In Why I Kept a Light Burning, Mary Josephson continues her multi-media exploration of fragments of life via portraiture. This exploration includes works in oil paint, embroidery and mosaic glass. Sometimes intimate and sometimes voyeuristic, Josephson’s subjects have a timeless folk art charm. With their found frames and handiwork, they carry a Northwest vintage vibe. In this new body of work, Josephson updates her vision into the 21st century, where teenage girls shoot selfies and cultural, racial and gender identities are blurred. Scenes and portraits appear simple and as details emerge, layers of mystery add richness to the subjects’ story. A veteran of the 1980’s blossoming Portland art scene who maintains an active studio practice including public art commissions, this is Mary Josephson’s 14th solo show with the gallery.
Portland artist Mary Josephson studied in Paris, France, at the École National Superior des Beaux Arts before receiving a BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has been exhibiting her work since 1983 including shows at the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Health Sciences University, the University of Austin in Texas, and the Bellevue Art Museum, WA. Prominent collections include Safeco, Microsoft, Oregon State University, Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital, Tacoma Art Museum, and the Portland Art Museum. Commissions include work for Southern Oregon University, the Tigard Public Library, Portland Fire and Rescue, Oregon Food Bank, Multnomah County’s Juvenile Justice Center, all in Oregon, and the Arnold Rue Community Center, in Stockton, California.