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SLO County Art Scene

November 1, 2014 - SLO Journal Plus

Studios on the Park presents “Untitled”, a dynamic exhibition of abstract works by three West Coast artists, Allen Cox, Tom Peck and Braeden Cox. Tom and Allen, both residents of Paso Robles, each have decades-long resumes that reflect their respective work in the visual world of fine art. Braeden, daughter of Allen Cox, is an emerging artist from Portland, Oregon who provides a new generation's fresh take on modernism.

All three of these artists bring their own unique vision to “Untitled” and yet the final result is very cohesive. Curated by Anne Laddon, “Untitled” blends these separate visions of art-making into a harmonious conversation of contemporary artistic intent and personal expression.

Tom Peck brings his keen eye and aesthetic sensibility, honed over his fifty years of artistic endeavor, to his series of expressionistic portraits. Although abstract and anonymous, the portraits convey a sensitive human emotion and intensity, even a sense of mystery. These are not only examinations of the likeness of a given individual, but also deeper inquiries into their inner world.

After receiving his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, Tom pursed his art, as a painter, fine art photographer and advertising creative director in Toronto, New York City and San Francisco. And several years ago added sculpture to his oeuvre. Tom's paintings sculpture and photography are in many private collections in the US.

"I have pursued these different art forms with the same philosophy and purpose. I want to acknowledge the best of the past, while bringing something fresh and unique to the medium, something not seen before.
For me, executing art, in a way that has already been done, is like eating food that somebody else has already chewed".

Allen Cox has been painting professionally since 1983 and has shown his work extensively on the West Coast and in numerous other cities across the US. He holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Oregon. His art reflects his training and work as an archaeologist, as well as personal interests in history, mythology, philosophy and science.

Cox's paintings are often densely textured, with multiple layers of paint built up over time, the result of constant revision and reworking of the composition as it develops. The imagery he produces pulls its inspiration from natural forms and textures, combining weathered surfaces, ancient symbols, elements of landscape and aspects of scientific illustration.

Cox's paintings are found in numerous public and private collections nationally and internationally. His work has been featured in New American Painting, 100 Artists of the West Coast and design journals such as New England Home, LUXE Magazine and Traditional Home.

Cox says he considers an artist's main goal is to “harmonize chaos and intoxicate reason”. This idea proposes a dynamic balance of the interplay between the intuitive subconscious and the rational conscious mind. “Balance is important but asymmetry is more interesting” says Cox, “and my paintings usually reflect that.”

Braeden Cox lives and works in Portland, OR. She holds an BFA in Digital Arts and dual BA's in Fine Art and Digital Arts from the University of Oregon. Her monochrome paintings often focus on a combination of 20th century German Expressionism, gestural abstraction and 19th century German Romanticism. Her work is ethereal and haunting in its contemplative suggestion of ruins and tangled forests.

Ms. Cox's work grows out of intuitive gestural mark produced by working wet gesso into charcoal on paper, with the addition of walnut ink and dry pigments. For this exhibition she introduces new works in oils on canvas, as well. She shows her work regularly in Portland and elsewhere in Oregon. Braeden participated in invitational exhibitions in Los Angeles and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento earlier this year.

Born in the Pacific Northwest to an artist father and professor mother, Braeden Cox grew up around university campuses, art museums, studios and galleries. As a child she spent four years living in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she had the opportunity to travel throughout Australia/New Zealand and the South Pacific. The appreciation of art and other cultures comes naturally to her. As Braeden says, “My work is an exploration into the emotional and physical responses of life’s journey, of occasionally being an outsider. It’s a search for understanding and an investigation of questions that may have no answers.”


Studios on the Park is proud to present this thoughtfully challenging exhibition of abstraction-based works by Peck, Cox and Cox. The three are all professional exhibiting artists who share roots in formal academic training and the desire to continually push their personal work in new and interesting directions. Speaking for the three artists, Allen Cox states “We are all excited at the opportunity to show our work at Studios on the Park, an important arts venue for Paso Robles, SLO County and the Central Coast.”