Launch Pad Gallery: Featuring the work of local emerging artists.

A Swan Song, A Love Letter, A Blanket

New work on paper by Rochelle Koivunen

Featuring installation by Pollution Party & recycled plastic bag sculptures by Katie Simpson

Nice little mention and Pick in the Willamette Week- Read here!

About the show

Rochelle Koivunen’s new body of work features wall painting, five large scroll-mounted mixed-media works on paper and a suite of smaller framed portraits.

The work depicts tender relationships between humans and animals- refugees nurturing and caring for each other symbiotically once again as we move away from the anonymity and isolation of consumerism, technology and throw-away culture into a radically changed world where we all have to work together in order to survive.

The show responds to the suffering and destructive relationships that have evolved between humans and the world we live in and expresses hope for the future as we face the imminent arrival of peak oil, over-population, food shortages and natural disasters and are forced to rethink how we live.

Artist Statement

“A Swan Song for the Planet that humanity has ravaged so mercilessly.
A Love Letter to those who have fallen, to the protectors and to the revolutionaries.
What happens after a weaver tells her story in the making of a blanket?
These imaginings are a meditation to encourage the dreamers.

I first started painting in watercolors as a child, making idyllic fireside scenes around holiday time and fairy portraits in the summertime. As I grew I worked with acrylics, oils, printmaking, installation art and sculpture, and came full circle back to watercolor and pencil. These paintings are a process of listening and waiting, responding and embellishing. Each piece begins in a single moment of spontaneity with either splashing and puddling water or the pencil leading my hand. Then I listen and watch. I incorporate text from pop music, literature, friends’ quotes and the news. I draw, erase, draw, smudge, scrape, scumble, sand, burnish, wash or scrub as needed. Each mistake I embrace as part of the process, and often those marks lead me to new discoveries. The final piece always surprises me; sometimes with ideas and impetus about artmaking, sometimes with revelations about my personal life, or society and relationships. I always feel as if I have made a new friend. ”

About the artist

Rochelle Koivunen grew up in the country encouraged to make art and climb trees from a very young age. She has always been inspired by blades of grass, critters, and holes dug in fields. Rochelle currently lives in Portland and works out of an old warehouse studio where she paints, dances, and collaborates. After studying the fine arts at Portland State she flew to the Netherlands for two residencies in printmaking and installation. She keeps it lively with lots of collaborative projects, murals, installations, sculpture, and performance. Her work has been described as fantastic, whimsical, and appealing to those young at heart. Through her art she attempts to spread awareness about environmental concerns, enthusiasm for the power of individual action, and inspiration to create. As a member of the collaborative duo Pollution Party with Bettina McEntyre, she creates installations engaging the public in conversation about the role of art in activism and vice versa. Pollution Party has installed several interactive exhibits in Portland in the past year.


Rochelle Koivunen
Katie Simpson
Pollution Party

Bryce Panic
Mary Rose
Pelican Ossman
Exoh Exoh
DJ Maxx Bass

Visit again soon for more images of artwork!

Selected Pieces

click thumbnail for a full-size view.

Rochelle email show card
Rochelle email show card