a traditional architectural rendering. Rather, it is the lines, textures, shadows, reflections, and curious details that I tend to emphasize and at times decontextualize the image to the point of abstraction.

These photographs were made on 4x5 black and white negative film and exposed through a view camera. I like using a view camera because it forces me to slow down and carefully consider whatever is in front of my lens. Additionally, I appreciate the amount of control over the perspective and the depth of field the camera affords me. All my negatives are developed and printed onto photographic paper in my traditional darkroom. Once I have decided how the final image should look, I limit the number of prints to no more than six. 

When I was 19 years old, a friend of mine’s father exposed me to photography. I was a little filmy on the particulars at first, but after a while with Leica in hand; I started to filter out the aberrations and get a fix on the art and science of photography. In sharp contrast to my undergraduate experience at the University of Maine Portland-Gorham, my development as a photographer came to a sudden stop when I entered the Sociology PhD program at Washington State University. However, one of the highlights of my time at WSU was coming in contact with my future wife, Margaret Cassidy. While teaching sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, my latent interest in photography was replenished, prompting me to take photography classes at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. At UW-Stout my depth of the field of photography was greatly enlarged. I explored a wide range of techniques and processes, including black & white film and color transparency developing and printing, posterization and solarization. However, it was the introduction to large format view cameras that registered with me the most and set me on my life course in photography. Since then I have dedicated myself (almost) exclusively to using 4x5 view cameras.

Early on I was doing both color and black and white photographs, but one day I took stock of my images and made a resolution to do one or the other for the next year. Relying on the toss of a coin, I focused on black & white with renewed intensity and never looked back.   Around 1988, I decided to “go pro”, splitting my time between teaching sociology and doing photography. Since then, I have exhibited my work extensively with other photographers and artists and have had a number of solo exhibitions.   In May, 2000, I stepped down from my day job of teaching sociology to focus full time on photography.

Interested in purchasing a work art?

Interested in a work of art exhibited in one of our virtual galleries or exhibits? It may be available for purchase. To purchase a work of art, contact Rose, our Visual and Literary Arts Manager.

All artwork pricing is set by the artist and is non-negotiable and non-refundable. All artwork sales are by commission with Pablo Center at the Confluence. Your purchase supports our endeavors to present quality visual arts programming that is free and open to the public.

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