Malia Jensen: Nearer Nature
Lewis & Clark College is pleased to announce our partnership with artist Malia Jensen, recipient of an Oregon Community Foundation “Creative Heights” grant, a prestigious award intended to enable artists and institutions to test new ideas, stretch creative capacity and take creative risks. Jensen’s project Nearer Nature will be comprised of four temporary sculptural installations throughout Oregon in 2019-2020. The site-specific artworks will unfurl in seasonally aligning chapters and conclude with four posters and a catalogue published with Container Corps in 2020.
Beginning in April 2019 in Ashland, OR with Worth Your Salt, Nearer Nature seeks to foster deeper connections between humanity and the natural world. Each chapter will incorporate and engage varied communities of strangers, friends, students and wildlife to highlight themes of interconnectivity and interdependence. The video works and photography resulting from Nearer Nature will be exhibited at the project’s conclusion.
Worth Your Salt
Southern Oregon, Ashland
Worth Your Salt features hand-carved salt block sculptures placed in nature and observed by trail cameras. Beginning in Spring 2019, sculptures carved from dense blocks of livestock salt-licks will be placed in natural and farm settings to invite the unwitting collaborations of wild animals and livestock. Surveillance cameras will record these interactions as well as the eventual dissolution of the salt and the seasonal changes of the surrounding landscapes. Video footage gathered over six months will be compiled and exhibited in selected urban settings close to the original surveillance locations. Sign up here to receive the Nearer Nature newsletter and details on where to view.
Oregon Coast, Ecola State Park
Mourning Tides commemorates and honors the shared experience of loss and bereavement. Participants will meet at a special location on the coast of Oregon, rich in deposits of natural clay, to create to a collective memorial of hand-pressed earthen bowls. As dozens of the tiny vessels begin to encrust the basalt rocks on the shore, these small markers of remembrance create a new shared experience as the work is left to dissolve back into the sea with the rising tides. This event will repeat five time over the Summer. Sign up here to receive the Nearer Nature newsletter for dates and registration.
Perfect Circle, Concrete (Cat-henge)
Eastern Oregon, Union County
A ten foot diameter cast concrete sculpture comprised of a ring of sculpted cats, curling together paw-over-back in a perfect circle. Underscoring our interconnectedness and the importance of cooperation, the sculpture will be created on-site with the assistance of area High School students who will be compensated for their work with funds from the grant. Perfect Circle will remain at the site as a public artwork, landmark and hiking destination. Sign up here to receive the Nearer Nature newsletter including information on location and construction of Cat-henge.
A Bear Sits in the Woods
Central Oregon, Deschutes County
A snow-sculpture of a seated polar bear occupies an isolated Winter woodland but is observed in remote urban locations as it’s wilderness circumstances shift and change. Encrusted with layers of seeds and berries and other natural food sources, the bear/sculpture will draw wild animals and birds into a poetic exchange exploring the fragility and precarious beauty of the natural environment. The process will be monitored and recorded by surveillance cameras. Sign up here to receive the Nearer Nature newsletter and details on where to view.
Nearer Nature is grateful for the additional creative partners engaging with this project: the Schneider Museum of Art, a part of Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR; Art Center East, La Grande, OR; Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York, NY and Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR.