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Visual Arts

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. 

January 24, 2013

A new light is shining bright in the Whiteaker community. Paper Moon Photo Studio, a photo studio specializing in old-timey photography, is now collaborating with The Red Raven Follies performance troupe at the former OliveJuice space on Blair Boulevard. 

January 3, 2013

There’s no better time to reflect on family dynamics than after the holidays, for many a time of family harmony and family madness, and that’s exactly what artist Sarah Refvem is doing with her First Friday ArtWalk solo exhibit Familiar Dynamics at the Woodpecker’s Muse on Jan. 4. Refvem’s last show explored group dynamics through painting photographs of school classes or swim meets her impressionist and expressionist style rendering the subjects just vague enough to be relatable to a wider audience.

December 27, 2012

There is a gallery in Eugene with more than 66,000 paintings from over 900 artists. That’s twice as many artworks than are currently on display in the Louvre Museum. You’re not going to find Daily Paintworks on any art walk, however, because it’s in the cloud; it’s online.

“The internet is transforming art — the art industry — just the way it has with music and publishing,” David Marine, co-founder of Daily Paintworks, says.

December 20, 2012

Sounds like the beginning of a highfalutin bon mot, but it was a crucial step in the production of the late Portland painter Carl Morris’ History of Religions murals that will open at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Dec. 21 only the second time they’ve been shown since the inaugural exhibition more than 50 years ago.

December 6, 2012

The 16th-century Dominican philosopher Giordano Bruno suggested that God was a living essence that flowed through and permeated the universe — i.e., God is not remote but dwells within us. You may scoff at such hippie-dippy huggermugger, but the Holy Roman Empire was so freaked by Bruno’s ideas about cosmic interconnectedness that they burned him at the stake.

December 6, 2012

After touring the West Coast with their Dead Rockstars exhibition, Blunt Graffix is back with another blockbuster show in Eugene, Blunt Fink! which gives iconic movies like Easy Rider, Big Trouble in Little China and Lolita a deliciously ghoulish spin. The “Fink!” part is derived from Rat Fink, the hot-rod icon created by cartoonist and custom car designer Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.