Leah Wilson & Kate Ali
Friday, July 27, 2018 – Friday August 3, 2018
Location: Willamette Street walkway between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue (In front of the defunct Jacobs Galley at the Hult Center)
How do we adapt to radical change? What does regeneration look like? How do we foster positive growth in our struggling populations? How can we improve/impact our social and cultural landscape to foster a sense of belonging and hope for the future? These questions are being considered at micro and macro levels across our city, state, country and global community, from Eugene’s art community to Federal land management and international policies.
Fire is the springboard for growth. It has been used as a tool because of its regenerative powers in land management and political struggles alike. Last August there was a sense that the whole country was on fire either physically or emotionally. The power and speed in which nature regenerates in the wake of a burnt landscape is both a miraculous and inspiring phenomenon. It is a needed reminder that we are part of a cycle, one that has happened before, will come again and the sooner we rebuild and foster regrowth, the better.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Kate Ali’s interdisciplinary sculpture takes familiar items and re-contextualizes them. In doing this she investigates the ways in which we relate to the world and its objects through space, materiality and association. Because she is using forms that reference a utilitarian entity, there is an interactive quality to much of her work.
Soon after receiving her BFA from California College of the Arts she was awarded the Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship Grant for Visual Arts. She has exhibited her work in California, New York, Oregon and recently in Japan after participating in an international residency at Gallery Sudoh. Kate’s public art experience ranges from artist and designer to project manager, giving her a unique perspective on the public art world.
Her interest in facilitating creative opportunities for artists in Oregon led her to create the Gray Space Project. Her own works’ focus on personal space influenced the size of the 6’x6’x6’ micro gallery, making it relate directly to the human scale. Her drive to create the Gray Space project was to fulfill the need for a new format for displaying and viewing artwork, enabling artists to control the context in which their artwork is viewed.
Kate is currently an Art Coordinator for the Oregon Arts Commission’s Percent for Art program. For more information, visit Kate Ali’s website.
Leah Wilson’s place based artwork address changes within environmental ecosystems over time. Both process and finished work reflect an engagement with ecology and environmental engineering through observation and data. Her artwork tells stories of landscapes that have been exploited and manipulated for their natural resources, and reveal the results of ongoing habitat restoration projects.
After earning an Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, Leah Wilson moved to Nevada City in California’s Gold Country in the Sierra Nevada foothills to pursue making art and teaching whitewater kayaking. Often with much overlap in pursuits while there, she created a pivotal project influenced by environmental decision-making process of scientists, resource managers, and special interest groups during the FERC relicensing of her local watershed, the South Yuba River. This experience, as well as years of running whitewater, continues to inform her process.
A 2012 artist residency at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascades introduced her to ecologists working on long-term studies in the forest. That experience, and her interactions with the scientists, relates to her current work. Wilson’s interaction with the forest and its associated ecologists led her to realize that science in general, and ecology in particular, seeks to identify patterns (and changes in patterns) over time. Often, in terms of process and product, the most evident element of her work is repetition, rhythm, and pattern related to water in general, and rivers and streams in particular.
Leah Wilson’s paintings have been exhibited at galleries including the Roger W. Rogers Gallery at Willamette University, Cascade Gallery at Portland Community College and Guardino Gallery in Portland, Oregon, the Arts Center in Corvallis, Oregon, and Julie Baker Fine Art in Nevada City, California. Her work is in the collections of Oregon State University, Umpqua Community College, Adobe Systems Inc., eBay, Inc., and other corporate and private collections. For more information, visit Leah Wilson’s website.