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Visual Arts

March 26, 2015

Local artist Erik Roggeveen picked up a paintbrush for the first time only two-and-a-half years ago. 

Today, you can see his 112-square-foot hand-painted mural — his first ever — on the east-facing wall of The Cannery at 11th and Mill Alley. The Cannery pub unveiled the mural March 6 and it’s hard to miss: The vividly colored, forced-perspective painting evinces a comic book-style and depicts a woman holding a jar of alien-looking pickled foods, like garlic, carrots and purple broccoli.

January 29, 2015

Former Eugene hip-hop staple Hanif Panni (aka Hanif Wondir) is returning to his hometown with a Noah’s Ark of artwork in tow — a mandrill monkey, a wolf, a zebra, a lioness, a tiger and an elk are just a few of his traveling companions. 

January 22, 2015

Playing devil’s advocate, I ask art collector Jordan Schnitzer how contemporary art can possibly fulfill us in an age of flickering screens and attention spans. Immediately I regret siding with the devil, even if only momentarily. Schnitzer’s response is so passionate, so righteous and, frankly, so absolutely correct that his indignation at the thought that art could ever be irrelevant reverberates through the phone. 

December 18, 2014

Since leaving the Navajo Nation at 18 to join the U.S. Army as a young man, Eugene visual artist Lemuel Charley has both nurtured his native roots and honored his brothers in arms, fueling unique insights and ambitions.

November 6, 2014

Suspended deep in a block of ice, her long braids coiled around a pair of hand axes, Meesha Goldberg is determined to break free. This is not a magic trick. It’s a self-portrait.

You wouldn’t guess from her work that Goldberg has been painting for only about two years, but discipline and nocturnal solitude have aided her well, along with a background in figure drawing and poetry that translates vividly to the canvas.

October 23, 2014

After a long career in psychotherapy and philosophy, Amy Isler Gibson switched gears in April 2012 and opened The Gallery at the Watershed, which features some of the most important contemporary art in Lane County. Gibson’s artist roster is full of seasoned pros like Bill Brewer, Abbas Darabi, Wesley Hurd and sculptor Randy Ortiz. Now, she and a board of directors have started a nonprofit foundation to educate the community about engaging with the arts with classes such as “Composition Through the Eyes of an Artist” and “The Powers of Visual Art.

September 25, 2014

One recent sunny day, my family enjoyed one of our regular trips to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the UO campus. It didn’t take long to find some nifty stuff, including a 1981 Basquiat, a 1972 Miró and, be still my heart, a 1963 Giacometti. This isn’t New York City. This is Eugene! And yet here were representative pieces from some of the world’s most beloved artists, on display thanks to the museum’s Masterworks on Loan program, which exhibits art borrowed from private collections.

August 20, 2014

For a man currently wedged between a rock and that proverbial hard place, Eugene artist Joe Mross appears surprisingly serene. Here’s the deal: Mross, a metalsmith and perhaps this town’s foremost purveyor of the steampunk aesthetic, has but a handful of days to complete the grandest and most ambitious project of his life thus far — a 5,000-plus lbs. metallurgic behemoth of rivets, Plexiglas, fabricated steel and sandblasted wood that must be trucked down and set up for Nevada’s legendary Burning Man festival by Aug. 25.

August 13, 2014

Walking through the dark empty corridors of Oaklea Middle School on a muggy August day, Principal Brian Young opens a door and flicks on the light. The classroom that comes into focus is filled with tables, colorful cabinets and student artwork tacked to the walls — all covered in the patina of art projects lingering from yesteryear.

“It’s kind of sad coming in here knowing,” Young pauses. “I think it’s probably been seven to 10 years since Oaklea had an actual art elective as a class.”

July 9, 2014

Shanna Trumbly was sitting in a cave roasting hotdogs when she saw the hummingbird. The Eugene artist was visiting Yachats with her family and, while on a hike, they had taken shelter from the rain. 

“Out of the corner of my eye, I see this little bzzz,” she says, fluttering her hands. “There are no flowers around or anything. It was just like rock walls and the ocean … It was so bizarre because it wasn’t even a place where a hummingbird would be hanging out.” She adds, “Right when it flew off, the rain stopped.”

July 3, 2014

Sculptor Ian Beyer tells me with a wry smile that his sister, painter Erika Beyer, is the smart one, what with her dual college degrees in scientific illustration and architecture. This is the sort of affectionate ribbing that commonly passes between siblings; what’s not so common is the level of talent that unifies the Beyers in their separate creative endeavors.

June 19, 2014

Esteban Camacho weaves through the skateboard jungle that is the new WJ Skatepark + Urban Plaza, finding some smooth invisible path while I stumble after him, jumping out of the way of teens on wheels. It’s clear the artist is a seasoned veteran of the site. We sit on a bench carved into a ramp, skateboarders whirring around us. Hands leathery with green paint, Camacho points up at the murals developing on two pillars buttressing I-105. 

June 5, 2014

“Looking at the world today, there is tremendous uncertainty in our lives,” says Venerable Jigme Rinpoche, founder and director at the Palmo Center for Peace and Education. “We’re confronted with difficulty, crisis and challenges. We urgently need the vision and courage to find ways to handle these difficulties, both individually and globally, with deeper acceptance, insight and compassion.” 

That’s where the arts come into play. 

May 29, 2014

By some fateful collision of time, situation and personality, certain individuals come to represent the places where they live, in such a way that the association becomes nearly mythological: Lou Reed symbolizes the junky glam of the East Village, Harvey Milk is forever Mayor of the Castro District, Saul Bellow haunts Chicago’s Humboldt Park.

May 14, 2014

“I was born in 1984,” says Nicole Anne Colbath. “For me that Clash show wasn’t gonna happen.”

Colbath is referring to the legendary British punk band’s early ’80s concert at the UO’s McArthur Court. A flyer for that show is now safely housed by the Eugene Underground Music Archive, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to the collection of flyers and ephemera,” filed with 3,000 other Eugene-area concert flyers mostly from the late ’70s through the ’90s.

“It is sort of nostalgia,” Colbath adds. “I get bummed about shows I missed.”

April 10, 2014

Irene Hardwicke Olivieri and Jo Hamilton may not be native Oregonians, but their art seems to spring from the earthy soul of this region. Both artists’ work has strong ties to craft movements, activism and community (whether that consists of people or animals). Now living in Oregon, Olivieri and Hamilton also both work in a large-scale format and display an immaculate attention to detail. However, their work is wildly different — Olivieri creates nature-infused oil paintings and Hamilton constructs urban “crochet paintings” of people and cityscapes. 

March 6, 2014

“Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” a bright yellow billboard yelled out at New York City in 2012. Beneath the question was this statistic: Less than 4 percent of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 76 percent of the nudes are female. Created by art activists the Guerrilla Girls, the message was directed at the Metropolitan Museum. The National Museum of Women in the Arts in D.C. states “51 percent of visual artists today are women,” but “only 5 percent of the art currently on display in U.S.

October 3, 2013

Boobs. That’s what men on the street stopped to talk to Kari Johnson about when she was painting the “4th and Monroe” mural. What’s wrong with her boobs? Hey, she’s missing a boob! They would holler. The year was 1991, and Johnson was painting her first Eugene mural on a residential building in the Whit, featuring, at its focal point, a nude elder who has undergone a mastectomy.

August 29, 2013

With all the hoopla of Eugene Celebration and Kaleidoscope Music Festival this past weekend, you probably laid eyes on a whole slew of inexplicable sights. And if you saw a giant glowing jellyfish bouncing around Mount Pisgah, don’t fret — you weren’t having a crazy trip; those dancing tentacles were just the far-out fiber optic artwork of local company Ants On A Melon. 

August 1, 2013

Imagine this: A loved one passes but there’s no funeral where you can honor her memory, no loving obituary to read in the paper, no gravestone to lay flowers upon. In some cases, any traces that she existed at all have been wiped clean.

“A lot of homeless people lose their identity and then they pass away,” says Josie McCarthy, the manager for FOOD for Lane County’s Family Dinner Program at the Dining Room on 8th. “There’s not a big celebration of them, of their life.” 

May 9, 2013

The Futureforecast of Stormcloudcomputing — just sit with that for a moment. That’s the name of the UO visiting artist lecture by Chicago-based interface artist Jon Satrom. Satrom manipulates all those zeroes and ones in your smart gadgets to make glitchy electronic and video art like “Windows Rainbows and Dinos.” The lecture, or “desktop performance,” begins at 6 pm Thursday, May 9, at 177 Lawrence Hall, University of Oregon; free.


May 9, 2013
TwentyAfterFour mural, by Dylan Kauz and Capsel Rock


May 2, 2013
‘The Oregon Trail,’ 8 ft. by 4 ft.


Slabs of redwood, spalted maple, black walnut and butternut — these are printmaker Josh Krute’s inspiration and tools, but it all started with driftwood found at Colorado’s Blue Mesa Reservoir.

April 25, 2013

Never mind DeLoreans, phone booths or Einstein’s theory of relativity, local photographer Dmitri von Klein has cracked the secret to time travel: a 60-year-old Graflex camera. The lens of his 4X5 large format camera is like a wormhole into the history of the American West, rediscovering places like the “almost ghost town” of Shaniko in northern Oregon or the full-blown ghost town of Bodie in central California.