Five Artists, One Loft

Tim BlackburnFeaturing five quite different artists, this month’s show at The Corvallis Advocate Loft is arranged almost as a series of hand-offs from one artist to the next so that it just feels right. Curation is often reductive and even flailing in its attempt not to risk, but this group show sets all that on its head.

Jeremy Smith’s pictures have been featured on the cover of MIT’s Artificial Life press journal. He creates two- and three-dimensional mathematical art, including installation art, with a particular focus on shapes and patterns. Much of his art is interactive—paper cutouts that can be folded into polyhedra, a pendulum made of bowling balls. Smith is a computer programmer by trade and is interested in art that is aesthetically pleasing and useful.

Tim Blackburn characterizes his work as urban art, stencils and spray paint that can be subversive and democratic. Blackburn admires some graffiti artists but he never does it. Instead, his medium is paper, stickers, a suitcase or a gun case. His art does not always have a message, but some of it can be very political. Blackburn said, “Everything I saw on TV in the 70s—horror movies, crime dramas, 50s and 60s sci-fi, campy sitcoms—all of that is in my head and I’m trying to process having to watch countless hours of nonsense.” His work re-contextualizes familiar pop culture imagery with something that is provocative and transformative.

Tony Fisher is no stranger to working with his hands as well as with metal. His family has owned Ken Fisher Auto & Truck Repair since 1982, and Fisher has been restoring hot rods for 25 years. For his metal art pieces, he sometimes sprays on pigments as he grinds down layer by layer, creating new colors, and he sometimes adds the color later. Fisher’s finished work varies from animals and landscapes to skateboarders, but it is all layered with colors that play as you move about the piece.

Shar Fagersten, an installation and photography artist that often exhibits in Portland, holds over her Benediction installation along with some of her photography after last month’s well-attended show as the loft’s featured artist. Fagersten’s work evokes discussion between people and self-examination for some period of time after they’ve seen it. Her work on marriage is both highly personal and evocative of a broader conversation, which is also the case for her work on society’s view of women.

Cyrus Peery is a regular at the loft and he has been gaining some notoriety as of late. As comfortable sculpting as painting, Peery loves working with found materials. This month’s show at the loft will mainly demonstrate his surrealist paintings.

 As an Arts Walk destination, this show is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. The Corvallis Advocate Loft is at 425 SW Madison Avenue, upstairs.

By Rob Goffins