Artwork fuses architectural, landscape images

Ashland resident Corey Kahn balances her work as an emergency physician with a career in art.

By Vickie Aldous
Daily Tidings

Posted Jun. 12, 2015 at 12:01 AM

An art school graduate, Corey Kahn was employed as a mental health worker helping homeless people in an emergency housing program when she stumbled upon her future career path.

Occasionally she was tasked with taking clients to a hospital emergency room for medical care and tests.
“The first time I went to the ER with a resident, a lightbulb went off,” she recalled. “There were people with knowledge helping people when it really counted.”

Kahn went back to college for two years of pre-med coursework, attended medical school and then did a three-year residency.

She now works as an emergency physician at Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.

Despite the demands of her profession, Kahn remains committed to her art, which includes abstract, figurative and landscape painting. She is one of five artists working in a new studio space carved out of the back of the former Ashland Daily Tidings newspaper building on Siskiyou Boulevard. (Tidings Editor Bert Etling and his Ashland reporters work from their home offices while the newspaper is printed at Mail Tribune facilities in Medford.)

Kahn said creating art helps her bring order and beauty to a world that can seem chaotic and arbitrary in a hospital emergency room.

“Someone can take a step, slip, hit their head on a sink and die,” she said of the senseless tragedies healthcare workers witness.

Before her eureka moment in the emergency room with a homeless client, Kahn had long struggled with balancing her need to create art with her desire to help others.

After art school, she lived in Czechoslovakia for two years, painting and exhibiting her work. She started a volunteer program that allowed foreigners to volunteer for nonprofit organizations in the country, which had a history of communism and eventually split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

“The idea of volunteering was foreign to them because of their communist background. It was met with a lot of suspicion,” Kahn said. “They thought, ‘Why would people want to work for free?’ I really wanted to do more and be able to give more.”

With her medical skills, Kahn has since done humanitarian work, including going to Haiti in 2011 to provide medicine, supplies and healthcare to residents struggling after a devastating 7.0 earthquake in 2010.

On the artistic side, Kahn has been focused on melding landscape painting with architectural drawings for the past year. Each artwork starts with a landscape photo as a reference and melds realism with abstract elements like fields of color and dripping paint.

Just as an X-ray can reveal the skeletal framework of the body, an architectural drawing shows the underlying structure of a home or building.

“When I’m making a painting, the idea of the essence of something is really at the forefront for me,” Kahn said.
She said her paintings often deal with dualities, capturing the balance and tension she feels on the job and in life. In one large six-foot-by-four-foot-painting, the horizon is indistinct as the earth fades into the sky.

“The sky is turning into the ground, and the ground is turning into the sky,” Kahn said. “There’s a play on what looks flat, and what looks three-dimensional; on what is natural versus what is man-made; what is close and what is far away.”

Kahn’s studio space is open by appointment.

Ashland Daily Tidings Original Article

By Vickie Aldous
For the Tidings

Posted Jun. 8, 2015 at 12:01 AM
Updated Jun 8, 2015 at 4:42 PM

The former Ashland Daily Tidings newspaper building has been transformed into an Internet-based pawn business with art studios at the back.

Ashland resident Brian Patridge bought the 8,000-square-foot space last year and began an extensive remodeling project.

In January, Patridge opened an online pawn shop called, specializing in $500 minimum short-term loans on high end goods like luxury handbags and Rolex watches. The company pays for shipping of items to the Ashland building and secure storage, Patridge said.

The nationwide company uses proprietary algorithms to give potential customers loan quotes on items they wish to pawn, he said.

“Our business is for people who are maybe uncomfortable going into a pawn shop or they don’t want to research the pawn shop process and where to go,” Patridge said. “Metro areas are our demographic.”

Located outside downtown Ashland with brick walls and no windows, the building appealed to Patridge because it can be secured. He added large windows in the remodel, but dark tinting conceals the interior.

Inside, the space has been transformed into a modern, high-tech showcase space with metal accents. Reclaimed wood beams from the Mount Shasta area create a sculptural accent wall.

“We brought in things to give it movement so it’s not such a sterile, dark building,” Patridge said.
At the rear of the building where the printing press and newspaper archives once stood, Patridge created art studio spaces that can double as a gallery.

During Ashland’s First Friday Art Walk, crowds thronged the studios, which were temporarily reconfigured to form a gallery featuring the work of studio members Inger Nova Jorgensen, Gabriel Mark Lipper, Corey Kahn, Nicole Wasgatt and Robyn Forsyth.

The artists had been working together in shared studio space in Talent.

“This is a studio, but I can make it into a gallery,” Jorgensen said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

The art space has three brick walls and a fourth cinder block wall painted white. Skylights let in natural light, while a roll-up glass garage door allows the artists to take their large-scale paintings and sculptures in and out of the building.

“I love this new space,” Wasgatt said. “We wanted the studio-gallery connection. It allows us to have shows and connect with the community. We’ve known each other many years. We lift each other up and inspire each other.”
Lipper said the space is perfect for the artists who now work there.

“It’s fantastic. We’ve been able to create a space that encourages mutual creativity and at the same time a place to do our own work,” he said.

Local resident and calligrapher Phil Gagnon, who was attending the First Friday Art Walk exhibit at the studios, said with its high ceilings, the space seems conducive to exhibiting large-scale artwork.

“It’s nice to see big pieces. The environment is very unique. They did a beautiful job designing it the way they have,” he said.

Staff members for the Ashland Daily Tidings began operating from their home offices after the building was vacated in 2010 in a cost-cutting move. The Daily Tidings’ sister paper, the Medford Mail Tribune, prints the paper editions of the Ashland newspaper.

Ashland Daily Tidings Original Article

Figure 17

75in × 50in Mixed media on paper

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