Monday, April 12, 2010

Jan Hopkins - Group Exhibition

"Critical Messages: Contemporary Northwest Artists on the Environment"
Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
April 12- May 29, 2010

“Spell Bound” – 18”x16”x 9”, 2004, Materrials: grapefruit peels,
waxed linen, hemp paper, & ostrich shell beads.

Sturgeon Vessel, 15”x5”x5”, 2007, Materials: Sturgeon Skin,
paper, rivets and waxed linen, In the Danielle Bodine Collection

The National Endowment for the Arts has granted the Western Gallery partial funding to present a multi-media, multi-venue exhibition exploring how artists are responding to the natural, diverse Pacific Northwest in the context of a rapidly changing environment and gathering crisis of degradation. The artistic theme of an ongoing dialectical relationship between man and nature in the Northwest in the past has ranged from the early, mystic painters of the 1940s-1950s to the land-based art of the late 1960s-1970s, climaxing in the 1979 national symposium "Earthworks. Land Reclamation as Sculpture" (King County Arts Commission). While attention has been paid to land-based art and public art involving community based-ecological projects, it is time for critical analysis of artists who are newly engaged in a dialogue on the environment in more traditional places as galleries and museums.This exhibition focuses on twenty-six artists who are concerned with the issues and contemporary conditions of the environment in the Northwest. These artists draw on both the environmental politics long associated with the Northwest and the artistic history of these issues in the regional and national scene. In their approaches some of these contemporary artists face the critical issues head on: growth management as seen in the urban/rural conflict; the connection of transportation and urban sprawl; contested sources of energy; mass production and consumption; toxic management of land, watersheds and waters; and dramatic climate change. Others accent environmental values such as preservation of wilderness and wetlands, sustainability, and biodiversity as well as work out the strategy of artist and nature as co-agents. Finally, some artists enhance current conditions and challenges through the use of an apocalyptic rendering. In this exhibition the viewer will not only have a chance to see the overlapping causes and effects of the issues in artworks but also to hear the resounding voices of our artistic messengers.
Organized by Sarah Clark-Langager, Director, Western Gallery
John Olbrantz, Director, Halle Ford Museum, Willamette University
the exhibition will have a catalogue with essays by the curator, Sarah Clark-Langager, and award winning environmental journalist, William Dietrich. Artists' statements will accompany the illustrations of their work.


Greg said...

Love your art, if it is not too forward I would love to know how you preserve the melon and grapefruit peels as well as the fish skins.

my email is


scott davidson said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.