Mary Campagna Sculpture Garden at SOU
555 Indiana Street Ashland, OR 97520
Available for viewing 7 days a week, sun up to sun down.
The Mary Campagna Sculpture Garden at SOU is located adjacent to the DeBoer Sculpture Building. To access, use Schneider Museum parking lot and walk down or use the SOU Parking lot accessible from Indiana Street to the immediate left after passing the sculpture building. There is a driveway that leads to a metered parking lot. Street parking is free.
WINTER WORMS WATER WORKS WEEK METAL
Medium: 100,000 worms, insulated plinth, salvaged sink, solar pump, dawn redwood
This sculpture starts at the ground: the site of a school, many things before it, and at this moment, a new concrete circle. Stacked upon the circle, hidden from sight within the 55” x 33” plinth, a dozen crates house winter worms living and decomposing food scraps. The insulated box’s yellow and pink stripes refer to the fleeting favorite colors of the artist’s three-year-old child during the month of construction of this sculpture. On top of the plinth sits a liferaft of dawn redwood branches, a non-native tree was taken down on the edge of campus after it failed to thrive. The raft supports a salvaged sink, older than the artist’s parents crying slowly and continuously from two holes where bees drink the tears. WWWWWM.
The rafted sink will spend a day in a local waterway followed by a procession of performative mourners. Join us for an experimental group cry.
Michael Parker’s art practice shifts scale, material, and temporality while making things such as juicy ceramic installations at Human Resources, recumbent obelisks along the LA River, Steam Eggs that the public has sweat inside of from Wilshire Blvd to the Inland Empire, artist-run spaces in construction sites such as Cold Storage, collaborations with Lineman learning how to control power at LA Trade Tech, and 40 “arch du triumphs” with the first framing the Port of LA. Parker lived in downtown LA from 2001 to 2018 when he left after publicly battling an eviction case. While living in LA, he started teaching sculpture at CSU Long Beach in 2011. Housing precarity, magnified by becoming a new parent, led him to relocate to Southern Oregon University two months before the pandemic struck. Parker’s goals in this new place are to help establish Southern Oregon as a part of the contemporary art dialogue. He has recently started an artist-run-space, Suzy Three, on the campus of SOU in an abandoned dorm. Additionally, this winter he helped initiate a new artist-in-residency program with the town dump. Born in New York in 1978, he graduated from Pomona College with a BA in 2000, worked on an ambulance as an EMT all over LA County for five years, and then earned an MFA in New Genres from USC in 2009. Parker is a recipient of the California Community Foundation’s Emerging Artists Fellowship, Center for Cultural Innovation Artists’ Resource for Completion Grant, Public Art Residency at Heart of Los Angeles and Printed Matter Award for Artists. He is an Associate Professor of Sculpture at Southern Oregon University. Headshot image credit: Sam Frost