Avantika Bawa

About the Installation

Site Location: Willow-Witt Ranch
Title: A Yellow Scaffold On the Ranch
#artbeyond2021

A Yellow Scaffold On the Ranch is the sixth installation of the ‘Scaffold Series’. Here utilitarian scaffolds are transformed by color and context into formal sculpture, as they cease to be objects of function. This transformation is realized by painting them bright yellow, and consciously choreographing their install on Willow-Witt Ranch nestled in a valley in the Cascade mountain range. Yellow, the dominant, and only color in the installation is directly connected to growth and life. A Yellow Scaffold On the Ranch serves as a symbol of hope as we move past these trying times, while also bringing a burst of cheer to those who gaze at it amidst the pastoral background.

About the Artist

Avantika Bawa is an artist, curator, and educator based in Portland, OR, and often resides in her hometown, New Delhi, India.

Bawa has an MFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in the same from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India.

She has participated in the Skowhegan, MacDowell, Kochi Biennial Foundation, and Djerassi residencies among others. Noteworthy solo exhibits include shows at: The Portland Art Museum, Schneider Museum, Ashland, OR: Suyama Space, Seattle, WA, The Columbus Museum, GA, Saltworks Gallery, and the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Atlanta, GA: Nature Morte, and Gallery Maskara, India: White Box, Tilt Gallery & Project Space, and Disjecta, Portland, OR.

In April 2004 she was part of a team that launched Drain – Journal for Contemporary Art and Culture. www.drainmag.com. In 2014 Avantika was appointed to the board of the Oregon Arts Commission. She is currently Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University, Vancouver, WA.

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Artist Statement

My practice emphasizes the intersections where drawing and sculpture, stasis and motion, and the functional and non-functional intermingle. Geographic and architectural differences in landscape strongly inform my work. I explore the diversity of topographies, the presence or absence of color in local environments, and the range of visual and tactile qualities of locally sourced and fabricated materials.

Bearing in mind a location’s prior use, I create wall drawings and/or paintings, and repurpose and rearrange functional objects to create temporary installations on-site. My approach is influenced by Minimalism and its emphasis on reductive form, modularity, and experimentation with scale. I gather and compose industrial products like brick, plywood, and concrete, simulating common gestures, such as sitting, leaning, pulling, and stacking. These installations invite the viewer to experience the crossroads between the utilitarian, historical, and aesthetic qualities of each space.

In addition to site-based works, I have a sustained drawing practice. Often these are preliminary studies, or a response to my installations, while the majority are stand-alone pieces. These drawings are deliberative yet whimsical, as I work with the pure physicality of line, shape, surface and color.

Related Events

Thursday, June 3rd at 12:30pm
Virtual Creative Industries Discussion: Avantika Bawa
Site: Virtual

Saturday, June 5th, 4pm
Performance with Left Edge Percussion
Site: Willow-Witt Ranch

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Gabriel Barrera

About the Installation

Site Location: Vesper Meadow
#artbeyond2021

Signal Fire announces Gabriel Barrera as 2021 Tinderbox Artist in Residence at Vesper Meadow. The artwork created at this residency will be on display at Vesper Meadow and will include a mural on the barn as well as additional collaborative artworks with visitors and or volunteers. Tinderbox Artists in Residence are embedded in grassroots environmental advocacy organizations. Artists receive a stipend, and work closely with the staff and volunteers in the office and the field to develop a body of work specific to the experience. This partnership exists at the intersection of multiple artist communities, regional social justice initiatives, and decolonized environmental stewardship showcasing the capacity of interdisciplinary coalition building across the Rogue Valley.

About the Artist

Originally from Southern California, Gabriel Barrera is a Mexican American/Xicanx visual artist living in Southern Oregon. He works in various mediums including traditional art methods, multimedia and graphics. His artwork is rooted in social justice, advocacy, and youth mentorship. Gabriel received a BFA from Pratt Institute and has worked for over 20 years as a scenic artist in theaters such as South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and numerous colleges. He currently operates ScenicG, a visual art and design company providing services in art/design, workshops, consultation, facilitation and mentorship. Learn more at scenicg.com.

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ETSY

Artist Statement

I am Gabriel Barrera. I own ScenicG, a small art and design company with my spouse, Merilee, in Southern Oregon. I am a painter, scenic artist, activist, and mentor. My recent artwork has centered around the intersections of social justice, identity, social location and isolation during the pandemic. When practicing my art, I take into consideration the intersectionality of identity, social impact and relevance of the subject. I paint in oil and acrylic and am influenced by methods and techniques from my 20 years as a scenic artist. The Tinderbox-Art Beyond residency is an important component to building a strong alliance with indigenous artists like Ka’ila Farrell-Smith who will be a mentor throughout the residency and beyond. The residency will help me build trusting relationships with local tribal artists and activists fighting for environmental justice.

The Tinderbox-Art Beyond Residency at Vesper Meadow sponsored by Signal Fire and the SOU Schneider Museum of Art is an important part of my personal and artistic journey. The conceptual framework of my artwork will center around environmental justice, the history of the environment, people and animals of the land. The artwork I produce and share from this residency will include a painted mural on the facade of a barn, individual art pieces made from remnant findings on the land, and an art panel for visitors to practice art making. I also plan on creating a video documenting my artmaking process. I look forward to providing a lecture midway into my residency describing my artwork and advocacy.

Related Events

Saturdays, May 15th through July 17th, from 9am to Noon
Volunteer at Vesper Meadow
RSVP Required

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Terry Longshore

Site Location: Willow-Witt Ranch
Title: Framework: Scaffolded Clouds
Composed by Terry Longshore
Performed by Left Edge Percussion
#artbeyond2021

About the Artist

Terry Longshore is a percussionist whose genre-crossing work exhibits the artistry of the concert stage, the spontaneity of jazz, and the energy of a rock club. Based in Ashland, Oregon, he maintains an energetic career as an educator, performer, and composer. He serves as Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, where he directs Left Edge Percussion and is Chair and Graduate Coordinator of the Music Program.

Whether collaborating with multi-media artists, composing live music for dance and theatre, or premiering works by today’s most ground-breaking composers, Terry Longshore brings a dynamic voice to every musical encounter. He is the co-artistic director of flute and percussion duo Caballito Negro and multi-media duo Left Edge Collective, and is member of the Portland Percussion Group and Flamenco Pacifico. He has performed extensively with ensembles Skin & Bones, Conundrum, Sonoluminescence, and red fish blue fish, and has performed at numerous festivals and concert series including the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, the Britt Music & Arts Festival, the Transplanted Roots International Percussion Symposium (Montreal and Guanajuato), Musik i Väst Festival (Sweden), the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Festival of New American Music, the Northwest Percussion Festival, The Oregon Fringe Festival, Center for New Music (San Francisco), and numerous times at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC). His compositions for percussion have been performed at festivals and competitions throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Longshore has premiered over 100 compositions for solo percussion, percussion ensemble, chamber ensemble, symphony orchestra, and the theatre. With nearly 100 tracks on Spotify and other music platforms, his recordings include multiple CDs for composer Mark Applebaum on the innova and Tzadik labels, the percussion music of Iannis Xenakis on Mode Recordings, music of percussion maverick William Kraft on Albany, and Michael Gordon’s Natural History on Cantaloupe Music. He also champions new solo and chamber works for percussion by commissioning, organizing, and participating in consortium commissions for works from a diverse body of composers. Recent projects include collaborations with and commissions by composers Rajna Swaminathan, Joby Talbot, Aaron Garcia, Susanna Hancock, Finola Merivale, Emma O’Halloran, Shruthi Rajasekar, Steven Snowden, Annika K. Socolofsky, Ivan Trevino, Molly Joyce, Alejandro Viñao, Bryan Jeffs, Jared Brown, Jodi French, David Crowell, Mark Applebaum, Peter Garland, Eugene Koshinski, Robert Honstein, Wally Gunn, Erik Griswold, Elliot Cole, and Roshanne Etezady. Terry Longshore is a Marimba One Vibe Artist, a Yamaha Performing Artist, and an artist endorser for Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Remo Drumheads, Gon Bops Percussion, and Beato Bags. He is a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Education Network, and is a trained HealthRHYTHMS facilitator.

Terry Longshore holds bachelor’s degrees from the California State University at Fresno (Business Administration – Computer Applications and Systems) and Sacramento (Music – Percussion Performance) and earned the master’s and doctoral degrees in Contemporary Music Performance from the University of California, San Diego. His education includes significant study of Spanish flamenco and the classical music of India, including study at the Ali Akbar College of Music. His teachers include Steven Schick, Daniel Kennedy, Swapan Chaudhuri, Ronald Holloway, David Glyde, Chuck Flores, and Kartik Seshadri. He enjoys fly fishing, cycling, hiking, and especially traveling the world with his wife Jennifer and hanging out with his children, Madeleine and Maxwell.

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Artist Statement

Framework: Scaffolded Clouds was commissioned by the Schneider Museum of Art for Art Beyond, an outdoor art exhibition focusing on sculptural and installation based artworks. It will be performed on Avantika Bawa‘s A Yellow Scaffold on the Ranch, an installation artwork created for the exhibition and erected at Willow-Witt Ranch outside of Ashland, Oregon. 

The performers play on the artwork itself, an idea that came to composer Terry Longshore when Scott Malbaurn, Director of the Schneider Museum of Art, first described the work to him, “I instantly thought of climbing on and playing directly on the scaffolding, but I was afraid that would not be welcomed. It turned out Avantika loved the idea; ‘Beat the hell out of it!’ she said. I was thrilled!”

Similar to Bawa’s works, Framework: Scaffolded Clouds is modular and minimalist in nature, utilizing cells of rhythmic and textural musical material including a technique borrowed from Greek-French composer and architect Iannis Xenakis – “stochastic clouds of percussive sonorities.” Silence is also employed, inspired by the “space between” – a meadow, a cloud, an interior, etc. – one experiences when viewing Bawa’s Scaffold series. The score is arranged in a scaffolded fashion, the cells of musical materials built upon and connecting to each other, with instructions to the performers on how to move between them during a performance. 

The premiere of Framework: Scaffolded Clouds will be performed by Left Edge Percussion on June 5, 2021, at 4:00 pm. Performers: Terry Longshore (Artistic Director), Jade Hails, Delaney Jai, Bryan Jeffs, Bobby Odle, and Parker Stockford.

Related Events

Saturday, June 5th, 4pm
Performance with Left Edge Percussion
Site: Willow-Witt Ranch

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Cheryl Kempner

About the Installation

Site Location: ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum
Title: A Whimsical Gathering
#artbeyond2021

Whimsey is necessary during our current time of multiple challenges. Maybe it is possible that a steel tree grows branches in the shapes of spirals topped by a red-winged black bird. I hope strolling by my fanciful trees will bring smiles to visitors. These plasma cut steel pieces also signify strength and longevity along with light heartedness.

About the Artist

I have a Master’s degree in Adult Education and taught for 23 years at community colleges. This teaching supported my art explorations in handmade paper, glass fusing, silver smithing, plus many more. But hand building clay has been the winner for the last three decades. My clay work has been carried at five galleries around Oregon and I have sold at summer art fairs from Washington down to Central California. All these art experiences have added to my ease in succeeding in this new metal art form.

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Additional artwork is available at Ashland Art Works, 291 Oak St.

Artist Statement

I create art that makes me smile.  I hope that visitors will stroll by my whimsical metal trees and smile, too.  I cut rusted steel with a plasma torch. Often the scraps that fall to the floor inspire new ideas for yet another piece.  My husband does the welding and both of us do the powder coating.  I am pleased that as a seventy-year-old woman, I can still create and share these fun pieces of artwork.  Yes, it is possible that a steel tree could grow branches in the shape of spirals with each topped with a red-winged black bird.

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Jessi Eaton-Shields

About the Installation

Site Location: ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum
Title: with(in)
#artbeyond2021

with(in) was created entirely during the pandemic. While living in the mountains of Ashland, I have found myself surrounded by nature while being quarantined. In fact, while on a run in the Siskiyou National Forest, I found the steel bars for this artwork, discarded in mass down a steep mountainside. As a stay-at-home parent during a pandemic, I can relate to the idea that so much has been lost, a year discarded. Yet I hope that with this piece I can give people pause, to experience another viewpoint on what most would consider lost.

Geometric shapes don’t often appear in nature which is dominated by organic shapes. While creating these geometric forms I thought about humanity creating a place for itself in nature. Now more than ever we are confronted with the choices that we have made, the marks we have left on the land, and trying to figure out how to live with(in) nature without destroying it or ourselves.

With this piece, I wanted to combine my background as an architectural stone carver with the inspiration of Buckminster Fuller to create an architecturally inspired experience. A playful expression of possibilities. The complex angles and shapes mirror the complexities of being a parent during a pandemic while trying to instill in our children that there is still magic, innocence, and discovery in the world. My hope is that adults will experience that childlike playfulness and wonder as well.

About the Artist

Jessi Eaton-Shields lives in Ashland, Oregon where she lives and plays in the mountains with her two little boys, husband, and boxer dog.  She is from St. Louis, Missouri, leaving to attend College of the Ozarks where she studied Studio Art.  She later moved to Austin, Texas for an Americorps program in conservation.  It was in Austin that she apprenticed under Master Stone Carver Joseph Kincannon learning banker masonry and architectural hand carving, quickly moving up to being an associate and member of the design team at Kincannon Studios.  She was active in the arts community of Austin and participated in the EAST Austin Studio Tours for many years as well as exhibiting in many solo and group art shows.  She moved to Oregon to raise her children in the mountains as a stay-at-home parent, occasionally leaving to help teach at stone carving symposiums, and is a member of the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association.  She is currently attending Southern Oregon University, homeschooling her kids during the pandemic, and creating art in her studio in Ashland.

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Artist Statement

I believe that every subject can be explored by the same individual through different mediums creating completely separate and complex visual representations on the same subject matter, which is why I have tried to meld my background in fine art and architectural stone carving.  Whatever the medium I choose, or combine, I am trying to create a unique viewpoint on a complex subject, idea, or emotion.  I am a tactile person and this shows through in all of my work including the two-dimensional pieces, but I am more drawn to making three-dimensional work including sculptural painting.  I enjoy mixing organic and found items, and creating something profound from discarded and wasted elements, spinning the ideas of reduce, reuse, and recycle, while bringing significance to the ordinary. I incorporate flora and fauna in every medium and question ideas on existence, reality, meaning/purpose, and the complex human condition and mind.

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Corbin Brashear

About the Installation

Site Location: ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum
Titles: Guardian of the Forest and Joy of the Dance
#artbeyond2021

Guardian of the Forest
The Guardian of the Forest peers down from an ancient cottonwood, asking the viewer what they can do to help the earth. Viewers are encouraged to write their pledge onto fabric pieces located in the basket that hangs nearby, and that can be tied to surrounding branches as prayer offerings. I travelled to the land of my ancestors in Ireland a few years ago, and came across a few “rag trees”. In Celtic culture, Rag Trees, also known as “raggedy bushes”, of Ireland or Scotland are often found near sacred holy wells. Usually, Hawthorn, Ash, or Whitethorn trees are chosen as rag trees, and are hung with scraps of fabric or pieces of clothing. The fabric used in rag trees is symbolic and meaningful, as it usually indicates a desire or dream, or else a need for help with a problem. Typically, help with an issue, or increased good fortune, is believed to come when the fabric disintegrates from the effects of time and exposure to the elements. According to legend, by the time the rags have rotted through completely, the problem will have resolved itself. 

Joy of the Dance
These are dark and challenging times we are living through. The ecstatic communal joy of dancing to live music feels like a distant memory. The experience of collective dance is an ancient and essential part of being human and one of the many sacred things we have lost access to during this pandemic.

My installation celebrates the joy of the dance with figurative sculptures crafted out of driftwood and needlefelted wool, dancing around a tree. There is something deeply elemental, ancient and holy about figures dancing together. This installation is created both as a reminder and as an offering : an invitation to a visceral memory of joy that is still possible.

About the Artist

Corbin Brashear is a fiber artist and teacher who creates whimsical mixed media sculptures, masks and tapestries using found natural objects and needle felted wool which she exhibits at fine art and craft shows around the Northwest. Her work is profoundly influenced by the rugged wilderness of her remote homestead in the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon. She lives simply, off the grid, which has allowed her to deepen her artistic expression and offers her the raw materials such as driftwood, kelp and lichen, with which to work. In addition to creating her own art, Corbin has made it her life’s work to create opportunities for creative exploration for children. She has spent the last 25 plus years working to create programs to nurture and inspire the creative life of the children in her own community. She loves sharing the limitless freedom and potential of needle felting and has been facilitating needle felting workshops for 15 years both locally and at art retreats all over the West. Most recently, Corbin collaborated with a local animator, Deanna Morse, and a team of children to create a short film “Recipe for Birds” which has been shown at film festivals both internationally and here in Ashland at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

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Artist Statement

I am inspired by the shapes and organic forms I find in nature, such as driftwood and kelp. I am intrigued by the past stories of these objects, and the forces that shaped them into what they are now. I love the challenge of integrating these beautiful found natural objects into my art and creating a new story, full of whimsy and wool.

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Bobby Arellano

About the Installation

Site Location: ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum
Title: Freedom Submarine
#artbeyond2021

On the 4th of July, 1979, I was nine years old when I had my first big idea: it began as something that I thought would make me happy during a difficult time, when my home life had some conspicuous similarities to the current state of Covid lockdown: I was not able to easily leave home, both for my youth and the logistical challenges of navigating my parents’ deteriorating relationship, and I was isolated because the last of my four siblings had left for college the previous fall. I decided to take the family’s “portable” TV set outside to my happiest place (beneath the mimosa tree), plug it in with a string of extension cords, and watch a special showing of the Beatles’ animated feature Yellow Submarine scheduled for that afternoon on Channel 5 — WNEW — in the NYC-metro area. It was bold, it was risky, and it remains my earliest memory of attempting something unusual that I associate with my current creative interests in conceptual art.

For the first 45 days of the installation (until June 30th), anyone may leave a voicemail message for Freedom Submarine at 541.552.8146. People who indicate their permission will have their messages mixed into a new audio collage that will be included for the final 10 days (July 8th – 18th) on Freedom Submarine.

Ways to interact with Freedom Submarine:

Tell a story about the town where you were born.

Tell a story about something funny, or special, or creative you did. . . and how it made you feel happy, brave, or free.

Tell any kind of story you want!

Once you have your story ready how you’d like it, call 541.552.8146 and tell it in a brief voicemail message. People who indicate their permission will have their messages mixed into a new audio collage that will be included for the final 10 days (July 8th – 18th) on Freedom Submarine.

You can use this thinksheet, or start from scratch yourself.

In the town where I was born

lived a ______________________

and ______________________

______________________ for all to see

So I ______________________

and ______________________

on the ______________________

in the ______________________

And ______________________

and ______________________

with a ______________________

__________, and _____________

Now we ______________________

Leave a voicemail for Freedom Submarine at 541.552.8146

About the Artist

I have been teaching and practicing narrative design and interactive writing for 30 years, since I became the first student at Brown University to pursue a digital-media degree through the Literary Arts program. My pioneering work in online storytelling includes the internet’s first hyperzine, “Albert Hoffman’s Strange Mistake” (1993) and the web’s first interactive novel, “Sunshine ’69” (1996). I went on to experiment with nonlinear storytelling in real space, through a string of successful commissions for public art installations with grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) in 2000 and the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Arts Council in 2001.

I participated in the Schneider Museum faculty showcase exhibitions in 2015, 2017, and 2019. The last was a nonlinear-narrative project in virtual reality titled “Hypertext Hotel.” I would like to thank Miles Inada, who not only made that fun portrait of me at the top of this page, but whose attitude towards art and friendship affects everything I’ve worked on since moving to Ashland eleven years ago this summer. I tucked a bit of his animation artistry into the video remix. Can you guess what shot it is?

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Artist Statement

When I was hired to open the Center for Emerging Media & Digital Arts (EMDA) in 2010, we held our first open house (in 500 square feet of CS-East with some nifty windows) within 30 days of my arrival in Ashland. Besides an interdepartmental center serving the entire university, EMDA became a place for students faculty and staff to connect with intercollegiate consortiums as well as a resource center open to everyone in the community: With the mission of addressing real-world challenges using the power of digital media, in a few months EMDA had partnerships with essential business and nonprofits like the Ashland Chamber, the Ashland Independent Film Festival, Britt Festivals, and Southern Oregon Film & Media. In other words, EMDA has always been about getting out beyond the walls of the university, and that’s why I am so excited about Art Beyond.

On the opening day of the Hypertext Hotel exhibition at the Schneider Museum in 2019, we learned that the PC we planned to run the VR installation on during the show did not have a powerful enough CPU. We scrambled to find an alternative, but there was not a powerful enough rig at the university that could be dedicated to the museum for the required length of time. I reached out to the owner of Medford’s Cyber Center, Anthony Kaiserman, and he stepped in and kindly donated a computer for the show’s entire six-week run. After that, he became a mentor to our students and more involved with the SOU Alumni Association. I have always believed in the credo “make virtue of necessity” — in fact, sometimes a solution yields even greater rewards than addressing the original need. In the case of Freedom Submarine, the TV was donated for free by a stranger in our community who responded to an inquiry on a local, online marketplace.

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Miri Admoni

About the Installation

Site Location: ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum
Title: Field of Dreams
#artbeyond2021

Field of Dreams is about journey and transformation, both in the process of making it and in its life as a field of dreams for me and the viewer. 

Sand heated to 3090 degrees Fahrenheit transforms into glass, an amorphous solid. The word, amorphous, comes from the ancient Greek god, Morpheus, the Bringer of Dreams and the Maker of Shapes. 

Dreams and fantasies are woven as a metaphor in this work through the raw and delicate materials, speaking of transformation in my life. 

Field of Dreams is installed at the museum’s yard in a six foot tall raised bed of soil. Materials: Borosilicate glass tubes, sand, hand pulled glass threads, bamboo sticks. Technique: Torch work, constructed. 

Dimensions: 50f x 4f x 20” 

Year: 2021

Site Location: ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum
Title: Desert Bloom

The desert series is a group of abstract sculptures that celebrate the beauty and the colors of  earth. All the colors in these works are a result of reactions of glass fused with metals.  I call it Alchemy glass.  

Desert Bloom is inspired by the red Poppies that bloom during winter season in Southern  Israel. The work combines glass and embroidery and is a collaboration with Desert  Embroidery, a Bedouin women’s association from that area. 

Materials: Glass frits, silver powder, cotton threads, metal wire  

Technique: Fused glass frits, embroidery, constructed  

Dimensions: 30x20x20 inches 

Year: 2017

About the Artist

Miri Admoni (b. 1954 in Tel Aviv, Israel) is a mixed media, glass, and jewelry artist, who shares her life between Israel and the USA. Arts and crafts were always a part of Miri’s life since childhood. Her formal education was in graphic design, where she has worked as a freelance designer and producer of unique recycled paper products and specialized in packaging. During 2004-2010 Miri has studied various glass techniques, and in 2011-2012 she studied metalsmith in a private studio and started to create jewelry with glass. Nature has always been the greatest source of inspiration. Initially Miri was inspired by her surroundings in Israel, the rich and diverse nature scenes between the Mediterranean Sea and the Judean desert. That led to the creation of the Alchemy glass series and the collaboration with Bedouin women artists. Now Miri lives and works from her home studio in Oregon, where she continues to explore her relationship with nature.

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Artist Statement

In my work I show the many contrasts that exist in nature and life: order & chaos, obvious & hidden, transparent & opaque, fragile & durable. I channel the natural world into my work by translating personal memories and experiences into emotional and abstract landscape expressions. That transition between how I feel and the outcome of my work is sometimes a mystery to me, but I believe that like in nature, everything has a reason. Creation teaches me to follow my intuition and my heart, to do what I love. It always gives me hope.

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Deb Van Poolen

#artbeyond2021

About the Artist

Deb Van Poolen has been a painter for 25 years. Exhibiting her work in Washington D.C., Oregon, Montana, Michigan, and occupied Palestine.

When Van Poolen began painting in 1995, veteran artist Harriet Rex Smith gave Deb a table to use for five months in her large mountain studio in Southern Oregon. Harriet’s mentoring of Deb jump started her early art career of creating and marketing landscape, floral, and portrait paintings.

Deb’s most recent works have integrated science and art with the aim to help people grasp the global significance of the biodiversity present in this northwest region where the Cascade, Siskiyou and Klamath mountains converge. She makes large paintings illustrating profound diversity in species.

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Artist Statement

My latest series of paintings live in a land somewhere between fine art, illustration, and journalism.  Each of the paintings revolve around the realistic depiction of many species that live in our region where the Cascade, Siskiyou, and Klamath mountains converge. Although the biodiversity of this region is globally significant, (ranking in the top twelve of world’s areas of biodiversity), this region is not widely known for its biodiversity. In these times, when global warming is doing massive and widespread damage to earth’s ecosystems, healthy places of biodiversity–a key factor in ecosystem resilience–are more important than ever. Thus, it seems logical to me that spreading news of some of our region’s most clear symbols of biodiversity with tantalizing, lively images is a worthy endeavor.  Any increased awareness of this region’s biodiversity will most likely not harm conservation efforts and might help them.

In order to get each big image of dozens of species out to the public efficiently, I feature each biodiversity painting in an affordable, informative poster for easy access to all ages of the general public.  Hundreds of the posters have been donated to schools and teachers of the Rogue Valley and beyond. Giclee’ prints of each image are also available to anyone who prefers this option.

I work with local biologists to create each of these paintings. The biologists generously donate their photographs of species, as well as their advice about which species are most important to include in the paintings and why. The biologists consult with me throughout the painting process to ensure I am painting each species correctly. After each painting is finished and I am preparing the graphic design for the poster, the biologists help with the writing of the poster’s prose as well as the scientific and common spellings of each species.

I am also the grateful recipient of financial contributions from the sponsors of each poster. Numerous local and regional nonprofits, individuals, and businesses have partnered with me in order to make each of the poster projects happen.

In summary, these biodiversity paintings are a community effort, starting with the amazing butterflies, birds, fish, plants and fungi which present themselves as the focus of our attention.

Related Events

June 11th – June 13th, 1-3pm
What is Plein Air?
Site: Mt. Ashland

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Phyllis Trowbridge

#artbeyond2021

About the Artist

Phyllis Trowbridge has been working outdoors, painting and drawing in the landscape year-round for over 30 years. Since moving to Oregon in 1992, she has exhibited her work in local galleries and participated in numerous invitational and juried shows, including the Bowery Gallery, NYC, the Schneider Museum of Art at SOU, the Art Gym at Marylhurst University, and the Oregon Biennial at the Portland Art Museum.  She has pursued painting residencies at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, Red Cinder Creativity Center, and the Vermont Studio Center.  Phyllis’ work is represented in the collections of the City of Portland Regional Arts and Culture Council Portable Works Collection, Portland Community College, and the E.R. Jackman Foundation of Oregon State University.

After graduating with a B.A. from Hamilton College in New York State in 1987, Phyllis went on to receive her M.F.A. in painting from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1990.  Her undergraduate degree included a semester of art studies in Lacoste, France.

Phyllis has taught painting and drawing classes and workshops in Oregon since 1996. She currently teaches at Portland Community College.

Artist Statement

My paintings and drawings each represent an attempt to express and convey my deep connection with the natural world and the feelings it evokes in me.  Those feelings are grounded in a passion and reverence for the land and a love of the outdoors.  Since I work outside most of the time, the experience of the weather, the wind, the sounds I hear, the temperature, the “sense” of the day, all play a part in the creation of my work.  Though what is most compelling to me in the landscape – its unpredictable light, weather and moods – can be its most frustrating aspect.  These changes can drive me crazy, yet I embrace them because they change the way I think, forcing me out of ruts I am getting into, and opening me up to new ideas and unexpected directions.   More than anything else I welcome and appreciate the opportunity for quiet observation and the ideas, the insight, and the direction that doing the work brings to me.

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Related Events

June 11th – June 13th, 1-3pm
What is Plein Air?
Site: Mt. Ashland

◀︎ Back to Art Beyond

Lupe Galvan

#artbeyond2021

About the Artist

I was born in 1981, and grew up in rural Idaho among the farm lands of the Snake River valley, the historic land of the Shoshone people. I earned a BFA in Illustration from Boise State in 2006 and an MFA from The New York Academy of Art in 2009.

Artist Statement

My art stems from my experiences of being of mixed race Hispano-Indigenous and as an ELL person growing up in a predominantly White geography. The rural isolation where I grew up provided an opposition between preservation of traditional cultural practices and creating more distance between dominant culture and myself. The land itself became incredibly important and spiritually linked in my upbringing and it continues to be a subject in my work. My landscapes are about space, visually and spiritually. They encompass a contemplation about the past, my past and the present.

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Related Events

June 11th – June 13th, 1-3pm
What is Plein Air?
Site: Mt. Ashland

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Isabella Thorndike Church

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About the Installation

Site Location: Mt. Ashland
Title: Elemental
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During my many walks out in the woods, I am often struck by the places where branches and entire trunks create graceful, arching forms. Whether for ceremony, domestic beautification, or structure, humans across the globe also create arching forms.

Modern humanity has caused untold destruction, in large part by seeing ourselves as separate from the natural world.

Through Elemental I use both manufactured and wild materials—rebar, lichen and branches—to create an archway that welcomes visitors to walk through, around and sit below its curves. The piece implores humans to see themselves and the natural world as essential constituents of one another.

About the Artist

Isabella Thorndike Church is an artist who grew up with the CSNM in her backyard, although it wasn’t a monument until she was eleven years old. Her medium is natural, local flora materials such as sticks, flowers, weeds, grass etc. She creates both indoor and outdoor installations which may resemble a chandelier or an organic configuration crawling up and emerging from the wall. As a profession, she is commissioned to execute floral and plant designs and builds for celebrations and ceremonies. With opportunities to engage in gallery spaces, this becomes immersive, larger than life installations that are site specific environments.

Connect with the Artist

WEBSITE
INSTAGRAM

Artist Statement

Everything I do begins in the field and the woods. There, the colors and textures of the natural world arrange themselves according to the seasons. I believe that local, seasonal flora, collected or cultivated responsibly, are healthy for us and for the earth. Each piece is a conversation with the nature of carefully selected materials, their arrangement determined through form and structure as much as through manipulation. Through the resulting design I hope to evoke a sense of place, time and wonder.

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