Press Release

Half/Dozen is pleased to present Harmless Environments, a two person show by artists Ellen Jane Michael and Megan Scheminske. This exhibition juxtaposes Ellen Jane Michael’s work, which explores the
appeal of the romance novel, with Megan Scheminske’s look into the backrooms of the art makers
that are all around us

Both artists are embracing and looking to the narratives that are just beneath the surface. In Michael’s work she is prodding at the political, social and economic position of romance novels. In re-contextualizing the book, she is able to compare the cultural assumptions placed on text with the pleasure of viewing it. Scheminske’s photographs take a more selfish, although never malicious, starting place of needing to be surrounded by productive people to inspire and motivate her own process of making. The photos themselves offer few queues to the viewer of who the artists are or what their personal practices looks like, but rather focuses on the quiet moments between making that are so often tucked away and never seen.

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Ellen Jane Michael


Ellen Michael is an Adjunct Professor of Art and Gallery Directory at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, WA. She received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Arts from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.  She lived on the East Coast for 26 years before moving to Washington in 2008.  Her current work explores the appeal of the romance novels from a social, political, and economic position.


This work explores the appeal of the romance novel from a political, social, and economic standpoint. By deconstructing ones concept of a book’s text, structure, and meaning, I am compiling a multiplicity of narratives into a tangible object. Through this deconstruction of concept and material, I am able to reconstruct a new narrative; a narrative that is manifested in text, images, and found objects, but one that questions pleasure, culture, normality and gender roles.

“…what I enjoy in a narrative is not directly its content or even its structure, but rather the abrasions I impose upon the fine surface: I read on, I skip, I look up, I dip in again. Which has nothing to do with the deep laceration the text of bliss inflicts upon language itself, and not upon the simple temporality of its reading.” 
- Roland Barthes, Pleasure of Text

Curriculum Vitae

MFA, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA. 2009
BA, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA, 2004

2011 Harmless Environments, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
Arts in the Alley, Front Gallery, Cascade Clay Artists, Mount Vernon, WA
2007 Post Cards From the Edge, CGR Gallery, New York City, NY
2007 Cheap Love, MFA Thesis exhibition, Kipp Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsyvania, PA
2007 Print Exchange, Sex, Love and Magic, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA
2007 An inconvenient husband, Miller Gallery, Indiana, PA
2007 Graduate Art Exhibition, University Art Museum, Indiana University of PA

Professional Experience
2010-Present Adjunct Instructor of Art, Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon, WA
2010-2011 Arts Promotions Assistant, Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon, WA
2009 Assistant to Artist Shelia Klein, Bow, WA
2007-2005 Graduate Assistantship, Indiana, University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
2005-2003 Installation and Promotions, Artistsans Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, VA
2005 Docent, Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, VA
2004-2003 Installation and promotions, Hunt Gallery Internship, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA
2004 Assistant to Artist Richard Fleischner, Staunton, VA
2003 Assistant to Artist Thomas Knowskoski, Staunton, VA


Megan Scheminske


These photos are part of a series titled They Are All Around Us ( The work is an attempt to remind myself (and others) that creative, productive people are all around me, working, pushing through challenges to create.  I find that there is a need to surround myself with folks who are succeeding in their endeavors to make things, even if succeeding simply means continuing to work when times get rough. It’s a selfishly motivated project, but one that speaks broadly to how we relate to the people around us.

Curriculum Vitae

BA Fine Art (with Honors), Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, 2004

Additional Study
Marylhurst University, graduate level coursework in Art Therapy Counseling, 2009
National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, 2003
Marchutz School of Art, Aix-en-Provence, France, 2002
Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughn, Ireland, 2002

2011 Harmless Environments, Half/Dozen Gallery, Portland, OR
2011 Chain Letter, Samson Projects, Boston, MA
2011 Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR
2010 Transition, Tribute Gallery, Portland, OR
2009 Wish You Were Here, ConfluxCity, New York, NY
2009 The Grid, MP53, curated by TJ Norris, Portland, OR
2009 ReUnion: Self, Re:Vision Gallery, Portland, OR
2009 Chronicle Exhibition, Lakewood Center for the Arts, Lake Oswego, OR
2007 Off They Flew, Little Bird Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2006 InClover, Mt. Scott Park, Portland, OR (curated by Scott Wayne Indiana)
2006 Boredom: I Learned it by Watching You, Portland Art Center, Portland, OR
2005 18 Independent Artists, Portland Art Center, Portland, OR
2005 Expressions West, Coos Art Museum; Coos Bay, OR (curated by Norman Lundin)
2005 And at That Moment I Knew I was Addicted, FIX Gallery, Portland, OR
2005 Mindstates, Portland Commissioner Sam Adams’ office; Portland, OR
2004 Solving for X, Charlotte and Philip Hanes Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC
2003 Impressions, Urban Artware, Winston-Salem, NC

2010 I Want to Feel at Home Here, Milepost 5, Portland, OR

Awards and Distinctions
Art Therapy Scholarship (Marylhurst University)
Myra Levick Scholarship (American Art Therapy Association)
Eleanor Layfield Davis Art Scholar (Wake Forest University)
Richter Grant Recipient

Signal Fire, Bull of the Woods Wilderness, Oregon 2011
Artist-in-Residence: Burren College of Art, Co. Clare, Ireland 2003