Exploring individuality and proximity in the artistic process.

Exhibiting Artists:

Sue Danielson – acrylic painter and printmaker

Louise Durocher – sculptor and printmaker

Robert Hardgrave – mixed-media and acrylic painter

Gillian Theobald – oil and acrylic painter

Claude L. Utley – oil and acrylic painter

WHEN:     January 24 to April 4, 2013

WHERE:   Washington State Convention Center, 2nd Fl.

800 Convention Place, 2nd Floor

Seattle, WA

OPENING RECEPTION:  Sunday, February 17, 2012, 1-3 pm


Evolutionary: 5 after 5 is the first joint exhibition of visual artists Sue Danielson, Louise Durocher, Robert Hardgrave, Gillian Theobald and Claude L. Utley, who have shared studio space in close proximity to each other during the past five years. This exhibit explores individuality and proximity in the artistic process.

What is the evolutionary process that occurs when five experienced visual artists take up studio space in close proximity to each other during a five-year period of time? In August of 2007, Sue Danielson, Louise DeRocher, Robert Hardgrave Gillian Theobald and Claude L. Utley, all professional visual artists who had never met before, moved into newly built studios in the Annex Section of Building C Studios. Separated by a staircase and the length of a warehouse, entrance into the Annex is a world apart from the 20 other artist studios located on the second floor of the building. The group has forged a close bond through proximity and sharing of process, exhibition visits, show openings, inspirations, and many, many conversations.


Sue Danielson is a maker of acrylic and mixed-media paintings, and a printmaker, who works with a variety of materials to develop and finalize her works. They are comprised of real and imaginary images that have been amalgamized and distilled. She is a Western Washington native who currently lives and works in Seattle.

Danielson is largely self-developed artist who has participated in classes at various art schools in Seattle. Her work has been exhibited at regional and national venues such as Vermillion, SAM Gallery, Fine Art Museum at Florida State University, the Farmington Museum, and at the West Coast Biennial.  Most recently her work was included by Scott Larimore in Arrest Me, a curated exhibition at Punch Gallery in Seattle. Her work has been published in several books and catalogs, include Manifest Gallery Painting International II (2012). In November of 2013 she will be exhibiting at Blindfold Gallery in Seattle.

Sue Danielson, Nucleus, acrylic on panel, 2012

Louise Durocher was born in Montreal, Canada and now lives and works in Seattle, Washington where she opened her studio in 1984. She is the recipient of a fine arts degree in Studio Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, and a Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Washington.

Her sculptures pointiently depict those twilight human emotions simmering just below the surface in every day life. Her goal is to coax these feelings from her materials inviting her viewer to plumb the depths of these emotions in a non-confrontational way. She finds the ultimate vehicle of message in the expression of the human form.  Versatility marks her choice of materials, which include steel, bronze, acrylic, stone and her signature material, Carrara marble.

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Louise Durocher, Moroccan Women, monotype, 2012

Robert Hardgrave, born in Oxnard, CA, raised in southern AZ, has been a Seattle resident for the past 20 years. He is in the practice of old fashioned drawing and painting. Improvisation is his strength and he enjoys employing “mixed” media whenever he can. Robert has been published in numerous artist survey books and magazines in addition to a monograph of his own work called “Magic Beans”.

Robert’s paintings are meditations on the unpredictability of life. Despite all the information we are given, he believes much is unknown to us in the moment, with clarity only achieved upon later reflection. His working process parallels this belief. There is never an overall plan or formula in his work but allowing the imagery to manifest itself. It becomes an exercise in movement and a dedication to discovery. It is about the excitement in each evolving movement in life be it minute or grand or savoring it.

Robert Hardgrave, Dear ol’ Dad, Acrylic on canvas, 2011

Gillian Theobald has been an actively working west coast painter for more than twenty years. She was raised in an unusual household of intellectuals interested in mysticism.  Though the subject matter of her work has evolved, the issues – particularly the dialogue between Shadow or Loss and Light – remain constant. Color as a stand in for Light is important to her. Over the last 5 years,  more gestural biomorphic forms are used in dialogue in interior spaces, on the question of two different ground colors not quite at ease with each other.

Essential are the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change.  In the visual language arising from her experience, dichotomies exist.  She is endeavoring to locate and convey a record of transformation in these forms; and explore the nature and quality of being.  Gillian is currently represented by Linda Hodges Gallery in Seattle and Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles.

Gillian Theobald, Hearing Voices, Acrylic on canvas, 2011

Claude L. Utley is a Pacific Northwest native who has exhibited his paintings extensively for the past 30 years. He attended Victoria College of Art in Victoria, B.C. Canada. His primary mediums are oil and acrylic, primarily on canvas, and occasionally on other materials and objects.

Utley views art as a bridgery in Seattle.e to nature, a form of communication as ancient as Humanity itself. His paintings often have complex, intricate imagery, with abstraction playing a varying role. Other times the imagery is more simply and cartoon-like. The relationships and evocation of color provide emphasis to essential components in the underlying ambiance of the painting. The sources of his inspiration are too many to list but includes the world at large, an unlimited resource. He loves painting for its ability to juxtapose ideas and concepts onto the canvas creating a visual “polyrythmic” experience. Claude is currently represented by IMA Gallery in Seattle.

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Claude Utley, Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 2010