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Shawna Koontz is a Seattle-based painter originally from Portland, OR. Shawna earned a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) in Boston. She is most known for her Pacific Northwest inspired paintings that are a response to her fear, reverence, and nostalgia for the landscape. Her work is collected privately and publicly, including the W Hotel and the City of Bellevue in Washington.
I grew up in the shadow of Mt. Hood in Oregon. It is a fond immovable fixture in the backdrop of my childhood and an image I have come to cling to in an effort to combat personal grief and resuscitate memories of my parents and upbringing. My work explores this personal connection to the Pacific Northwest peaks and landscape and uses it as a symbol of nostalgia, fear, and the reverence I hold for it. My paintings unfold somewhat intuitively; They begin with a specific collaged composition but will allow media and palette to dictate their final outcome. I often strip the landscape of some obvious characteristics leaving behind both familiar terrain and invented space. I deploy strong swaths of black with a contrast of colorful neons in an effort to convey a tension that mirrors both my admiration and anxiety for the locations I pull inspiration from.
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