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This content was published: February 9, 2020. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Parallel Exhibitions: Meghan Hedley “Elemental Meditations” and Matthew Sproul “Brighter Worlds”

Cascade Paragon Gallery

details of works by Meghan Hedley and Matthew Sproul

(left) Meghan Hedley, detail of 100 Meditations, 2019, acrylic, oil pastel, marker, pen, pencil on unstretched canvas, 96” x 180”. (right) Matthew Sproul, Westmoreland, 2018, pencil, marker, and collage, 11” x 14”.

Elemental Meditations by Megan Hedley
Brighter Worlds by Matthew Sproul


  • Beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020,  the Paragon Arts Gallery will be closed temporarily. We look forward to opening our doors later this Spring with the Paragon Arts Annual 2020 Student exhibition (dates to be determined).
  • Exhibition Dates: February 19 – March 21, 2020
  • Opening Reception for both exhibitions and Artist Talks: Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 4 – 8 pm, 6 pm artist talks
  • Artist-Led Drop-In Creative Workshop by Meghan Hedley: Saturday, March 14, 2020, 1 – 4 pm
  • Gallery Hours:
    • Wednesdays – Fridays, 12 – 7 pm
    • Saturdays, 12 – 5 pm

Paragon Arts Gallery at PCC Cascade presents two parallel exhibitions: Elemental Meditations by Meghan Hedley in our West Gallery and Brighter Worlds by Matthew Sproul in our East Gallery. Visual and interactive, the exhibitions offer paintings and drawings in eye-popping bright colors with shapes, symbols, and marks to delight the psyche. Please join us for an opening reception on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, from 4 – 8 p.m. with talks by both artists beginning at 6 p.m.

Public programming continues with a “Creative Workshop” led by Meghan Hedley on Saturday, March 14, 2020 from 1 – 4 p.m. Drop in and experiment with drawing materials and processes with prompts led by the artist. The meditative activities are geared for adults and children.

All events are free and open to the public.

Elemental Meditations by Megan Hedley

Megan Hedley offers an interactive visual inquiry into the interrelation of the creative process, healing, and the elements in the Paragon’s West Gallery. This installation is shaped by studies of ancient and modern medicine, inspired by attention to the natural world, and built with a language of painting, color, and mark-making.

Hedley writes,

I observe patterns and rhythms within nature and the inseparability of the body and mind. I carry this consideration of natural balance and homeostasis, attending to the timing, cycles, colors, chaos, celebration and order that the natural world holds. I parallel and connect these cycles of nature to the human body-mind, considering both the external and internal landscape, and exploring this in an embodied way in the studio. My work is a form of abstract landscape of both the person and the natural world, a colorful celebration and an attentive contemplation of aliveness.

Each work has been painted alongside my attention to nature and the elements, including my studies into healing modalities in ancient and modern medicine. These modalities demand presence and attention to detail and to the surface and depth of the body, and require me to tune into the mysteries below the surface and the complexities of the human being. I ask, where is health already present within the body? How might we wake the body up enough for it to access its own innate potential to heal? How might stillness and presence provide transformation at a physical and mental/emotional level?

Much like the human form, the final compositions of a painting are only possible because of the complex layers of narrative, line, texture, depth, and color below, necessary to the integrity of the piece but not always obviously seen when the work is finalized. My studies and my studio practice are inseparable, and I intend to create an expansive gallery experience that also alludes to these two processes. Both the act of creating a painting and the act of pursuing healing and equilibrium are defined by complex and mysterious compositions. In painting and healing modalities, subtlety and slow and careful observation can be both profound and powerful, however these experiences usually also entail some version of chaos, intensity, a sense of being stuck, and potential perseverance.

The physical, mental, emotional space are connected, layered, and sewn together as a tapestry of the human- the light, the dark, the elation, the challenge, the sorrow, the joy. I am interested in activating the felt sense, a sensory awareness of one’s experience that relates to the elements of the natural world- wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Elemental Meditations invites inquiry and participation into these questions from the attendees.

My paintings are layered and nuanced, following the natural sequences and elements of landscape as a path toward wholeness; the development and evolution of a person also carries such nuance and layer. Celtic writer John O’Donohue wrote, “beneath the frantic streams of thought, the quieter, elemental nature of the self takes over and calms our presence.” I hold these words close at the heart of this interactive exhibit, a space where the elements, healing, and art interweave. 

About the artist:

Meghan Hedley is an interdisciplinary painter, installation artist and health practitioner integrating her current studies of ancient and modern healing modalities with her art practice. Raised in Southern California and influenced for 31 years by the vast landscape of the west, inspired especially by the desert and the sea, she has lived all over the Inland Northwest and the Pacific Northwest, and currently reside in Portland. She received an MFA from Washington State University (2013), and degrees in Fine Arts and Philosophy from George Fox University (2010). She has been an active researcher of healing on local and global levels for the past ten years, and is now a practitioner of Craniosacral Therapy. Currently, she is four years into graduate studies of East Asian Medicine, including acupuncture, herbs, and bodywork. 

Hedley spends her time as a painter, a health practitioner, a creative travel and landscape researcher, an adjunct professor of art, and a teacher of creative workshops and lectures in both art and medicine. Her mission is to advocate unique approaches to care, healing and creative living. Hedley’s favorite activity is road-tripping and exploring with Bette, her very old and rambunctiousness beagle.


IG: @meghanehedley

Brighter Worlds by Matthew Sproul

Matthew Sproul offers visitors a celebration of color, shape and light in a collection of mixed media drawings in the Paragon’s East Gallery. Sproul meticulously draws and collages his works, and references our constructed world in its shapes and grids. Using easily available materials like felt-tip pens in vibrant colors, he hopes to bring beauty, balance, and harmony that is accessible to all viewers.

Sproul feels strongly about creating beautifully colored images as a political statement to defy despair. He embraces rational design and the logic of geometry to address our cultural moment. He says, “We typically live in rectilinear spaces and move about on grid-organized roads. In this exhibit, I am focused on recognizable forms in bold color rendered in simple, widely available materials. In each of these ways, the pieces are accessible, and, I hope, entertaining to all.”

Brighter Worlds by Matthew Sproul is featured in the OregonLive Winter preview: “8 art exhibits to bring a touch of beauty to this Portland winter

About the artist:

Matthew Sproul attended the University of Oregon from 1984-1987 prior to moving to Portland in 1988 where he has since resided. He has exhibited his work in galleries across Oregon, including Gallery 101 in Portland, Lunaria Gallery in Silverton, and the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg.

About Paragon Arts Gallery:

Paragon Arts Gallery is an educational showcase committed to exhibiting work of high artistic quality. Our versatile gallery is located at 815 North Killingsworth, at PCC’s Cascade Campus. Mindful of our role as a member of the Humboldt community, we are especially committed to engaging community members in our space.