A6, also known as Atelier 6000, opened in its new space on Industrial Way in January and the finishing touches to the open gallery and studio space are still underway. Dawn Boone, executive director, oversees the exhibits, art education, art history and workshops at A6. She's looking forward to the colossal interior doors and skylights that are arriving soon for the creative space.
Boone stands next to a large blue wheel that catches the eye between the forward gallery area and the aft studio. The press is central to A6's focus on book arts and printmaking, including monotypes, etching and collagraphs, which are a result of ink or pigment applied to a collage.
A6 is an active studio with 20 local artists who create and show work, along with visiting artists, workshops, school programs and curated exhibits. It's also a favorite First Friday stop known for monthly exhibits with tremendous variety. On Feb. 5, artist Dawn Emerson will demonstrate how the press is used during the gallery's First Friday event. A selection of her work will be on display behind the press.
Boone will soon begin curating an upcoming show featuring three centuries of Japanese prints to open later in 2016. This show, from a private collector, is a rare opportunity to see work from Japan that straddles a time when the country opened its doors to the west. "Some artists in Japan began embracing western inks, while others rejected that and continued to use vegetable dyes, which are very fragile," says Boone. "We are going to have careful safeguards, including heavy black curtains, to protect the art," says Boone. "It's an honor to be
entrusted with these works," she adds. The show will be in partnership with One Breath Poets, Deschutes Public Library and the Central Oregon Community College Visiting Scholars program.
The 2,000 square feet that A6 occupies is intended to be very inclusive and to this end, artists are able to join and use the space for $80 per month. "Artists tend to get isolated," says Boone. There is no application process, but artists need to be self-sufficient, she says.
A juried exhibit, "Mt. Bachelorisms," will go up Feb. 5 to 28. Every artist in the show has rendered Mt. Bachelor in a particular style or –ism, such as cubism, impressionism or minimalism. Bill Hoppe of COCC is the juror for the exhibit of all-original work.
On March 16, Robert Motherwell will be the guest speaker at A6's Cheers to Art, which takes place on the third Wednesday of each month. It's an evening of art history and wine, beginning at 7 p.m. No RSVP is required and the cost is $10 per person.
In April, "Sediments, Sequences and Solitude: Work from Playa," will open. This show features work from Playa's artist residency program in Summer Lake, Ore.
A6 also provides art education to elementary students through a hands-on component where students get to ink and press prints to learn about the process. The program is provided for free to rural school students who often must travel a long distance to come to the studio.
Visit Atelier6000.org for more information about classes, exhibits and art education.