This exhibition features the artist’s explorations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Molly Wullstein Van Austen, took a 175 foot roll of paper, using graphite, Conté crayon and colored pencils to illustrate her thoughts, memories, and imaginings. The gestures in Conté crayon are brought together in this exhibit as the 175 foot drawing winds its way through the gallery. Van Austen reflects on “a long life and a long drawing” having lived through the Polio pandemic as well as the COVID19 pandemic. “The isolation makes me concentrate on others. Each image in this long drawing is a meditation on some dear person in my life. That brings me joy and sadness. Memories prolong life and intensify our emotions”.
Painter, Molly Wullstein Van Austen, has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the Quirini Stampaglia Palace in Venice, Italy, and the United States National and International Exhibition in Rome and Paris. Her work is included in private collections in Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Mexico as well as the United States. Many years ago her grandmother took her to the WWII USO in Salt Lake City. She watched a soldier drawing another soldier. Impressed, she said, “I want to do that”. She has been drawing and painting ever since.
Van Austen maintains her studio in Oregon. As a teacher, her doctoral studies in Art Education were at New York University. Retired from teaching, she was a longtime resident of Lincoln City and is a member of The Casbah, a group of Oregon painters, writers, sculptors, musicians, and thespians dedicated to furthering the arts.