Linfield Gallery to host exhibit of whimsical paintings and pots

“Anomalies,” featuring recent works by ceramicist and painter Nils Lou, is on display through Jan. 28 in the Linfield Gallery at Linfield College.


The Linfield College art professor has exhibited his ceramics and paintings in galleries and exhibitions across the country. Lou is recognized as an international authority on kiln building, and his ancient-style East Creek Anagama Kiln has attracted hundreds of Northwest artists and students and helped spur a ceramic renaissance in the Pacific Northwest. Lou’s books include The Art of Firing and Art of Play, which looks at art as a form of play.


“Anomalies” features Lou’s recent paintings and pots. As the title suggests, the artwork deviates from common forms. Lou’s acrylic paintings are bright and vibrant, filled with light. The playful series depicts the female figure, colored by fantasy and imagination.

“The recognizable realities are consciously composed in multiple perspectives, perhaps the kind we experience in dreams,” Lou said. “The space is less real than the figure. Somewhere on the edge of conviction is where I want the observer’s eye to rest, but not too comfortably.”

Lou’s pots are functional yet whimsical, exerting a fanciful pull on the viewer’s perception. He introduces imaginative creatures that play about the pots, drawing the focus to the piece while allowing one’s attention to incorporate an organic element, such as a lizard, ready to pounce.


The Linfield Gallery is located on the Linfield College campus in McMinnville, in Oregon’s wine country. The town offers a charming historic downtown, numerous wineries, food-to-fork restaurants and art galleries.

Throughout the academic year, exhibitions of regional, national and international stature are on view in the 1,500 square-foot gallery. The shows exemplify diverse approaches to contemporary art. Gallery director Cris Moss has curated and coordinated exhibits around the country, and his work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the world.

All exhibits are free and open to the public. During January, gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information or directions, visit the gallery online or call (503) 883-2804.