In 1957 the Columbia river was dammed at Celilo Falls, inundating ten thousand years of native culture and a thriving river ecosystem. Submerged depicts this event with poignant text and hand-painted imagery by the artist.
The physical structure of the book captures both the flow and stasis of Celilo Falls: the opening movement of the book mirrors cascading water and the static pages reference a dam wall. In combination, these elements illustrate the complex social and ecological impact dams have on individuals, communities and the environment.
Submerged is housed in a hand-made clamshell box which includes a time-line documenting the building of The Dalles Dam and flooding of Celilo Village.
My art group is reading Lewis Hyde’s The Gift, which has been described as a “manifesto of sorts for anyone who makes art”. Hyde talks about the importance of inner gifts becoming visible, shared and accepted, but not as a commodity. The gift must pass through many hands – be on a continuing journey, in order to retain it’s power to touch and move people. I sent this little painting out into the world recently, as an anonymous gift for someone I’ve never met, who is going through a hard time. In his book, Hyde retells many folk stories all with a common theme – giving, often spontaneously to those in need, which keeps the cycle of giving in forward motion. Although I don’t know how my gift was received, I do know that I have already been rewarded with the gift of art, many times over since I gave away that painting – I connected with some like-minded artists in a recent workshop, saw a truly inspiring show of paintings and sold a painting. It doesn’t hurt to make a little money with your art!
…is good for making stripes!
Head down south this month and see my painting Wire in the 11th Annual All Around Oregon exhibit at the Corvallis Arts Center. I’m very happy to be included in this show which was curated by Bonnie Lang-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer curator of NW Art at the Portland Art Museum. The opening is this Friday from 5:30-7:30 and the show will run through November 9th. This summer Wire was also included in 50 Squared an exhibit at the Lake Oswego Arts Festival and I won a Blue Ribbon!
It’s true. I’ve got a thing for stripes. I notice them everywhere. Pinks houses too, but that’s for another post. Lately I feel the need to add stripes to all of my paintings. I think it has something to do with their orderly nature. Bright strips of color stacked neatly side by side. Painting them is also a neat endeavor and the process of carefully laying out all those stripes clears out the mess in my mind.
I was invited to participate in a fundraiser for the Portland Youth Philharmonic and we were asked to paint a violin. It was one of those projects you impulsively say yes to and then regret. I had no idea what to do with a violin and I had a few false starts. But in the end I was happy with my finished violin. Despite my initial regrets, I ended up enjoying the process. Go to here to see the finished project and help support an amazing group of musicians.