Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Aspen Grove Duo Gears Up For Shows and Tourists

Joseph, Oregon: Mark Kortnik and Carol McLaughlin are each individually talented artists, but together, they form a team of quiet and yet powerful art genius.

Mark Kortnik began his career in art at a young age and has developed a unique skill in
rendering realistic portrayals of wildlife
. Since then,
Mark's work has been represented
in 1997 and 1998 "US Art" and "Inform Art" magazines with featured articles that
included Mark as an artist specializing in painting petroglyph sites combined with
wildlife images. Mark has won several 1st and 2nd place awards in oil over the past
ten years from the Wallowa Valley Festival of the Arts as well as several shows he a
nd McLaughlin have done on the road.

Carol McLaughlin was honored by being selected to show in the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Birds in Art Show in 1996. Carol has also received several 1st and 2nd Place award in her medium of watercolors. In 1997 and 1998 "US Art" and "Inform Art" magazines featured articles that included Carol as an artist specializing in painting petroglyph sites. She creates her works using layers of paint and aggressive brush strokes to capture the texture of the cave walls and the spontaneity of those drawings which date back as much as 30,000 years. Currently, McLaughlin's art can be found in the Valley Bronze Gallery in Astoria, Oregon as well as The Aspen Grove Gallery in Joseph, Oregon.

The couple came to Joseph and opened the Aspen Grove Gallery 18 years ago and host many
tourists through their gallery every year.
Both artists have always been sensitive to
creative arts and met to work together to promote their art as a business starting in 1986.
“We are now the longest resident artists represented on Main Street in Joseph as well as the
most established gallery for the past 18 years”, says Kortnik. Not finding a rural location to be
a hurdle for their success, Kortnik chalks it up to one element. “Joseph is where the roads less
traveled lead to the discovery of the finest of art”, he says.

Along with their own work, Kortnik and McLaughlin feature the work of other local artists in their gallery and have incorporated a custom frame business within. “The framing is a big part of what we do here”, says Kortnik. Kortnik and McLaughlin believe in working with their customers to design the matting and frame work that will best show of an art piece or photo that can be a family heirloom for years to come.

In order to keep their art available to everyone, the couple decided to have a website created that would allow art collectors from all over the world to purchase their work. “Winter can be slow up here”, says Kortnik. He feels that the website keeps art collectors in the know as to what is new and in the works when they cannot get to the gallery. “We try to keep available art work updated on the site”, says Kortnik. “That way our work can be acquired throughout the country regardless of the weather.”

In 2007, Kortnik and McLaughlin will be seen in art exhibits throughout Oregon. The couple are currently gearing up for another busy tourist season in Joseph but will keep events updated on their website for public information. To know more or to purchase the work of these artists, please visit www.aspengrovegallery.com or to email Mark or Carol please go to kortnik@oregontrail.net.

Show Schedule:

March 16 - 19

Heritage Inn
Great Falls, Montana

May 21 - 23
Kittitas Fairgrounds Building
Ellensburg, Washington

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