The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents “Patterns & Texture: Ceramic works by Kristy Lombard,” in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artists Showcase (COVAS) at the Newport Visual Arts Center.
Lombard is exhibiting richly colored slab-built works, both decorative and functional, in shapes such as teapots, vessels and wall pillows.
The COVAS Showcase features mid-career artists living on the Oregon coast and rotates throughout the seven coastal counties, with Lombard representing Tillamook County. Her work will remain in display through July 27.
Lombard was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, spending most of her life in Oregon. Her experience with clay began in high school and continued on to the University of Oregon, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics in 2003. She has been teaching and selling her work professionally for the past 14 years and currently works out of her studio/gallery in downtown Tillamook, opened in 2018. Her work is characterized by its use of pattern, imagery, fine detail and bright colors. She creates her own stamps and rollers that are inspired by the Pacific Northwest.
“My environment is the source of inspiration for my work. Something as simple as a bird on a telephone wire or a tree in a park can spark my creativity,” Lombard said. “Patterns and textures from fabric or plant life inspire me to create tactile surfaces that fingers want to touch. Small details reveal the attention and care that goes into the design and crafting of each piece. Vibrant colors, fun textures, hand carved stamps and inspired text come together in clay to tell a story of the world that is around me.”
In Lombard’s slab-building process, every piece starts out totally flat. At this stage, she either moves her texture rollers across the surface or hand presses each stamp into the clay. After the surface is patterned to her liking, she picks up the slab and forms it into the desired shape. All of the glaze is hand-painted by the artist, and she uses a black stain to enhance textures. She paints with a small brush to bring out individual stamps and details. Some pieces have real gold highlights, which require a third firing.
Lombard’s work is represented by Imogen Gallery in Astoria, Art Elements Gallery in Newberg, Mossy Creek Pottery in Lincoln City and Crow Valley Pottery in Eastsound, Orcas Island, Wash. She received the Ceramic Showcase Bennet Walsh Award for surface design in 2018, as well the Ceramic Showcase Best of Show Award in 2014. She received the Anacortes Arts Festival Best of the Fest Award in 2016 and the Corvallis Fall Festival Best of Media (Ceramics) Awards in 2015 and 2016, among other awards and recognition.
Lombard is currently focused on showing her work at art fairs rather than in gallery exhibits, though her exhibit at the VAC will be followed by a show as the featured artist at The Hoffman Gallery in Manzanita this August. Further, she has shared her knowledge and has taught workshops for Georgies Ceramic & Clay, Portland Community College and the Lower Columbia Community College.
This spring, Lombard traveled with her husband to Croatia for adventure but also to visit and learn from the local clay artists. “Fortunately, I have the encouragement and support of a loving husband, two doggy mutts and one crazy cat,” Lombard writes on a recent blog post at www.kristylombard.com.
The COVAS Showcase is open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The Newport Visual Arts Center is located at 777 NW Beach Drive.