The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents the “Take a Look” exhibition in the Coastal Artist Visual Artist Showcase (COVAS) at the Newport Visual Arts Center from February 3 to April 1. “Take a Look” will feature portraits by Langlois painter Michael Williams Ousley, who represents Curry County in the COVAS’ rotation of artists throughout Oregon’s seven coastal counties. A First Friday opening reception will be held February 3, with an artist talk at 6:15pm.
Ousley paints strictly with acrylics on wood panels. His focus is on landscapes and portraits of friends and acquaintances in Langlois and the southern Oregon Coast--Coos Bay to Goldbeach. Ousley paints with a bold and bright palette, and he embraces an expressionistic style. “Looking past the obvious, close observation and engagement of the subject is my process of artistic creation,” Ousley says. “The challenge is to see beyond the distraction of the conspicuous and to capture its unique self in art.”
Ousley grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and attended classes at the Kansas City Art Institute. From 1970 to 1990, he worked as personnel officer for the U.S. Navy and traveled the world—Barcelona and Palma de Majorca in Spain, to Athens, Greece, back to the US East Coast and finally to Phoenix, Arizona. With the support of the G.I. Bill, Ousley earned BS and MFA degrees in design from Arizona State University. In Phoenix, he went to work as a freelance commercial artist (illustration and design) for clients such as Sears and JC Penny.
In 1987, Ousley moved with his wife and children to Langlois (14 miles south of Bandon, population 177).
Ousley is active in the arts community of the southern Oregon Coast. His work has been included in juried exhibitions at the Coos Museum and the South Coast Hospital (Bandon), as well as The LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University and in Day of the Dead group shows at the Maude Kerns Art Center in Eugene. His work is represented by the Second Street Gallery in Bandon and Raincoast Arts in Langlois.
Ousley lives in Langlois with his wife Yvonne, herself a weaver and fibre artist who creates fabric works reflecting the Navajo traditions of the American Southwest.
The COVAS Showcase is open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4pm.
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