September 2021 Becky Frehse, Tone Poems

Tone Poems- Mixed Media Exhibition by Becky Frehse

An exhibition presented by the Helen S. Smith Gallery September 20, 2021 - December 3, 2021.

Becky Frehse Artist Talk

Exhibition Artwork | Becky Frehse

Tone Poems is a mixed media painting and assemblage exhibition that borrows ideas from musical concepts that use descriptive elements to evoke the meaning of a story, memory, or place. Large scale paintings are built upon musical staff lines inscribed into an initial gesso layer to provide a linear, graph-like structure. As a composition develops, it becomes a “score” in which sumptuous color, intricate surface textures, and rhythmic patterns suggest the sensations of a particular theme within a pictorial space. Color harmonies are used to represent changes in pitch or modulations from higher to lower notes for expressive phrases. Other materials such as embroidery thread, strings from cellos or violins, and/or actual musical instrument parts are sometimes embedded in or attached to a surface to create another layer of spatial depth and lyrical detail.

Tone Poems will activate the gallery by including sculptural work made with found objects, tree branches, and musical instruments that respond to larger paintings. Theatrical, color-changing lights are used to enhance rhythmic possibilities for dramatic effects.

Becky has enjoyed a long career as an artist and art educator in Tacoma. Her studio practice focuses on discovery and invention with mixed media painting and reclaimed materials. Since retiring from teaching in the Art Dept. at the University of Puget Sound, Becky teaches privately in her studio.

October Tone Poem

Acrylic, oil, and collage with cello strings and embroidery thread on canvas



Animation Showcase | Fall 2021



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