HFMA exhibition features Salem, Oregon watercolor artist Carol Hausser

Carol Hausser (American, b. 1949), Losing My Perspective, 2012, watercolor on paper, 33 x 47 ¼ in., courtesy of the artist, Salem, Oregon. Photo: Robert Bibler

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University is pleased to present “Custom Made Imperatives: Watercolors by Carol Hausser,” opening August 24 and continuing through December 1 in the Study Gallery and Print Study Center. Organized by director John Olbrantz in collaboration with the artist, the exhibition features a range of Hausser’s abstract watercolors from the past 35 years. Works have been drawn from public and private collections throughout the region, including Chemeketa Community College and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Carol Hausser. Photo by William Bragg.

Director John Olbrantz says, “Hausser is an immensely talented Salem watercolor painter who has taken watercolor painting to new heights of sophistication and virtuosity.”

The title for the exhibition, “Custom Made Imperatives,” refers to Hausser’s often rigorous self-imposed technique, and to her intentions as a painter. Instead of traditional watercolor subjects, such as landscapes, portraits, seascapes, or still lifes, she is interested in constructing a visual language pertaining to philosophical and psychological concerns, a language of personally crafted movements, ambiguities, paradoxes, and resolutions. The artistic imperatives or, in Hausser’s case, her “custom made imperatives,” are discovered in the process.

Carol Hausser (American, b. 1949), Accelerator, 2012, watercolor on paper, 15 ¼ x 12 ¼ in., courtesy of the artist, Salem, Oregon. Photo: Robert Bibler

Raised in Bozeman, Montana and educated at the University of Washington in Seattle, Hausser chose watercolor painting early on in her career. She enrolled in the School of Art at the University of Washington in Seattle in the late 1960s where she had an opportunity to study with some of the most dynamic and exciting painters and printmakers at work in Seattle at the time: Glen Alps, Chuck Close, Michael Dailey, Paul Ripley Jenkins, Bob Jones, Spencer Mosley, Richard Proctor, and Bill Ritchie, among others. Hausser continued on to take graduate courses in color theory and design at the University of Oregon in 1979–80. 

From 1976 to 2016 Hausser served on the art faculty at Chemeketa Community College, where she taught courses in drawing, figure drawing, and watercolor painting, and occasionally served as art program chair. Over the years, she has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the region, and her works can be found in the collections of Chemeketa Community College, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Microsoft Corporation, and the State of Oregon, among many others.

Carol Hausser (American, b. 1949), Caught in Time #2, 2017, watercolor on paper, 67 ¾ x 47 ¼  in., courtesy of the artist, Salem, Oregon. Photo: Robert Bibler

Museum visitors are invited to join the artist for complimentary guided gallery talks at 12:30 p.m on Tuesday August 27, and September 10.   

This exhibition has been supported in part by general operating support grants from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

About the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University

Oregon’s third largest art museum features works by Pacific Northwest and Native American artists, and includes a diverse collection of traditional European, American and Asian art, as well as artifacts that date from antiquity. Frequently changing exhibitions include lectures, special events, tours, artist demonstrations and educational opportunities for children and adults.

The museum is located at 700 State St. in Salem. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Monday. General admission is $6, $4 for seniors and $3 for students 18 and older. Students 17 and under and children are admitted free. Admission is free for everyone on Tuesdays. For more information call 503-370-6855 or visit willamette.edu/go/hfma.

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