(Correction: an earlier version of this article mistakenly listed JSMA as located in Portland.)
Nobody of sound mind would argue that quilting isn’t a form of art, but it may not be the first thing one thinks of in relation to “fine art.” As with many such assumptions, that’d be a mistake, and Corvallis has in Clay Lohmann one shining reminder of this. After decades spent focused on painting, Lohmann took up sewing in 2008, and has since been recognized time and time again for his voice in textile art and installation.
Having had the opportunity to visit Lohmann’s studio last year, I was an instant believer. I was able to see firsthand what it looks like when reverence and care – the kind I can only dream of putting into my own brushes and tubes of paint – is applied to a wonderland of fabric, creating swatches carrying incredible stories within them. You may not be as lucky as me to see the workshop itself, but you can take a short trip out to Eugene and soak in his massive Camo Cubes installation.
Wrapping a rather massive section of wall in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Lohmann’s installation is truly something to behold, questioning gender expectations (through the use of traditionally masculine prints) and the peripheral treatment of handicraft. “Worth the drive” is an absolute understatement.
By Johnny Beaver
(Photo Credit: Julie Green)