I’ve always prided myself on being someone who can take in the the whole forest, while still being able to see the trees. With life being so busy recently, it’s been a challenge.
Art has been my focus for more than a month; 2 openings, several studio tours, 2 trips to Longview (once to install), 2 interviews and, I just got work accepted into 2 future shows with interest for more. I was busy finishing and photographing some pieces right up until the last minute. Yikes!
The Meaning of Wood, an invitational show curated by Suze Woolf, opened at Lower Columbia College in Longview Washington on Monday July 22nd and runs thru August 21, 2013. details in sidebar ==>>>
It’s a wonderful show. I’m honored to be included. Here’s the view from the building lobby.
That stump in the window? It’s made of recycled corrugated cardboard! Last Stand – Douglas Fir 2 is by Karen Rudd. Her work was also featured when I wrote about a Whatcom Museum show.
What lies beyond it are works by 5 artists. In the foreground, Lee Imonen’s Source Series: Picket Fence, a gate and fence milled from one tree, it’s stump left intact and connected to the cross pieces. I admired his work in Carkeek Park last summer.
The ethereal photographs, including Bowed, are by Jane Alynn. They are haunting.
The oil painting, Skagit Boneyard is by Suzanne DeCuir.
Here’s a closer view, where you can see that the three trees above (Brown Paper Tree 1/2/3), are made of toilet paper tubes. This Forest of Yesterday is one of two forests I have in the show. These are new, conceived and created for The Meaning of Wood (I’ll devote a post just to them someday).
Directly below is Psychological Armor, by June Sekiguchi. The birch discs are recycled, leftover by another artist from a residency, mounted with bamboo on a cedar plank. The strength and delicacy of this piece got my attention. (June also curates and has included my work in several recent shows. Thanks!)
Another work of substance is Song Line by Mary Coss. This Japanese red pine branch, shaped and finished to resemble a rib, is engraved with the names of many of her ancestors. Growing up rural, spending time in the woods, the names gave me a warm feeling when I thought, from a distance, they were worm trails. I love it when art surprises me!
I spent a lot of time with it when we hung the show, moving things carefully around it but also auditioning nearby works. It felt important to surround it with reverence and Christina Carlyle Reed’s scroll, Forest 1, printed from a single, very long, piece of old-growth timber in her sister’s barn, was the perfect backdrop.
The photographs on the wall depict traditional forestry workers, Darrell Harris and Robert Jennings. They were made by John Tylczak in Mason and Cowlitz Counties, Washington.
Also on the ground floor of the gallery are these works, including Suze Woolf’s watercolor painting Fire Scar, beautifully depicting, as the title suggests, the side of a burned tree.
On the back wall is Solace, by Aaron Haba. At 8 feet tall, it is substantial!
More than once, I was distracted from my work as he installed it. Amazing that something so big can have such fluidity.
Aaron also did us the favor of hanging Stephen Kafer ’s Horizontals #36, #37, #38. The shape and delicate detail of the salvaged cedar, redwood and lacewood are very interesting.
In its 5th appearance, my Forest of Tomorrow?, a collection of plastic trees (made from caps and lids) has grown to 80 trees, including more than a dozen black ones, inspired by Suze’s work with burned trees.
Ever the perfectionist, I awoke, the night after we installed, from a dream of a different arrangement of the trees. It will require some study, but next time I’ll arrange so the black trees follow a typical burn pattern. With the recent forest fire activity in Washington, the idea has stayed top of mind.
That’s artist MalPina Chan in the image above. Her work, a book, appears on the mezzanine level.
Despite my intent to photograph the whole show, I did not, perhaps caught up in conversation with the other artists who attended the opening?
L to R, John Tylczak, Cheri Kopp, Kathy Gore Fuss, MalPina Chan, June Sekiguchi, Suze Woolf, Jameson Hubbard and Mary Coss. Also at the opening but departing before this photo was taken were Christina Carlyle Reed and Polly Purvis.
I hope to convince Peter to take a day off work so he can see the show. If so, I’ll do another post. In the meantime, enjoy this slide show that Suze assembled.