Tag Archives: Gallery

Artists take three dimensional approach

Students and faculty attend the opening of “An Interactive Installation” in the Linfield Gallery on Feb. 16. It features interactive pieces created by artists Modou Dieng and Devon A. VanHouten-Maldonado.
Joel Ray/Senior photographer
Students and faculty attend the opening of “An Interactive Installation” in the Linfield Gallery on Feb. 16. It features interactive pieces created by artists Modou Dieng and Devon A. VanHouten-Maldonado. Joel Ray/Senior photographer

Students and faculty attend the opening of “An Interactive Installation” in the Linfield Gallery on Feb. 16. It features interactive pieces created by artists Modou Dieng and Devon A. VanHouten-Maldonado.
Joel Ray/Senior photographer

Sometimes you have to look deeper to see the message behind a work of art, even with 3D glasses. Modou Dieng and Devon VanHouten-Maldonado challenge viewers to find a more complex meaning from the works displayed in their exhibit “An Interactive Installation,” which will be open for viewing until March 16 in the Linfield Gallery.

Cristopher Moss, the Linfield Gallery director and curator, invited artists Dieng and VanHouten-Maldonado to campus. Their work features Senegalese and Mexican figures from the past and explores the way today’s digital revolution embodies history.

“I was excited to do a show that was more academic, meaning that I am not trying to sell a product,” Dieng said. “I am trying to sort of create a conversation and an idea.”
The artists encourage visitors to wear 3D glasses while viewing the art. The glasses enhance the colors of the artwork, but are mainly included as an opportunity to use modern-day tools to analyze ethnicity and cultural history.

Dieng and VanHouten-Maldonado hope to inspire onlookers to alter their preconceived ideas about history.
“Specifically to this show, I think what we’re interested in is pointing out how uncertain reality is,” VanHouten-Maldonado said. “The way that we understand history, and in particular we are talking about our own cultural history, is so skewed by the way that we manipulate information.”

Junior art major Alyssa Dykgraaf commended the artists’ inclusion of the glasses.
“I think the 3D glasses were incredibly innovative,” Dykgraaf said in an email. “I’ve never seen them integrated into a gallery show before.”
When considering Linfield’s attributes, cultural diversity is one of the first things that comes to mind.

Dieng is Senegalese and VanHouten-Maldonado has Mexican heritage, and both cultural backgrounds are significant influences on their pieces.
“We wanted to do a show that talked about stuff that was actually important to us. And most importantly it talks about our culture,” VanHouten-Maldonado said. “And knowing that Oregon is sort of an insulated place, I think we felt like it was important to talk about.”

VanHouten-Maldonado resides in Portland, where he continues to develop his relatively new artist career.
Despite his young age, he has exhibited a considerable amount of work, of which he concentrates on showing in atypical spaces and promoting community involvement.


He has contributed to important local projects, such as “These Prison Walls,” as well as international projects like “Global Studios” in Dakar, Senegal. VanHouten-Maldonado created an alternative workspace to harbor experimental exhibits called The Bunker.
Dieng also lives and works in Portland, and he has presented his work in major cities, such as Paris, Madrid, New York and Los Angeles.

He is originally from Senegal, where he acquired a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He holds a master’s in fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute and is an assistant professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He also founded a laboratory for creative experimentation in Portland.

Dieng uses his art to speak about larger issues, such as race, gender, social status and urban history. He uses mixed media, photography, painting and installation to create his work. He embraces today’s technology and uses it to fuel his art.
“I think we have to reinvent authenticity, and technology is creating a new conversation about what’s authentic and what’s not,” Dieng said. “It changes our perception of authenticity.”

Dieng and VanHouten-Maldonado painted their work on wallpaper-like material. When the exhibit closes, all of the pieces will be torn off the walls and ruined. As tragic as it may seem, it’s actually what the artists intended to happen. It contributes to the exhibit’s theme that all moments in history are fleeting.

“We should feel very honored to the small population of people who will get to see these wonderful images in person,” Dykgraaf said. “And that, in and of itself, should be enough to get every student into the gallery to view the art.”

Carrie Skuzeski/Culture Editor

Carrie Skuzeski can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.


Linfield Gallery hosts magnetic art installation

About 1,100 pods hang from nearly invisible wires in an installation by Crystal Schenk in the Linfield Gallery. The show will run from April 2 to May 5.

The current installation in the Linfield Gallery is not your typical art show, if by “art show” one means paintings hanging on walls or statues on plinths. Instead, a collection of pod-shaped objects hover at about head height, arranged in a broad, flat cloud with two distinct layers.

This is the latest exhibition by sculptor Crystal Schenk.

“People would read about the magnets, but they would forget when they walked in,” Schenk said. “There was this air of mystery as they tried to figure out what’s holding the pods up, and then they would have this ‘aha’ moment as they figured it out.”

Crystal Schenk is a Portland artist with an impressive array of residencies, awards and national and international shows under her belt. She was one of 19 artists represented in the Oregon biennial, Portland 2010, and she was selected as one of the nation’s top 100 artists by New York City arts organization Artists Wanted.

“She’s extremely dedicated to what she does,” said Cris Moss, gallery director and instructional associate of Art and Visual Culture. “She’s very meticulous, and she puts an amazing amount of work and effort into it. She’s one of the people who is a true artist; it’s not just a hobby.”

Schenk said she draws inspiration primarily from familial memories, but also from nature, other art in galleries or publications, topics outside of art, such as science and cultural traditions, and from her students.

“Teaching is an important part of the practice for me, not separate from it,” she said.

Schenk received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999, and her MFA from Portland State University in 2007. She is an adjunct professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland State University.

Schenk said this is the second time she has put together this installation. The first was part of her thesis at Portland State University. Schenk said that as soon as she saw the Linfield Gallery, she knew this was the piece she wanted to show here.

“I knew I wanted a nice, large, clean space,” Schenk said. “It felt like a natural fit.  It was large enough to expand—the first piece had 600 pods, and this one has 1,100—so in this space it could expand and change shape.”

Moss said it took about two weeks to install Schenk’s piece.

“All of the wire attachments are 25 feet up,” Moss said. “They had to be
perfectly aligned, with a one-inch gap between the magnets. It all had to be amazingly precise, but the exhibition wouldn’t be what it is without the amount of work that went into it.”

To expand the installation, Schenk had to make 500 new pods and cut each of the 1,100 wires, as the wires from the first exhibition had become tangled.

“Everything that had to be done, had to be done at least 550 times,” Schenk said.

According to Schenk’s artist statement, the idea for this piece grew out of the pain and longing she felt at the loss of her mother.

“I was really seeking answers; why it happened, why I felt this way,” Schenk said. “I knew I wanted to describe something indescribable. I think I actually got the idea for the pods when I was wandering around a fabric store and saw these silk flowers. My mom loved flowers—she’d press them and dry them —so I thought it would be a nice homage to her.”

The installation holds a magnetic attraction, not just within itself, but also for viewers. Visitors to the gallery find themselves longing to touch the pods or walk through the wires.

“I like that people want to touch it and move through it, and I like the frustration in it, that they can’t touch it,” Schenk said. “I thought about cutting it in half to make a pathway through it. I definitely want to do this installation again in the future, and I think it’s going to be different every time, so maybe next time that will be part of it.”

The show opened April 2 and will run through May 5. An opening reception was held April 7 in the Linfield Gallery.

Sharon Gollery/
Culture editor
Sharon Gollery can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

Sculpture display shows unique architectural pieces

Junior Alison Pate observes a construction structure created by professional artist David Corbett at his gallery opening on Oct. 20 in the Linfield Fine Art Gallery.  Katie Paysinger/Senior photographer

Junior Alison Pate observes a construction structure created by professional artist David Corbett at his gallery opening on Oct. 20 in the Linfield Fine Art Gallery. Katie Paysinger/Senior photographer

Students attended a reception featuring the work of Chicago artist David Corbett in the Linfield Fine Art Gallery on Oct. 20.
Corbett’s work illustrates the artistic structure in buildings and architecture. His art visually exemplified the process of how structures were built and formed.
“David is a very unique artist. He has a unique style. I think it’s a great opportunity for art students and students at Linfield,” Cris Moss, gallery director and instructional associate, said.
Moss said he has been following Corbett’s work and progress since his last appearance at Linfield in 2007.
Corbett has been in practice since 1994. His artwork is sometimes described as minimalist, but his sculptures are fairly new.
The exhibit featured Corbett’s recent sculptures, which were all focused on the elements of construction.
Corbett will give a lecture at the end of October or early November. His presentation will focus on his creative process, and he will discuss the elements involved in producing artistic pieces.
The Fine Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
For more information about the art gallery, visit www.linfield.edu/art or contact Moss at 503-833-2380.

Chelsea Ploof/Freelancer
Chelsea Ploof can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

Text art reflects light and ‘smoke and mirrors’ in Linfield Gallery

Nawal Alaoui, former student of artist Kartz Ucci and graduate of the University of Oregon, inspects the “like smoke and holy water” exhibit at the artist reception Sept. 1 in the Miller Fine Arts Gallery. Megan Myer/Online editor

The new exhibit in the Linfield Gallery, “like smoke and holy water,” by Kartz Ucci is a non-traditional, artistic response to the area of
the actual gallery space.
The work features text made of a highly reflective material hung across the three walls of the gallery. The text is intended to reflect
the natural light streaming into the space and elicit a psycho-physiological response from the viewer, Ucci said.
The text ascends around the walls of the gallery with the words “like smoke” at eye-level on one wall, “and holy” moving up
diagonally on the next wall and “water” closer to the ceiling on the last wall, across from the windows. Ucci said that arranging the text
in a circle created a sort of activation as viewers start reading and spin around in a circle to finish.
Ucci said she was struck by the light of the room when she came to the gallery to decide what kind of piece to make. Because of
this, she said she couldn’t show video and instead decided to work with text as an image.
“This space is so filled with light,” she said. “I decided I would use the room as a screen.”
Ucci also said the light in the room made her think of the smoke and mirrors metaphor. This initially encouraged her to cover the
floor in mirrors as part of her work. She eventually decided to do something simpler.
Thinking of smoke and mirrors, she decided to use the text “like smoke and holy water.”
“I wanted some text that referred to the space,” she said.
Ucci said the text evoked the idea of magic, a recurring theme in her recent works, but also highlighted how there is a falseness
about it. Each letter was drawn individually using a font that Ucci designed herself.
Ucci has taught at multiple universities and has been teaching at the University of Oregon since 2004.
“I really enjoy [Ucci’s] art,” former student of Ucci’s and UofO graduate Liz Bayan said at the reception for the artist Sept. 1. “It’s very
minimalist; it’s very, very conceptual, which is something that has rubbed off a lot on me.”
Bayan and Nawal Alaoui, another former student of Ucci’s and UofO graduate at the reception, said they were drawn to the “like
smoke” part of the piece.
“You can see your reflection through it, whereas in the ‘water,’ it’s the same thing; it’s not changing,” Alaoui said. “The ‘like smoke’ is
constantly changing depending on who’s in the room and how they’re interacting with it.”
Bayan felt similarly.
“It kind of encompasses you and surrounds you, which is really nice,” she said.
The work will be featured in the Linfield Gallery in the James F. Miller Fine Arts Center from Tuesday, August 31 to Saturday,
October 9. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.
To learn more about Kartz Ucci and to see more of her work, visit

Braden Smith/Managing editor
Braden Smith can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com