Stev OminskiIce Age discovered on the Mountain posted on 04/01/2019
For Mountain residents the discovery of Stev Ominski’s art
could be contributed to his Siamese cats, Lewis and Clark. Except the true
discovery of Ominski’s work has gone far beyond.
The Rhododendron resident’s recent work titled “Age’s End”
depicts the classic view up the Columbia River Gorge during a Missoula Ice Age
flood which occurred some 20,000 years ago. This work – 24 inches high, 48
inches wide, rendered by acrylic on canvas – attracted the attention of the
Oregon Historical Society (OHS).
“The collections manager (from OHS), Nicole Yasuhara, contacted
me out of the blue and asked if they might use “Age’s End” to represent the Ice
Age floods in Oregon for their new permanent exhibit Experience Oregon (which
is) now open,” Ominski told The Mountain Times. “Of course, I was both pleased
and honored to have been selected by OHS. They purchased a digital file and
some limited use rights.”
The recent discovery element didn’t end there. Shortly after
that recognition Ominski was contacted by a graphic designer (Steve Johnston)
who was working with a group at the State Capitol installing an exhibit on the
roof of the dome and they thought Ominski’s depiction of the Ice Age
floodwaters slamming into Beacon Rock would fit in nicely with the exhibit.
“The Inundation of Beacon Rock” in the Columbia River Gorge
is now a part of the east-facing interpretive panel on the capitol’s dome roof.
“I’ve been working on this suite of Ice Age floods imagery
for over 25 years with the help and input from my friends and colleagues in the
geologic community,” he said.
The result has been that these works have been exhibited in
selected natural history museums and venues as well as used in lectures by
educators and newspapers and magazines and field guides, before the recent
“It’s been an ongoing career commitment,” Ominski added.
Also appearing on Page 1 – “The Rowena Incident” – features
Ominski feigning a pending mammoth trampling. The mammoth size is in stride
with the subject matter, as the piece is 9.5 feet by 10 feet and is part of a
permanent collection at The Discovery Center in The Dalles. The “Incident” is
an acrylic on canvas with the selfie photo shot on a tripod with timer.
“I’m 12 years older now,” Ominski said of the enormous
canvas. “But I look much the same … with a bit longer, grayer hair in my beard
– the shaggy badger look.”
Ominski, 67, is primarily self-taught, and began his
professional career in the fine arts in 1970 working initially on landscapes
and subjects from the natural world.
His studio is open to free tours in Timberline Rim. Make
your own discovery of Ominski’s art by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Larry Berteau/MT