A little bit of the Tillamook Coast is on display in Beijing, China, painted by none-other than Tillamook Bay Community College Art Instructor Karen Belanger.
In October 2019, Karen Belanger brought Peng Qi, an artist from Beijing, China, to TBCC as a special guest artist. Belanger spent a few days with him, his wife, and their little boy, Leo. When they were ready to leave, he asked if he could take one of Belanger’s paintings back to China and submit it to some galleries there. He chose one of three children looking up at the sun breaking through some clouds, because he said they don’t see clouds like that in China and he thought it would be well received.
Sadly, the painting was stolen at the LA airport. Peng Qi asked if Belanger wanted to submit a different one. Belanger agreed, and said since they had been so taken with the clouds, and they had fallen in love with Rockaway Beach, she chose to do a painting of clouds over the Twin Rocks.
“Without realizing it, I subconsciously painted the light breaking through the clouds in the form of a lion – the symbol their little boy Leo represents,” Belanger added.
The painting is called ‘Storm Over Twin Rocks’ and is showing at the Maison Art Gallery in the famous 798 Art District of Beijing, China. The district is 148 acres of a 50-year-old decommissioned military factory building that in 1995 was taken over by an avant-garde group of artists. The 798 Art District has strict COVID restrictions in place so only local artists were invited to the opening.
Belanger said they chose to put her painting at the entrance because, according to the judges and curators, “the painting is very special, totally different from the other kind of painting style, especially from the Asian artists. It’s great to show the gallery visitors a different and special painting.”