Well-respected Oregon artist Jay Backstrand creates powerful and enigmatic paintings. He eloquently juxtaposes such disparate elements as an Asian rubber toy next to an art historical reference next to ambiguously cropped archaic symbols. He deftly samples from a variety of stylistic and intellectual contexts, making work that compels repeated looking and often prompts more questions than answers. Backstrand studied at the Pacific Northwest College of Art as well as the Slade School at the University of London under a Fulbright Fellowship. He taught art at PNCA from 1975 to 1986 and was honored with a 10-year retrospective at Marylhurst College, Oregon. He has won numerous awards and is included in such collections as the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Oxford University Press Print Collection in England, the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum,  and the Denver Art Museum.