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Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 6.23.11

 

Impressions of the Ordinary

View from My Apartment by Brooke Borcherding

A series of paintings hangs in two straight rows in the main hallway of the WOW Hall. When you're running to that concert youve been waiting weeks to see, the art is easy to overlook. But catch a glimpse of one hanging to the left of the snack stand and you may immediately recognize the subject. Recent UO graduate Brooke Borcherding is showing a series of oil paintings that illuminate seemingly ordinary spaces in and around the Eugene area. From the familiar landscape around the pedestrian bridge over the Willamette River to the PeaceHealth building along 13th Avenue, Borcherdings body of work is uniquely Eugene. Its fitting that her paintings have been featured in such Eugene mainstays as Café Roma, Sweet Life Patisserie and now WOW Hall.

Twelve of the 16 paintings hanging in WOW Halls corridor focus on the view from Borcherdings apartment window. Its not a particularly spectacular half-block of Eugene, but its the progression of the paintings that draws you in. Borcherding takes an impressionistic approach to interpreting spaces and highlights different aspects of the same space each time she paints. She uses small brush strokes on the areas she wants to emphasize, bringing them into focus, while widening the strokes in the areas she wants to blur.

Painting the same space in different weather conditions and lighting situations allows Borcherding to play with focus and color. One painting focuses on a particular building lit up by a warm gold hue, while the painting right next to it blurs that building in a haze of grey and focuses on the house across the street.

It may be that youve stared blankly at these places every day on your way to work and not thought twice. But a walk through Borcherdings WOW Hall exhibit will put them in a new light.

Borcherdings exhibit can be seen any time during WOW Halls summer office hours, 3 to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, through June 30; n/c.ã Natalie Horner