Lisa Kaser and Grace Weston

Unfamiliar Faces

Apr 1, 2014 - Apr 27, 2014

Preview Reception, Wednesday, April 2, 5-8pm
First Thursday, April 3, 6-9pm
Artists' Talk, Sunday, April 13th, 11am


Lisa Kaser and invited artist Grace Weston put forth new work shaped by the unsettling experiences of adjustment to unfamiliar environments and modes of process in their April show, Unfamiliar Faces.  Ms. Weston's well-known work of crisply realized photo vignettes have moved towards simpler and impressionistic images in this series, titled 'Neo Noir'.  The narratives have become less evident as features are blurred and places are merely suggested, leaving a feeling of vulnerability and uncertainty.  'Silent Partners', new work by Lisa Kaser, shares a similarly nuanced narrative, as characters float and straddle their undefined terrain.  Working primarily in wool felt, Lisa uses hand stitching to construct and shape a tribe of enigmatic personalities. 

Lisa states, I have been trying to let loose- to try other avenues of constructing and presenting characters that instead of being fixed to a base or rigid in form, have a greater suppleness and a certain agility while still holding their shape. I just went at it, cutting and shaping and stitching the materials until a body or head would start to form and begin to make sense to me and then the consideration of how and if and what parts will move and what will that gesture say and what if that gesture could continue into a full range of motion? Just the means of implying that greater movement brings new life to the character. This is one path that I am on with this work - to continue the gesture. I want to send my characters off on greater adventures.

Grace Weston states, in my new series, “Neo Noir”, I depart from my previously detailed photography of miniature vignettes. Although narrative, the “Neo Noir” images are mysterious and foggy, offering very little information. This change was prompted by my move to a new city (Seattle) after enjoying the comfort and familiarity of twenty-two years living in Portland.  Suddenly, I was the stranger, daily milling through the sea of unfamiliar faces and places, feeling lost and alien, both figuratively and literally. 

The “Neo Noir” work emerged, first just as a way to play in the studio in a manner much looser than my usual approach. But then themes became apparent: strangers, confusion, mystery, questions unanswered, isolated characters immersed in unspoken thoughts. The work has a nostalgic look, some pieces conjuring up 1940’s film noir and pulp fiction books, or 1960’s spy movies. Most images show the characters isolated, seemingly submerged in their own thoughts. When there are two subjects in a scene, they are either detached or opposed to one another. 

I have always been drawn to expressing psychological tension in my work, and it does not surprise me that these themes surfaced in this new series. I realize this was indicative of the disconnection I was feeling as I gradually navigated through an intriguing and unfamiliar territory.

Grace has been featured on Oregon Art Beat and has a new book for purchase on There will be a few signed copies of her book at the opening.


More from the exhibit


Lisa Kaser, Swimming With Borrowed Shoes, from Silent Partners, Hand-stitched felt; Grace Weston, Witness, from Neo Noir Series, Chromogenic Print



Open Tuesday - Sunday, Tuesday - Saturday 12-6pm, Sunday 12-4pm


We are members of the Portland Art Dealers Association.
For more information about the monthly First Thursday Art Walk and a map click on the pada link below.