Statistically speaking, Corvallis is an art town. There are a number of galleries of all shapes and sizes, public studio spaces, and even a third Thursday arts walk that seems to experience growth every month. That being said, there’s a corner of the arts community that doesn’t get much attention, and perhaps ironically, it is exactly where some of the most exciting work around is being made. Enter + / -, a unique exhibition by students of the Oregon State University’s Fine Arts undergraduate program—a program and exhibition I personally feel incredibly lucky to be a part of.
In lieu of a traditional final, OSU instructor Anna Fidler’s Painting Concepts course will be showing at Artworks CEI from mid-March to mid-April. Collectively, we chose to build the exhibit around a project in which magazines, vinyl records, and books were modified through myriad individual takes on the application of additive and subtractive processes. The result is seven completely different pieces, all functioning symbiotically along a ley line of shared materials. In my opinion, the true magic of art is in the way it showcases the depths of conceptual diversity, and this exhibition is a perfect example of just that.
Featuring the work of artists Mary Garrard, Francisco Morales, Milla Oliveira, Nishana Hamann, Spike Keenan, Lily Waggoner, and myself, expect to find varied arrangements offering thoughts on form and color, and metaphors for communication, nostalgia, memory, and more. I feel privileged to have worked alongside these artists, getting to see their processes from start to finish. While those of you reading may have missed out on the studio experience, you can definitely see the results and get a taste of what’s brewing in one of OSU’s oft-overshadowed creative borough.
With an opening reception during March’s Arts Walk, be sure to include the show on your itinerary for a chance to support OSU arts and the fantastic CEI Artworks gallery. Many of the artists involved will be on hand to answer any questions you might have—and I can personally guarantee that at least five of the seven don’t bite.
+ / – opens on Thursday, March 17. A reception will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., but if large, roaring crowds having their minds simultaneously blown frighten you, the show will run until April 18 and can be visited during normal business hours. CEI Artworks can be found at 408 SW Monroe Avenue / 161, with the entrance sandwiched between Monroe and Madison on 4th Street.
By Johnny Beaver
PS: That awesome piece up there is by Mary Garrard.