Turning the/into Tools

The images — black and white photos framed by mixed media of frail and filthy children — are damning and haunting, and that’s what Eugene-based artist Ralf Huber is after in his exhibit at New Zone Art Gallery, Turning the/into Tools. The exhibit, Huber says, reflects on “lives not lived, lives cut short, lives exploited — it is an exhibition about child labor.” The photos draw from the Industrial Revolution of the 19th and early 20th centuries, but Huber cautions that even today, children throughout the world “continue to get exploited, abused, trafficked, with their education denied and their health compromised,” all to satisfy consumer demand. The exhibit’s focus on the 18th and early 19th centuries, Huber notes, is a nod to “the toil and suffering of these children” that needs to be honored, “for their sacrifices contributed measurably to the wealth we now live in.”

Turning the/into Tools, a mixed media assemblage art exhibit by Ralf Huber, runs through Dec. 31 at New Zone Art Gallery, 110 E. 11th Avenue. It also is part of the Dec. 3 First Friday ArtWalk. More information about the ArtWalk is at LaneArts.org. Proceeds from Huber’s exhibit will go to Camp Alma, a nonprofit veteran’s advocacy organization in Veneta. FREE.

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