Material Girl | Kay Worthington

July 5-August 25, 2024 | Camas & Focus GALLERies

OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, JULY 5 FROM 5:30 PM – 7:30 P.M., Welcome and artist introductions at 6:00 p.m.

Kay Worthington’s childhood friend Merrie remembers posters, prom decorations and drives in the country to sketch wildflowers with colored pencils. “. . . your drawings were amazing.” Learning watercolor from Nelson Sandgren, life drawing with James Kirk, and a widening idea of what art-making can include from Larry Stobie, these were the foundations of the confident and independent work Kay Worthington began producing as an adult. 

This exhibition looks back from the platform of age to see the coherence in the artist’s eye. A love of clothing and fashion, color and combinations – especially unlikely ones – has always been a part of what delights Worthington’s eye and sets her in motion as an artist.

The sureness of her watercolors is apparent. Her use of personal storytelling and the ability to carry us beyond her own narrative through drawing and painting and collage gives these pieces interest and relevance.

Most good artists find a relief in their art work from the turmoil of life, family, job and are able, maybe even driven, to carry on with the work no matter what “life” brings. Worthington managed a creative job as an artist making illustrations and informational graphics in a newsroom (24 years with the Statesman Journal newspaper) in addition to making her own work.

It made for a “jumpy” life and at some point her work jumped right off of the page into the woodshop, the sewing room. Her love of “patina” and of creative reuse and re-purposing of items, the combinations of narrative idea and materials as well as her ability in execution is interesting and apparent. Her quilts and fabric combination pieces are full of the color and ideas that materials bring to her.

Kay Worthington, Dog Business, 14” x 18”, Collage.
Kay Worthington, Elizabeth’s Quilt, 60” x 70”, Fabric.