Tracing Genetic Inheritance:
Recent Work by Geraldine Ondrizek

October 5 - December 7, 2016

Reception for the Artist: Tuesday October 18, 4 - 6pm

Artist lecture: Wednesday October 19, 11:30am - 1pm, COM Building Recital Hall

mtDNA close up

Detail of mtDNA, 2016, rough-milled and hand-crafted cedar screen, black paint, natural silk and natural dyes, 5’ x 20’

Geraldine Ondrizek has been creating multi-layered, thought-provoking works of art for more than 25 years. She is a deep researcher and collaborator across disciplines, drawing on art, science, history, anthropology, psychology, biology, and so much more. Through her art she addresses issues of identity and relationships, memory and inheritance - on a personal level and on a global scale. Many of her large-scale installations, including the three exhibited here, explore the pursuit of knowledge about genetics, and how this information can lead us toward life-saving discoveries, deeper understanding of the human race, and moral ambiguities.

Tracing Genetic Inheritance brings together three recent installations by Ondrizek. For the earliest, Chromosome Painting Edition II 1-X, Ondrizek transforms scientific renderings often seen in a textbook into 10 foot tall silk panels, lush and luminous, visually enticing us to learn more. Shades of White invites us into a maze of hanging boxes hung near head-height, so we look in and through, seeing ourselves and others veiled by silk dyed in subtle skin tones. The falseness of categorizing by color, alluded to here, is more concretely and ominously spelled out in the artist’s statement, where Ondrizek talks about the history of eugenics. For mtDNA, Ondrizek is inspired by color charts that trace matrilineal descent of peoples, and instead of the hard steel of Shades of White, she uses hand-worked wood supports, referencing screened porches where women could sit and see out but not be seen by people on the other side of the screen. It’s as if the women can see their own contributions to the flow of cultures, but others might not.

Geraldine Ondrizek is a Professor of Art and artist at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. For the last twenty years she has collaborated with genetic and medical researchers to make architectural based installations. She has had over 30 solo exhibitions internationally and is the recipient of several grants including an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts, The Ford Family Foundation, exhibition grants from NASA and the Houston Foundation, UNESCO artist-in-residence, an NEA exhibition support grant, and a Mellon Foundation Art and Science Research Grant. She recently completed an artist-in-residence at Kaiser Wilhelm Archive at The Max Planck Institute in Berlin where she studied the work of Dr. George Geipel and the origins of biometric data. She received her BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MFA from the University of Washington.


During summer, Evergreen Gallery isn’t open, but there is a display set up in the windows that is visible from the hallway. This summer’s display is inspired by the craft theme of the spring student exhibition, Object / Lessons. It features two student group projects, a bench and a table, as well as clay, wood and mixed media artworks from The Evergreen State College Art Collection, dating from the mid-1970s by Frank Samuelson, Frank Boyden, and Ed Blackburn.

Bench, designed and built by Bob Leverich and Students

Bench, 2009. Designed and built by Bob Leverich and Students in the Spring 2009 program, Green Studio: Nicole Davenport, Emily Newman, Brian Nguy, Darby Prendergast. The wood for the benches came from two large Douglas Fir trees harvested from Evergreen’s Seminar II building site. Statement of intent: As students of ecological design and vested members of this learning community, we commit to using only sustainable materials and methods of construction.

Table, designed and built by Evergreen staff and students

Table, 2014. Designed and built by Evergreen staff and students Designed by Don Jensen, Wood and Metal Shops Manager
Students– Forrest Taylor, Lead craftsperson, with contributions from John Snodgrass, Milandra Pfister and Jill Mauerman. The wood was provided by Cedar Creek Corrections Center, and was milled and delivered by inmates under the direction of Robin Kirk at their carpentry shop in Little Rock, WA. The program, recently discontinued, was funded by a grant through the U.S. Forest Service, through the efforts of Linden Lampman at the Urban Community Forestry program at the Department of Natural Resources. Some of the oak in this table was taken from trees planted along Legion Way in downtown Olympia. *The oaks, originally planted on November 11, 1928, Veteran’s Day, were planted to honor Olympia’s fallen soldiers from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War I.
*from Olympia History, Legion Way Trees

Object / Lessons

Thinking Through Craft at The Evergreen State College

Object / Lessons Poster

Opening: Thursday May 19, 5-7pm
Exhibition continues through June 3
Closed Memorial Day
Special Graduation Day hours: Friday June 10, 11am-12:30 pm

This exhibition is a culmination of “Thinking Through Craft,” an advanced year-long academic program incorporating the philosophical study of craft with a studio practice in either wood or metal. The work exhibited in Object / Lessons illuminates our exploration of craft through the lenses of Material, Process, Function, Mediation, and Agency
For more information and images, visit: Object / Lessons Website

Prison Obscura

Curated by Prison Photography editor Pete Brook

JANUARY 14th – MARCH 2nd 2016

Thursday, Jan 14, 4 – 6pm—Opening Reception featuring gallery walk-through with curator Pete Brook

Wednesday Jan 27, 11:30 – 1:00 in COM Building Recital Hall—Prison Libraries/Prison Art, as part of the Art Lecture Series, a panel including Laura Sherbo and Pat Graney.

Prison Obscura postcard image

What do we know of our prisons? Do photographs help us know? Are the images of prisons we see reliable? Are they even useful? How do images relate to the political, social, and economic realities that exist within our prison industrial complex? Do prisons, as closed sites, present any challenges to the claims photography makes as a medium of communication?

Shedding light on the prison-industrial complex through rarely seen vernacular, surveillance, evidentiary, and prisoner-made photographs, Prison Obscura calls upon its audience to consider these questions deeply as they come face to face with the realities of prison life. The bodies of work in Prison Obscura collectively demonstrate the pervasiveness of prisons and the stresses of their ever-growing populations, simultaneously asserting the humanity of incarcerated people and refusing to reduce them to symbols of a broken system.

Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery

Prison Obscura is a traveling exhibition curated by Pete Brook and made possible with the support of the the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, Haverford, PA.

Through data-driven visualizations, artists Josh Begley and Paul Rucker examine prisons across the United States, highlighting their mass construction and architectural similarity. Workshops led by Kristen S. Wilkins and Evergreen State College faculty Steve Davis allow juvenile and adult prisoners the opportunity to self-represent through performative portraiture and image-making. Collected letters and visiting room portraits by Alyse Emdur, oral histories collected and portraits shot by Robert Gumpert, and “photographs of places missed” requested by incarcerated people and fulfilled by Mark Strandquist go beyond the identity of “prisoner” to give intimate insight into the experiences and desires of incarcerated people. Prison Obscura also features a stunning collection of evidence images from Brown v. Plata, a class-action lawsuit against the state of California related to prison overcrowding and access to medical care.

sgʷigʷialʔtxʷ at 20: Building upon the Past, Visioning into the Future

Opening reception at 5pm on Thursday March 31, 2016
Exhibition continues through Tuesday May 10
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 10am-5pm
Closed Wednesdays, weekends, and College holidays
Artist gallery talk, Tuesday April 26, 5pm

Longhouse 20th Anniversary

This year the “House of Welcome” Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College is celebrating 20 years of groundbreaking work promoting indigenous arts and cultures through education, cultural preservation, and creative expression. The 20th Anniversary exhibition will take a look back at the artists who have had an impact on the work of the Longhouse over the years, and will look ahead, highlighting the advancing innovation of Longhouse artists and programming that is influencing the future of indigenous arts.

Artists Featured:

Kayeri Akweks (Upper Mohawk), Ivy Maile Andrade (Kanaka Maoli), Natalie Ball (Klamath), Rick Bartow (Wiyot/ Yurok), Marwin Begaye (Navajo), Meleta Bennett (Maori), Alison Bremner (Tlingit), Brittany Britton (Hupa), Kelly Church (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa), Pat Courtney Gold (Wasco), Peg Deam (Suquamish), Jim Denomie ((Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Yvette Diltz (Tsimshian), Ed Edmo (Shoshone Bannock), Vickie Era-Pankretz (Alutiiq), Denise Emerson (Skokomish/ Navajo), Ka’ila Farrell-Smith (Klamath), Carly Feddersen (Colville), Joe Feddersen (Colville), Ryan Feddersen (Colville), Yatika Starr Fields (Osage), Malynn Foster (Squaxin Island), Dan Friday (Lummi), Sean Gallagher (king Island Inupiat), John Garcia (Tlingit), Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate), Heather Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate), Laura Grabhorn (Tlingit/ Haida), Lyonel Grant (Maori), Tara Gumapac (Kanaka Maoli), Clifton Guthrie (Tsimshian), Billie Higheagle (Chehalis), Gabriel Higheagle (Chehalis), Halisa Higheagle (Chehalis), Valea Higheagle (Chehalis), Michael Holloman (Colville), Debora Iyall (Cowlitz), Misty Kalama-Archer (Puyallup), Taylor Krise (Squaxin Island), Tina Kuckkahn-Miller (Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Paul LaPier (Haida/ Blackfeet), Matekino Lawless (Maori), Serene Lawrence (Ojibwe/ Hopi), Linley Logan (Seneca), Dakota Marcellay (Chehalis), Trudy Marcellay (Chehalis), Alexander McCarty (Makah), Larry McNeil (Tlingit), Delbert Miller (Skokomish), Ramon Murillo (Shoshone Bannock), Eliza Naranjo-Morse (Tewa), Nora Naranjo-Morse (Tewa), Ed Archie Noisecat (Shuswap/ Stlitlimx), Haila Old Peter (Chehalis), Pete Peterson, Sr. (Skokomish), Yvonne Peterson (Chehalis), Lillian Pitt (Warm Springs), Patti Puhn (Squaxin Island), Helen Rangihuna (Maori), Richard Rowland (Native Hawaiian), Joe Seymour (Squaxin Island/ Acoma Pueblo), Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos), Andrea Wilbur-Sigo (Squaxin Island), John Edward-Smith (Squaxin Island), Jack-lyn Smith (Skokomish), Joan Staples-Morin (White Earth Chippewa), Chholing Taha (Cree), Henare Tahuri (Maori), Tawera Tahuri (Maori), Lorraine Van Brunt (Colville), Jeffrey Veregge (Port Gamble S’Klallam), Dawn Walden (Ojibwe), Terresa White (Yup’ik), Tina Wirihana (Maori), Melanie Yazzie (Diné), Shirod Younker (Coquille).