The Maude Kerns Art Center is pleased to present the exhibits season opener, “Social Being,” on view January 14 – February 11. “Social Being” features individual and collaborative works, including two- and three-dimensional artwork, interactive performance pieces, and installations by five Eugene artists: Kathleen Caprario, Sandra Honda, Mei-ling Lee, Charly Swing, and Kerry Weeks. The exhibit examines social being through a female lens, focusing on questions of identity, the “other,” social justice, and privilege. “Social Being” can be viewed in person and online at the Art Center’s website.
Zoom Poet Discussion
Featuring Kathleen Caprario, Benjamin Gorman, and Carter McKenzie
Thursday, January 20, 6 -7pm
Zoom Artist Talk
Thursday, February 3, 6 - 7pm
Kathleen Caprario displays mixed media paintings, videos, and installations. She questions how she, as a White woman, relocates herself in relationship to critical conversations around race, art, equity, and place without perpetuating the privileged stance she interrogates. Her pieces incorporate the work of three Oregon poets, Benjamin Gorman, Bobbie Calhoun, and Carter McKenzie. Caprario selected one poem from each poet, then abstracted and incorporated imagery from the poems into her installation titled "Patterns of Privilege - Now Hear This." Caprario describes how the poets’ work influenced her: “Their beautifully crafted words challenge, reveal, and transcend the difficult content discussed and their voices informed me both personally and creatively. “ Caprario exhibits her work regionally and nationally. She is a recent recipient of an Oregon Arts Commission Opportunity Grant, awarded in part to support the work she created for “Social Being.”
Sandra Honda examines through installations, drawings, and digital works what it means to be Asian and American in today’s America given the historical context of imprisonment of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. A sansei, or third generation Japanese American, Honda reflects on the trauma, grief, and long-term consequences of ethnically based mass incarceration. She says: “My intent is to build shared understandings of the past as present and future… My hope is that these understandings in some small way help us make better choices going forward.” Honda collaborates with composer Mei-ling Lee to create a sound and lighting environment for an installation focused on the lived experiences of West Coast people of Japanese ancestry in US concentration camps. The installation is based on photographs taken by Dorothea Lange and other War Relocation Authority photographers documenting the incarceration. Honda most recently exhibited her work at the 2021 Artworks Northwest Biennial in Roseburg and has shown in various venues locally as well as in Maryland and Washington, DC.
Mei-ling Lee is a Taiwanese-born musician, composer, and performer working in cross-cultural forms of western and traditional Chinese music using electronic instruments and processes. Dr. Lee is currently adjunct faculty of Music Technology at Lane Community College and adjunct faculty of Music at Oregon State University while completing her D.M.A. in Performance of Data-Driven Instruments at University of Oregon. Her work has been presented and performed internationally and throughout the United States. The Lighted Windows is inspired by a children’s story of the same title written by Jefferson Goolsby. The Lighted Windows tells the story of a young girl who flees her unhappy home to walk her neighborhood at night and wonder about the different lives being lived behind the lighted windows. The Lighted Windows is about longing, imagining, and locating oneself in the world.
Charly Swing is a figurative artist and sculptor who is the founder of ArtCity Eugene and Executive Director of ArtCity Oregon. For the “Social Being” exhibit, she creates an installation that shares a story of contemporary women engaging in self-reflection. Collaborators working with Swing are Barbara Counsil, Patricia Montoya Donohue, Sandra Honda, Cari Ingrassia, and Liz LaRue. All the collaborators agreed to observe themselves in the mirror on a regular basis, daily if possible, and draw what they saw. Materials and process were not specified. After spending dedicated time looking at themselves, the women shared "How they would like to be seen.” Swing’s installation is a projected animation of these drawings and observations displayed within a monolithic architectural form.
Kerry Weeks is an interdisciplinary artist and innovator known in the Eugene arts community for producing crowd-drawing, socially engaged art experiences. She has worked in a variety of media, including mixed media sculpture, fashion design, metal smithing, jewelry, and interior design. For the “Social Being” exhibit, Weeks creates an experiential space as a reflection of the natural world. For her installation, titled Modus Operandi, she collaborates with Nathan Trowbridge, who helped design the soundtrack, as well as Graham Olton and Laura Strobel. Weeks, who is intrigued by collective consciousness, asks viewers to consider how the brain's modus operandi processes information to calm the nervous system and integrate a sense of oneness into society.