• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Visual Arts

August 13, 2014

Walking through the dark empty corridors of Oaklea Middle School on a muggy August day, Principal Brian Young opens a door and flicks on the light. The classroom that comes into focus is filled with tables, colorful cabinets and student artwork tacked to the walls — all covered in the patina of art projects lingering from yesteryear.

“It’s kind of sad coming in here knowing,” Young pauses. “I think it’s probably been seven to 10 years since Oaklea had an actual art elective as a class.”

July 9, 2014

Shanna Trumbly was sitting in a cave roasting hotdogs when she saw the hummingbird. The Eugene artist was visiting Yachats with her family and, while on a hike, they had taken shelter from the rain. 

“Out of the corner of my eye, I see this little bzzz,” she says, fluttering her hands. “There are no flowers around or anything. It was just like rock walls and the ocean … It was so bizarre because it wasn’t even a place where a hummingbird would be hanging out.” She adds, “Right when it flew off, the rain stopped.”

July 3, 2014

Sculptor Ian Beyer tells me with a wry smile that his sister, painter Erika Beyer, is the smart one, what with her dual college degrees in scientific illustration and architecture. This is the sort of affectionate ribbing that commonly passes between siblings; what’s not so common is the level of talent that unifies the Beyers in their separate creative endeavors.

June 19, 2014

Esteban Camacho weaves through the skateboard jungle that is the new WJ Skatepark + Urban Plaza, finding some smooth invisible path while I stumble after him, jumping out of the way of teens on wheels. It’s clear the artist is a seasoned veteran of the site. We sit on a bench carved into a ramp, skateboarders whirring around us. Hands leathery with green paint, Camacho points up at the murals developing on two pillars buttressing I-105. 

June 5, 2014

“Looking at the world today, there is tremendous uncertainty in our lives,” says Venerable Jigme Rinpoche, founder and director at the Palmo Center for Peace and Education. “We’re confronted with difficulty, crisis and challenges. We urgently need the vision and courage to find ways to handle these difficulties, both individually and globally, with deeper acceptance, insight and compassion.” 

That’s where the arts come into play. 

May 29, 2014

By some fateful collision of time, situation and personality, certain individuals come to represent the places where they live, in such a way that the association becomes nearly mythological: Lou Reed symbolizes the junky glam of the East Village, Harvey Milk is forever Mayor of the Castro District, Saul Bellow haunts Chicago’s Humboldt Park.

May 14, 2014

“I was born in 1984,” says Nicole Anne Colbath. “For me that Clash show wasn’t gonna happen.”

Colbath is referring to the legendary British punk band’s early ’80s concert at the UO’s McArthur Court. A flyer for that show is now safely housed by the Eugene Underground Music Archive, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to the collection of flyers and ephemera,” filed with 3,000 other Eugene-area concert flyers mostly from the late ’70s through the ’90s.

“It is sort of nostalgia,” Colbath adds. “I get bummed about shows I missed.”

April 10, 2014

Irene Hardwicke Olivieri and Jo Hamilton may not be native Oregonians, but their art seems to spring from the earthy soul of this region. Both artists’ work has strong ties to craft movements, activism and community (whether that consists of people or animals). Now living in Oregon, Olivieri and Hamilton also both work in a large-scale format and display an immaculate attention to detail. However, their work is wildly different — Olivieri creates nature-infused oil paintings and Hamilton constructs urban “crochet paintings” of people and cityscapes. 

March 6, 2014

“Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” a bright yellow billboard yelled out at New York City in 2012. Beneath the question was this statistic: Less than 4 percent of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 76 percent of the nudes are female. Created by art activists the Guerrilla Girls, the message was directed at the Metropolitan Museum. The National Museum of Women in the Arts in D.C. states “51 percent of visual artists today are women,” but “only 5 percent of the art currently on display in U.S.

October 3, 2013

Boobs. That’s what men on the street stopped to talk to Kari Johnson about when she was painting the “4th and Monroe” mural. What’s wrong with her boobs? Hey, she’s missing a boob! They would holler. The year was 1991, and Johnson was painting her first Eugene mural on a residential building in the Whit, featuring, at its focal point, a nude elder who has undergone a mastectomy.

August 29, 2013

With all the hoopla of Eugene Celebration and Kaleidoscope Music Festival this past weekend, you probably laid eyes on a whole slew of inexplicable sights. And if you saw a giant glowing jellyfish bouncing around Mount Pisgah, don’t fret — you weren’t having a crazy trip; those dancing tentacles were just the far-out fiber optic artwork of local company Ants On A Melon. 

August 1, 2013

Imagine this: A loved one passes but there’s no funeral where you can honor her memory, no loving obituary to read in the paper, no gravestone to lay flowers upon. In some cases, any traces that she existed at all have been wiped clean.

“A lot of homeless people lose their identity and then they pass away,” says Josie McCarthy, the manager for FOOD for Lane County’s Family Dinner Program at the Dining Room on 8th. “There’s not a big celebration of them, of their life.” 

May 9, 2013

The Futureforecast of Stormcloudcomputing — just sit with that for a moment. That’s the name of the UO visiting artist lecture by Chicago-based interface artist Jon Satrom. Satrom manipulates all those zeroes and ones in your smart gadgets to make glitchy electronic and video art like “Windows Rainbows and Dinos.” The lecture, or “desktop performance,” begins at 6 pm Thursday, May 9, at 177 Lawrence Hall, University of Oregon; free.

 

May 9, 2013
TwentyAfterFour mural, by Dylan Kauz and Capsel Rock

 

May 2, 2013
‘The Oregon Trail,’ 8 ft. by 4 ft.

 

Slabs of redwood, spalted maple, black walnut and butternut — these are printmaker Josh Krute’s inspiration and tools, but it all started with driftwood found at Colorado’s Blue Mesa Reservoir.

April 25, 2013

Never mind DeLoreans, phone booths or Einstein’s theory of relativity, local photographer Dmitri von Klein has cracked the secret to time travel: a 60-year-old Graflex camera. The lens of his 4X5 large format camera is like a wormhole into the history of the American West, rediscovering places like the “almost ghost town” of Shaniko in northern Oregon or the full-blown ghost town of Bodie in central California.

April 11, 2013

Vampires are not dead (OK, technically they’re undead). Even with the final nail in the Twilight coffin, they still walk among us: True Blood’s sixth season premieres this June, Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires in the City will be released in May, a remake of the 1992 cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in the works and an adaptation of the video game Castlevania is slated for 2014.

April 4, 2013

Vincent van Gogh walks into a bar and the bartender offers him a drink. Van Gogh responds, “No, thank you. I’ve got one ‘ere.”

What did blue say to orange? “I never say no to a complement.”

March 28, 2013

Abandoned homesteads on plains of matted golden grains. A door’s once glorious enframement, now peeling like an onion, pieces of its papery skin withering at its feet. A pristine cerulean bedroom, empty save for squares of sunlight from a four-pane window. Forgotten houses collapsing under the weight of moss, mold and time. These are the images that photographer Jason Rydquist seeks in his visual exploration, from Michigan to the forsaken corners of Oregon, and they will be on display in his show Retrospect starting March 29 at Sam Bond’s.

March 28, 2013

Eating Jell-O is so passé. At Maude Kerns Art Center, it is art. In its 25th year, the Jell-O Art Show captivates audiences with its jiggling creativity. This time around, the theme for the benefit — hosted by Maude Kerns and Eugene’s Radar Angels — is “iJell-O.” 

“The iPhone or the iPad is the iJell-O,” says Michael Fisher, the exhibit coordinator at Maude Kerns. “But the artwork doesn’t necessarily have to do with the theme. It can be anything.” 

March 7, 2013

Kaila Farrell-Smith wants to decolonize her mind, and yours. She wants to repair the damage of the brutal concept from her father’s childhood: “Kill the Indian. Save the Man.” The Portland-based painter is exploring “split-headedness,” which she says “comes from being raised within an indigenous/tribal paradigm as well as having education in linear, Western concepts and society,” through her oil portraits and landscapes.

February 21, 2013

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is delving deeper into the belly of ’60s and ’70s counterculture art with Advertising the Contradictions, an exhibit that explores the collision of art, culture and politics through the eyes of local artist Violet Ray. While not part of the official West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America exhibit that opened Feb 8., the JSMA added the local artist’s work because of its role in Vietnam anti-war protests — his photo collages were reprinted on fliers and widely distributed.

February 21, 2013

Most people listen to vinyl; some go as far as to frame their favorite record sleeves and display them proudly on their walls while others use them as a blank canvas. On Feb. 23 you can see and purchase repurposed record art at the 4th annual Beats & Brushstrokes silent auction hosted by the UO Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network (ELAN). But make sure to get there early; last year’s event quickly reached capacity, and there was a line out the door.

February 7, 2013

Oil painter Mark Rogers has been taking a lot of vitamins lately, and he doesn’t know how he feels about it. His ambivalence towards vitamins, and medicine in general, is illustrated in his latest painting, “Take Your Medicine.” The oil panel features, in the words of the artist, “This old guy with these fucked-up bat wings giving medicine to these prairie dogs … I was thinking he was kind of like an angel but a bad angel.” The effect is at once unsettling and comical.