Every two years, the Western Gallery shows the work of the faculty of the Department of Art & Art History and Department of Design. This is an opportunity to see what these highly respected mentors of upcoming artists have been pursuing in their own studios over the previous couple of years.
The 2017 faculty biennial features new visions of artists working in a variety of media—painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, kinetic work, mixed-media, book art, and video. If anything connects the 18 artists in the show, it is their “abiding love for the well-made object,” as one of the artists put it, and their deep concern with cultural and political issues. The works range widely, from explorations of the medium and processes of art making to the probing of social and existential issues, such as the complexities of queer and trans gender identities; and from evocations of the mysteries of natural forces to studies of ecosystems and global warming. Here the faculty does not deliver lectures but presents thinking though making.
The exhibition presents a cross section of the present faculty, introduces newcomers, and honors a retiring faculty, Professor Elsi Vassdal-Ellis, with a small overview exhibition of her limited edition and unique book works.
A series of noon talks are presented in conjunction with the exhibition.
“I enjoy combining conventional drawing, traditional and alternative photographic processes, and various printmaking techniques together with painting and collage. I consider drawing my first and primary medium - I love drawing for its immediacy and intimacy of marks placed directly on the page.
I am interested in examining ideas of process, classification, reproduction and perfection. Treading the line between the apparent and the ambiguous, beautiful and grotesque, I enjoy working with re-occurring dichotomies. I have been working on the Insect Collection for many years. I use the insect as typology for a number of reasons: their number and imagery are vast, their common names are revealing, and they are
emblematic as a catalog of types and body parts.”
Cara Jaye received MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City.
“My formative experience living and working in an indigenous wilderness region has shaped my relationship with natural forces and landscape. From childhood, I witnessed both volatility and danger present in the wild, coupled with undeniable beauty and power. As I see expansion of developed areas and destruction of landscapes all over the world, I become increasingly alarmed at the societal disconnect about what sustains life on our planet. I feel a deep sense of foreboding about my own beloved arctic landscape as systematic destruction in regions that are physically easier to develop continues. I work to increase consciousness of the rare and precious nature of of natural systems in wild places.”
Margot Myers received BA from Walla Walla College and MFA in Printmaking from New Mexico State University.