Portland-based artist critiques biennial art pieces

Joanna Peterson – for the Review A collaboration of three art pieces — a stiletto heel, an English phone booth and a spherically inspired cardboard piece — rest in the Miller Fine Arts Student Gallery for the 2009 Student Biennial exhibit
The student biennial is a survey of Linfield student art, Cris Moss, adjunct professor of art and visual culture and gallery coordinator, said.
“It’s a window into this small corner of Linfield that is known as the art department,” Moss said.
Seniors Jeanna Parks and Evyan Stuart and sophomore Latricia Lowe presented their work for the Linfield and McMinnville communities to behold.
Patrick Rock, a Portland-based artist, was the curator of the exhibit. Rock critiqued each of the pieces and provided insight on the students’ work.
“We always find a curator who doesn’t know the department or interact with the school,” Moss said. “It benefits the students to work with outsiders, and it gives them the opportunity to present their work on a professional level.”
Parks said she was surprised that her piece was chosen for the gallery. She has always been interested in art but did not take classes until last year.
Parks’ piece, “Untitled,” is made from cardboard. It evolved from a class project.
“Originally, I tried to make a sphere out of cardboard because people normally associate cardboard with box shapes,” Parks said.
After working with papier-mâché and researching spherical cardboard pieces, Parks discovered a pattern for a cardboard soccer ball. She began modeling her project after the pattern, but found that the piece was most interesting when laid flat as a series of connected pentagon shapes.
“The process of creating it was interesting,” Parks said. “It evolved from a sphere to this flat, organic piece.”
Lowe is new to the art world. She said she took a studio art class this semester because she thought it would be interesting to branch out into a different subject area.
“I was shocked that my project was chosen,” Lowe said. “It feels good to know I can do well at something I don’t usually try.”
Her piece, “Sassy,” is a giant, leopard-print stiletto constructed from cardboard. She said she used a pair of her own heels as inspiration for the project.
“It’s cool that I recognize some of these artist’s names, and that the pieces were made by people who are near my age rather than by artists who are already in the professional world,” sophomore Sarah Korn said.
Although the artists didn’t speak with Rock personally, they received his curatorial statements that now hang in the gallery for public viewing.
“It was interesting to read the curator’s insights on my work because I never actually met him, and he didn’t know the process it took to make the piece or my opinions on it,” Parks said. “His critique helped me see the piece from a different perspective.”
The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. The exhibit will run until Dec. 20. Admission is free. Contact Moss at cmoss@linfield.edu for additional information.

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