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William C. Bonaudi Library's Down the Research Rabbit Hole | Issue 14 | Rie Palkovic, Art Instructor | Wavering

by Rhonda Kitchens on 2021-04-07T14:26:00-07:00 in Art / Art History, Library and Research Skills | 0 Comments


Rie Palkovic Issue 14 William C. Bonaudi Library's Down the Research Rabbit Hole



Explain the range and type of art you create and show. Do you have an artist's statement?


I am a painter. I paint in oils and mixed media drawings. I do paint on different surfaces such as canvas, paper, frosted Mylar, copper, and wood. I paint in realism mostly from nature. I do have an artist’s statement that I submit for competitions or grants that I apply for. Here’s an excerpt:

Palkovic's TsuruThe Japanese aesthetic ideals of suggestion, irregularity, simplicity, and perishability are the underlying principles that guide my painting and drawing.  These four basic principles guide my efforts to explore the link between art and nature that ebbs and flows much like nature itself wanes, dies, then rejuvenates to live anew.

The integration of Japanese aesthetics into my art making is an expression of dealing with the dualities of my identities. My father was an Irish-American from West Virginia and my mother was from Okinawa.  The tension of being neither Japanese nor American and yet being both is symbolized in my artwork by the ambiguities in space of the image.  The images are tentatively floating in space creating an anti-gravitational buoyancy for the viewer.  The compression of space evokes a sense of not knowing whether the image is receding or advancing.  This feeling is a good analogy of wavering I have felt and continue to feel.  It is an unsettling feeling of never feeling a part of your environment.  

Because of that unsettledness, I focus on the flora and fauna of the area where I currently live. I am also a huge fan of gardening, so plants take up a good deal of my imagination. I do tend toward the sharp, prickly sorts of plants that look ambiguous and can be mistaken for bugs or animal life. It reminds of a common question I have heard, “What is your ethnicity or where are you from?”


What research informs your work? Have you ever done a great deal of background work on a piece or a show?

I am a voracious reader and feel that it all informs my artwork. I love to read the memoirs or journals of artists and writers for a view into process. For the last several years I have been heavily researching the Northern Renaissance artists like Jan van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, Rogier van der Weyden, and Hans Memling. The Northern Renaissance painters focused on a hyper realism that is so beautiful and wonderful and showed the wondrous textures of fabric and fur, metal and glass, and so on. I can get caught up in that level of realism in my own work but like the addition of abstract elements, too. 


As a working artist are there magazines, books, creators, or events that fuel your work and/or engagement in the art community?


Palkovic's SunflowerI have felt very isolated as an artist living here. We came from a close-knit artists’ community in New Mexico before we moved here. Everyone we knew was basically an artist of some kind. Getting feedback is an important part of making art for me and we had a wonderful group. We worked together and played together.  We are still close with many of those people and use social media for feedback and support. When we got to travel we met up every year or so to have some fun. One of my favorite memories involved some friends coming to visit. They are both painters and we set up four sheets of paper in the studio with materials, cranked the music loud, and played musical easels. We moved to each piece of paper and did our thing and moved on to the next after 15 minutes with no preset plans. The pieces are wild and colorful with energy. Such a great time! Later we sat around the fire pit and listened to our friend, Raul, read new poems he had written. All these kinds of events are not difficult but do involve action. It is too easy to get bogged down in theories without doing anything meaningful. But the meaningful does not have to be complicated. Art is not separate from life. It is such an integral part if we choose to acknowledge it. I read Homo Aestheticus Where Art Comes From and Why by Ellen Dissanayake some time ago. She posits the reflection that Art has been part of human life from the very beginning. Ancient humans painted on cave walls as well as found shelters and grouped in families. For some reason, Art was and is important and inherent in humans. 


Is there an artist(s) or person(s) that have served as an inspiration to you?

That depends on the day! I dearly love the work of German artist Anselm Kiefer. We saw a solo exhibition of his in San Francisco a few years ago. I walked around the museum crying it was so beautiful. He took salvaged material from bombed out Dresden from World War II and made giant books with wings and shelves that look like they are from God’s waiting room. He referenced the constellations and ancient myths. His work is so opposite from what I do and yet I love it and am so inspired by it!

I also love the work of Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa. She made hanging wire sculptures that were woven in organic forms. When hung with spotlights they cast wonderful shapes on the walls that change as you walk around them. 

These artists work in entirely different ways from the way I work but serve to inspire and fire my imagination in huge ways. It is so good to look at a variety of things. You don’t want to eat the same food all the time but need to change it up.

Rie's quote about her father.


What book, poem, or study have you read that engaged you so deeply you were changed?


I started going to college when my children were small (ages 4, 6, 10) and I was 28 years old. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn. And the more I learn the more I know that there is so much out there. I read everything I could. I found the poem by Mary Oliver called The Journey. She has been my guide for so many years with other poets. Poetry is an ancient art, too, and very much a deep part of human nature. Other than the new friends I made at school I had no support at home. I had to dig down deep to who I was to continue my education. My determination to finish my education grew stronger each time I took a class. I remembered my father’s advice to get as much education as possible. And I am still in school.


Follow Rie on Instagram:


POEM:  The Journey by Mary Oliver

Poem The Journey Mary Oliver




August 2016 Between Shadow and Space, solo exhibit
Unsettled Gallery
Las Cruces, New Mexico

November 2015 Casting Indra’s Net, Six artists group show
Moses Lake Museum and Art Center(MAC)
Moses Lake, WA

May 2014, 2015, Featured Artist for Cellarbration!

BBCC Foundation fundraiser

June 2013 Betwixt and Between, MAC
Solo exhibition
Moses Lake Museum 
Moses Lake, Washington

April 2011 Medicine Show invitational, SLAM
Soap Lake, Washington

January 2011 MAC juried show, Moses Lake Museum
1st Runner up People’s Choice
Moses Lake, Washington

December 2010 Winter Show, Soap Lake Art Guild
Best Painting Award
Soap Lake, Washington

December 2009 Holiday Show, Imbibe
Moses Lake, Washington

August 2009 solo exhibition
Soap Lake Art Museum
Soap Lake, Washington

July 2009 Yin/Yang
Garage Gallery
San Francisco, California

June 2009 Solo Exhibition, Imbibe Gallery
Moses Lake, Washington

April 2008 Shouts and Murmurs Solo Exhibition, Tilde 
Portland, Oregon

Oct 2007 Waterline, a group show about fish
Crossing Tracks Gallery
San Diego, California

Oct 2006 Solo Exhibition
Seven Muses Gallery
Tacoma, Washington

April 2006 New Work, solo exhibition
Soap Lake Art Museum
Soap Lake, Washington

April 2006- River of Memory: The Everlasting Columbia

Sep 2008 Curators: William Layman and Terri White
Traveling exhibition to Wenatchee, Tacoma, Spokane, WA; Nelson, Victoria, BC; Pendleton, OR

Jan 2006 MAC Annual juried exhibition, 3rd Place Award 
Juror: Scott Bailey, Art Dept. Chair at Wenatchee Valley College
Moses Lake Museum & Art Center
Moses Lake, Washington

Jan 2006 Ink and Clay 32, Kellogg University Art Gallery
Jurors: Marilyn Zeitlan and Peter Held
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California

Feb 2005 Gallery 76, 21st National Juried Exhibition; 2nd Place Award
Jurors: Carol Hassen of Larsen Gallery and Robert Fisher of Yakima Valley Community College
Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, Washington

Jan 2005 Moses Lake Museum & Art Center Juried Exhibition
Moses Lake, Washington

Sep 2004 Seven Muses Gallery, Dual Exhibition with Francis Palkovic
Tacoma, Washington

Apr 2004 Gallery 76 National Invitational, Gallery 76
Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, Washington

Feb 2004 Art, Technology, & Culture, Gallery 76, Dual exhibition with Paul Stout, sculptor
Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, Washington

Jan 2004 Columbia Basin Invitational,  Moses Lake Museum & Art Center Moses Lake, Washington. Award: Honorable Mention

Jan 2004 Greater Midwest International Exhibition XIX, Central Missouri State University Art Gallery, Warrensburg, Missouri, Juror: Douglass Freed, Director, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art

Jan 2004 Ink & Clay 30, Kellogg Art Gallery, California Polytechnic University

Pomona, California, Juror: Hollis Goodall, Curator of Japanese Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

March 2003 Okinawan American Princess Diaries, Moses Lake Museum & Art Center, Moses Lake, Washington

Apr 2002 18th National Juried Exhibit, Gallery ‘76, Juror’s Award
Wenatchee, Washington

Jun-Jul 2001 Forms 4, Chase Gallery
City Hall, Spokane, Washington

Mar-Apr 2001 17th National Juried Exhibit, Gallery ‘76
Best of Show Award, People’s Choice Award
Wenatchee, Washington

May-Jun 2000 Conversations from the Garden, Moses Lake Museum & Art Center
Solo Exhibition
Moses Lake, Washington

Jan-Feb 2000 Two Central Washington Ladies, High Spirits Gallery
Wenatchee, Washington

Jan-Feb 2000 Baked, Mashed, & Fried, Moses Lake Museum & Art Center
3rd Place Award, Potato Commission Purchase Award
Moses Lake, Washington

June 1999 Columbia Basin Invitational, Adam East Museum & Art Center
Moses Lake, Washington

Mar-Apr 1999 Group Exhibition, High Spirits Gallery
Wenatchee, Washington

Dec 1998 Solo Exhibition
Wallenstien Theatre, Columbia Basin Allied Arts
Big Bend Community College, Moses Lake, Washington


Nov 1998 43rd Annual Central Washington Artists Exhibition
Larson Gallery 

Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, Washington

Mar 1998 The Many Lives of Women, Kent Hall Museum
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Feb 1998 Hanging Around, Faculty Exhibition
El Paso Community College

The People’s Gallery, El Paso City Hall, TX
Sep 1997- Arte Sin Limites: Exposicion Fronteriza

July 1998 (Invitational; one of twelve artists representing Las Cruces)
Traveling Exhibition to Four Cities:
Museo de Arte, Juarez, Mexico, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Chihuahua ,Chihuahua City, Mexico, the Las Cruces Museum of Art and Culture, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and the Chamizal Gallery, El Paso, Texas

Sep 1997 Contemporary Asian Artists in America
Smithtown Township Arts Council
Mill’s Pond House Gallery, St. James, NY

Mar 1997 At Random, Faculty Exhibition
El Paso Community College
The People’s Gallery, El Paso City Hall, TX

Dec 1996 December Group Show Invitational
Galeri Azul, Mesilla, NM

July 1996 Border Artists and Friends Invitational
Adobe Patio Gallery, Mesilla, NM

Nov 1995 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition
Kent Hall Museum, New Mexico State University, NM

June 1995 Image and Icon Exhibition (Invitational)
University Art Gallery, New Mexico State University, NM

April 1995 Solo Exhibition, 
Galeri Azul, Mesilla, NM

Feb 1995 Annual Juried Student Exhibition
Juror’s Choice Award
College of Arts and Sciences Award
University Art Gallery, New Mexico State University, NM

Oct 1994 2 x 4 Faculty/Alumni Invitational
Todd Madigan Gallery, Cal State University, Bakersfield, CA

June 1994 Close to the Border, Bi-annual juried exhibition
University Art Gallery Award
University Art Gallery, New Mexico State University, NM


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