Gray Space Project:
Kate Ali and Leah Wilson
Hult Center Plaza
August 27 – August 3, 2018
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.
Gray Space Project:
In exploring the idea of privilege and personal space, I built this cart. The dimensions are based on the necessary space I need to be comfortable in an enclosed area. The cart’s door is locked while shown in a gallery. Keys are given out only to people I feel comfortable allowing in my space. These key holders can use the space for whatever they want, transforming the gallery into everything from a place to nap to a lunch date destination.
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.