‘Musings on Raku’ also opens Saturday

Confluence Gallery welcomes guest curator Jody Bento, Seattle Art Museum associate director, to the main gallery for her show “Strange Couplings.”

Through the show, Bento explores the interpersonal relationship between art and companionship with three sets of artist couples, and asks the question, “Do artist couples face unique challenges?”

The exhibit opens with a panel discussion, hosted by Bento, on Saturday (Sept. 29) at 4 p.m. with Methow Valley artists Perri Howard and Craig Howard, and Seattle-based artists Nichole DeMent, Stephen Rock, Kate Protage and Chris Sheridan.

The public is invited to hear the artists discuss how the experience of being partnered with another artist shapes, changes and enhances the artistic process. The juxtaposition between the works of artists and their partners shows the common thread between work and connection to another artist.

An opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. after the panel discussion.

DeMent works in photography and mixed media encaustic art; Rock makes reclaimed material sculptures and mixed process digital works; Perri Howard creates sculptures and public installations; Craig Howard works primarily in metal; Protage creates urban landscape drawings and paintings; and Sheridan paints with oils.

Also opening on Sept. 29 at Confluence Gallery is an exhibit by Leslie Ahrens called “Musings of Raku and other Fantasies.” The show, in the community gallery, features sculpted raku wall hangings, porcelain sculpture and acrylic paintings.

Ahrens grew up sculpting in a family of artists. Though never classically trained, she has spent the greater part of her life playing with clay. It was only when she retired that she began her career as an artist.

Over the last few months, Ahrens has tried her hand at portrait painting. She said she begins by “sculpting the faces first and then letting them tell me what they wanted to be.”

Both exhibits will run through Nov. 10. Confluence Gallery is located on Glover Street in Twisp. For more information, visit confluencegallery.com.