Gathering Image, Fugitive Form: Mary Ann Peters, Helen O'Toole, Danila Rumold, and Eric Elliott

October 1, 2009

Gathering Image, Fugitive Form brings together four artists whose work explores the boundaries between figure and ground, form and abstraction. The exhibition at Kittredge Gallery, University of Puget Sound, will open to the public on Monday, Oct. 12 and run until Saturday, Nov. 14. An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. The artists plan to attend the opening and also will be speaking about their work during the run of the exhibition. Please check our Web site or call the gallery (details below) for further details.

Mary Ann Peters uses organic shapes, sinuously curving lines, and washes of graphite and color to build imaginary environments that question our perceptions of perspective and spatial depth. Her images—drawn from sources as diverse as architecture, science, politics, and her personal background—further disorient the viewer by taking familiar details but grouping them in unexpected, sometimes surreal arrangements. The meanings of her images tantalize with fragments of text and context, hazy and out of reach like dim memories or important insights that flash upon us and then slip out of our grasp even as they are recognized.

Peters received her B.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara, and her M.F.A. from University of Washington. She has exhibited extensively throughout the region in both solo and group shows, and her work can be found in numerous regional collections. She was a winner of the Behnke Foundation’s Neddy Artist Fellowship in 2000, and received a second award nomination in 2005. She is represented by James Harris Gallery, Seattle.

Helen O’Toole is a native of Ireland and her memories of its landscape inform her work. She received her M.F.A. from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989, and served as a lecturer at LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore, before joining the University of Washington faculty, where she is an associate professor of painting and drawing. She has had solo exhibitions in Ireland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Provincetown, and Seattle, and is currently represented by Linda Hodges Gallery, Seattle.

Subject is secondary for O’Toole; it is the process of working with paint that is her primary focus. Though her compositions sometimes originally include forms she gradually erases them until they only exist as intriguing glimpses within subtly harmonious fields of color. O’Toole has said “I have an ongoing battle with imagery. I don’t know why I fight against it.” Her works suggest the hazy atmosphere of places and experiences remembered rather than literally described and evoke moods rather than specifics.

Danila Rumold received her M.F.A. in painting from University of Washington in 2001, after studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and completing her undergraduate degree at DePaul University. She has been teaching at Seattle University for the last four years, as well as at University of Washington and Pratt Fine Arts Center. She has exhibited her work in Seattle, Oregon, and Chicago, including solo exhibitions at Gallery IMA and Kinsey Gallery, both in Seattle. Her work can be found in public and private collections. She is currently represented by Gallery IMA.

Rumold’s works are layered, scraped, scratched, and sanded creating a dense texture that serves as backdrop for her linear forms drawn from trees, architecture, and the human body. The colors evoke places she has lived and traveled. Her images simultaneously hover in front of the atmospheric space of the background and blend with it, becoming part of an abstract pattern of line and color. This shifting perspective creates a constant dialogue between drawing and painting, surface and depth shifting the viewer’s focus from form to Rumold’s artistic process and the emotional or spiritual states she wishes to convey.

The everyday objects in Eric Elliott’s paintings serve as universal forms, important not for what they are but for the roles they play in his compositions. Boundaries between objects blur and they emerge from or dissolve into his thickly painted surfaces through strategic use of color, a limited palette of four pigments intensified or neutralized depending on the desired effect. Elliott has said of his work: “I am looking for a way of creating that shows the idea that all things are interconnected and one, that everything is part of a larger whole. At the same time, I want to make visible the fact that although things are connected they still differ.” Elliott also uses the physical impact of his heavily textured paint layers to redirect the attention of his viewer to the work’s surface and remind them that his works are ultimately illusions of three-dimensional space constructed on a two-dimensional plane.

Eric Elliott received his B.A. from University of California, Berkeley, in 2003, and his M.F.A. from University of Washington in 2007. He currently teaches at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash., and Gage Academy of Art, Seattle.

Kittredge Gallery serves as a teaching tool for the art department and a cultural resource for both the university and the community at large, exhibiting work by noted regional and national artists. Exhibits and talks are free and open to the public.


Kittredge Gallery Location: University of Puget Sound, N. 15th St. at N. Lawrence St., Tacoma, WA


Regular Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday; noon–5 p.m., Saturday*

*Please note that the gallery is closed on Sunday and during university holidays, and will be closed

Oct. 19 and 20 for fall break.



For additional information call the art department at 253.879.2806.


Print-quality photos are available at