Opening Reception March 2, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
For the month of March, Russo Lee Gallery presents Belle Époque by guest artist Stephen O’Donnell. This body of work explores the confrontation between Nature, wild or mostly wild animals, and the extreme artificiality of the most precious of our human crafts: fine jewelry. Throughout O’Donnell’s career, animals have played a supporting role, a humorous and tender addition. Recently, and for this exhibition, they’ve taken center stage. These meticulous works on panel are presented simply, each small painting provides the viewer with a vivid and intimate look at the opposing “objects”—the animal and the jewel.
As a painter, Stephen O’Donnell is entirely self-taught. His education in art came by way of his love of history and biography. O’Donnell has shown his work throughout the Pacific Northwest and in Atlanta, GA in numerous solo exhibitions since 1995, as well as in select group exhibitions in California, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. Among other awards, in 2020, O’Donnell won First Prize at The #dessinemoiversailles Competition (for Les Perruches), Château de Versailles, Versailles, France, and in 2011 he was the Grand Prize Winner in The Power of Self Competition, Artists Wanted, New York, NY. His work is included in the collections of the Portland Art Museum, Portland OR; the Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach CA; the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem OR; the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York, NY; and Portland Community College, Portable Works Collection, Portland OR. He has earned critical commentary from ArtsATL and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oregon ArtsWatch, Vanguard Seattle, and the Seattle Times.