The Art Center is pleased to present “Be Here Now,” opening on Friday, June 18. “Be Here Now” is an open call, themed exhibit showcasing the work of 51 Lane County artists. Juried by artists Mika Aono, Ila Rose, and Tina Schrager, the show features nearly 70 artworks, including pieces by the three jurors. “Be Here Now” is on display through July 16.
The accepted artists interpret the theme of “Be Here Now” in various ways and in different media, ranging widely from reflections on life during the pandemic, images of the natural world and the devastation of the wildfires, to expressions of mindfulness and being present in the moment.
In Fire on the McKenzie, Carol Arian, whose McKenzie River home was destroyed during the Holiday Farm wildfire, expresses a very personal sense of loss with her brightly colored abstract painting. Bets Cole exhibits Covid Conversations, a piece which evolved from the daily images shared during the pandemic with her adult children, who live far away. Her lively montage reflects everyday routines and discoveries experienced during the long period of isolation. Cheryl Owen Wilson has stayed grounded in the “now” during the pandemic by being out in nature. For “Be Here Now,” she ventures away from her usual realm of fantasy in Proposal Rock Sunset 2020, a vibrant painting of a sunset at one of her favorite getaways on the Oregon coast. In Olivia’s Class, Judy Santee creates a touching portrait of her granddaughter seated in front of a computer, focused on home learning.
Jalen Thompson of Eugene displays a multichannel, interactive video installation and performance piece titled Summer 2020. Thompson, who identifies himself as Black and queer, hopes to share his own experience of the Summer of 2020 in his installation, which includes the use of eight iPods/iPhones and one MacBook playing 10-minute video loops using food, drink, and phone commercials, footage from the May 29 riot in downtown Eugene, and audio from the Black Lives Matter rally on May 31 at the Lane County Courthouse.