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The First Writing, a Drawing Invitational Exhibition

Rock Creek Helzer Gallery

Figure in Landscape

Michael Southern, Figure in Landscape, 2017, Charcoal, gesso and ink on paper, 7 x 7”

  • Exhibition on view: October 8 – November 1, 2018
  • Opening reception: Wednesday, October 31, from 12 to 1pm

The Helzer Gallery at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus is pleased to present The First Writing. This show is a comprehensive exhibition of drawings curated by PCC Art Instructor Mark Andres.

The statement by Marjane Satrapi, “The first writing by the human being was drawing,” inspired Curator Mark Andres to conceive of The First Writing exhibition. It was Andres’ intention to bring together a diverse group of artists for whom “drawing remains a primal means of communication: one parallel to written language, but a preverbal one which ties these artists to the ancestral caves and to the mysteries of looking before the world was named.”

The artists invited to show their work in The First Writing are a range of local artists, Portland Community College instructors, and artists from throughout the world. They are united by a “common love of drawing,” and “share common desire to communicate not with words, numbers, bits or photos, but with objects made directly by human hands,” according to Andres.

Participating artists include:

Charles J. Andres

Jane Andres

Mark Andres

Thomas Barron

Amy Bay

Carol Beckerman

Richey Bellinger

Jason Berger

Ben Buswell

Shelley Chamberlin

Donna Cole

Dean Cornwell

Julie Davis

Carson Ellis

William Dyas Garnett

Pamela Green

George Johanson

Kevin Kadar

Patrick Kelly

Ken Kewley

Una Kim

Elizabeth Knight

Chris Knight

Gabriel Liston

Joseph Mann

Michael McGovern

Charles McGraw

Will Moss

Jack Portland

Mylan Rakich

Mary Beth Roundbliss

Petra Sairanen

Marie Sivak

Michael Southern

Michael Stawarz

Phyllis Trowbridge

Morgan Walker

Harry Widman

Mateo Zachai


I hope the range of the exhibition, which includes depiction, invention, diagram, abstraction, materiality, and narrative, offers the viewer a sense of the diversity of perceptual and conceptual tools at the heart of what we identify as drawing. Andres