Lectures 2008-2010

Performance Clouds

Clouds Live Where | Nov 12

Performance by artist Merritt Johnson
Friday November 12, 5:30 pm
Library Building Lobby

Preceding the performance, Evergreen faculty member and curator Lara Evans will discuss the exhibition and answer questions in Evergreen Gallery at 5 pm


Nicolas Galanin | Oct 13

Born in Sitka, Alaska, Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut) has struck an intriguing balance between his origins and the course of his practice. Having trained extensively in ‘traditional’ as well as ‘contemporary’ approaches to art, he pursues them both in parallel paths. His stunning bodies of work simultaneously preserve his culture and explore new perceptual territory.

Artist Statement 2010: I work with concepts, the medium follows. In the business of this “Indian Art World” I have become impatient with the institutional prescription and its monolithic attempt to define culture as it unfolds. Native American Art can not be commonly defined as our work moves freely through time. The viewer, collector, or curators’ definition will often convey more about themselves than that of the “Native Artist”. In the past I have struggled with this title, though I now embrace my position as a contemporary indigenous artist with belief that some forms of resistance often carry equal amounts of persistence. My current collection of work presents visual experiences in hope of inspiring creative dialogue with the viewer. I work with an intention to contribute towards contemporary cultural development. Through education and creative risk taking I hope to progress cultural awareness both in and out of this Indigenous world.

The artist’s web site is http://galan.in/

Video: An Impure Art | April 21

Talk by Eric Fredericksen, Director, Western Bridge
Wednesday April 21, 11:30 am, Lecture Hall 1

“Every art develops from an impure form, and the progressive purification of this impurity shapes the history both of a particular artistic truth and of its exhaustion.” –Alain Badiou, Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art

Eric Fredericksen gives a talk on uses of video in contemporary art. Proceeding from an understanding of video as an essentially impure medium, the talk discusses a range of strategies in video art that range from appropriation and critique of mass culture television and film, the "expanded cinema" of video installations, and work that foregrounds the technical attributes of video itself. Artists to be discussed include Francis Alys, Lutz Bacher, Dara Birnbaum, Doug Aitken, Christian Marclay, and the artists on view at the Evergreen Gallery.

River Repository

River Repository, 1999
This piece is a portable sculpture constructed to
hold research and objects generated by the
Gathering of Waters project. Made of ponderosa
pine floorboards from a demolished Albuquerque
church and sealed with piñon pine sap, the sculpture
resembles a large, rectilinear backpack, with drawers
containing water samples, hydrology reports, logbook,
photographs, maps, and a carved wooden book,
'Rio Grande Atlas'. 38" x 27"

Basia Irland | Oct 21 & 22

Tuesday October 21, 4pm, Lecture Hall 1
Wednesday October 22, 10am, Recital Hall, Communications Building

Basia Irland is "a sculptor and installation artist, a poet and book artist, and an activist in water issues." Her thoughtful interdisciplinary projects combine beautiful craftsmanship, a fascination with research and a participative engagement with the viewer. As described by Kathleen Howe, director of the Pomona College Museum of Art in California, “Irland’s work engages critical issues surrounding the use and abuse of water sources throughout the world. She is an artist working at the intersection of environmental issues, governmental policy, human rights, and natural science, always informed by an awareness of the spiritual dimensions of water.”

Irland will be creating a “Gathering of Waters” project about the Nisqually River. Her talk at Evergreen will be the launch of the participatory phase of the project, in which people are invited to join in creating a communal connection along the Nisqually River. Irland writes: “This grassroots, group effort will involve the many diverse peoples living along the entire length of the river. By physically going to the river and passing along a special canteen from one community to the next we illuminate the point that we all live downstream. It is imperative that we find ways to protect and honor our rivers.”

Nisqually Project Description (PDF)

This project is generously supported by a gift from the Tom Rye Harvill Award.

Irland is Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico, Department of Art and Art History. She has created other “Gatherings” in New Mexico, Colorado, Canada and England. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in 22 permanent collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Public Archives of Canada, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She has received numerous grants and awards including a Fulbright Senior Research Award to Southeast Asia. In 1996, two small press books, Water Cycle (Pyramid Atlantic Press) and River Reciprocity (Salient Seedling Press) were published. In 1999, Irland produced a documentary that was shown on PBS: A Gathering of Waters: The Rio Grande, Source to Sea. A monograph on her art, titled Water Library, was published in 2007.

Artist’s web site: http://www.unm.edu/~basia/BIRLAND/

Washington State Arts Commission | May 27

Washington State Arts Commission’s Public Artist Roster – What it is and how you can get on it

Janae Huber, Collections Manager for the State Art Collection, will talk about WSAC’s Public Artist Roster – what it is, how it’s used, and how artists can apply for it. Artists in the roster are eligible for the “1/2 of 1%” for art projects through the Washington State Arts Commission’s Art in Public Places program. Every two years, the Art in Public Places program holds a regional open competition to select artists for inclusion on the roster. The upcoming deadline is June 16, 2008.


Salt Witnesses

Michael Magrath
Lot Tribe: Salt Witnesses detail of life-sized statues
cast in salt, temporary public art installation in Pioneer
Square, Seattle, 2006

Michael Magrath | May 20

Michael Magrath is a Seattle-basedartist whose sculptures explore the expressiveness of the human form. Magrath’s interest in the figure is ultimately lyrical in nature.Having received an undergraduate degree from Reed College in Literature and History which focused on the nature and development of myth in human societies, Magrath steers toward the symbolic in his work.He states: I perceive something implicit in the body that remains inchoate, relevant, and continuously vibrant with potential… I do not pursue realism for its own sake, but consider clear and direct observation an intense and surprisingly rewarding discipline, a path towards something as yet unknown.  For me study of the specific form and attitude of the model is a way of exploring and understanding the deeper structures of the universe.

Primarily self taught, Magrath has nonetheless studied and taught in a number of rich sculptural environments, including Hipbone Studio in Portland, The Seattle Academy of Art, and the Graduate Sculpture Program at the University of Washington. He spent a year studying in Rome and at the Florence Academy of Art, and was a resident artist and instructor at the Art Academy of London.Since receiving his MFA in 2004, Magrath has been teaching at UW and the Gage Academy in Seattle.He has completed sculpture commissions for organizations and sites in Seattle and Portland, including Lot’s Tribe, a temporary public art installation that featured life-sized sculptures cast in salt.Based on news images and dissolving in rainy weather, the figures raised questions about life, death, violence, and the politics of oppression.


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung | May 13

Molly Zucherman-Hartung

Untitled, 2007, oil and spray paint on linen, 16" x 12"

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung was raised in Olympia, received her BA from Evergreen in 1998 and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. In an interview for her recent exhibition at Rowley Kennerk Gallery in Chicago, she was asked: “How would you consider ‘tradition’ and ‘irreverence’ in relation to your practice? The exhibition title, She-male Guitar Solo, must be related to this?”  Zuckerman-Hartung replied:  “This is something I think about a lot. I grew up on the west coast in a very permissive atmosphere. My mom was something of a hippy, I went to a hippy college, I was involved in a punk/indie community for 10 plus years. I think by the time I moved to Chicago I was actually longing for a sense of tradition. The idea of a lineage. I read Derrida before I read Plato, so even notions of linearity and one-way-ness in history are somewhat malleable to me. A way to contextualize myself and my actions. I was searching for language. This is a big part of the appeal of painting to me.  I find the excess weight of a long tradition exhilarating. I think it has something to do with afeeling of grief about the ‘end of history’ and the flatlands of future-gazing in late capitalism. Looking backward gives weight to language that can begin to seem as though it were invented yesterday. Of course it is a see-saw, and the reference can get too strong all of a sudden, hence the need for queering the title of the show.


James Lavadour

Cobweb, 2007, oil on panel, 32” x 48”. Collection of
the Washington State Arts Commission in partnership
with The Evergreen State College.

James Lavadour | May 6

James Lavadour is known for his abstract landscapes inspired by mountainous northeastern Oregon where he has lived for most of his life. An avid hiker, Lavadour finds that this physical experience is converted into the kinetic act of painting. "At some point I made a connection between the ways walking conditioned my body movements and the way my body governed my hand when I painted. Links between muscle and memory, place and identity became the basis of my art." Lavadour's work reflects his intimate knowledge of the land and its dynamic permutations. Expressionistic vistas appear caught in the midst of spectacular transfiguration by the sudden force of the elements or position of the sun. Applying pigment, then scraping or wiping it away, the artist re-enacts nature's layering and erosive processes. "Raging currents in a drop of pigment pre-tell the mountains and rivers in a brush stroke. Light burns behind ridges after a simple horizontal scrape.... Trails dead end. New spaces open." Lavadour frequently combines small separately painted canvases that present multiple views of the constantly changing panorama. Part Walla Walla Indian and a self-taught painter, Lavadour helped found the nonprofit Crow's Shadow Institute, which provides social, economic and educational opportunities to Native Americans through artistic development. Crow's Shadow Institute is located on the Umatilla Reservation where he grew up.


James Luna | April 22 and 25

James Luna

James Luna "On Performance Art"
Artist Lecture
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
11 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. - Lecture Hall 1

Artist's Performance
Friday, April 25, 2008
Time 8:00 p.m. - Longhouse
more info...

Patti Warashina

Patti Warashina
Rome Series "Portrait #1", 2000
clay, glaze and underglaze, 23"x23"x22"

Patti Warashina | April 15

Patti Warashina is known internationally for her technical mastery of the ceramic medium, her innovative structural compositions, and her complex and evolving visual vocabulary.Sometimes highly colored, sometimes entirely white, her low-fire ceramic figures are often whimsical in tone, even when exploring social and political issues.  She states, “The human figure has been an absorbing visual fascination in my work.  I use the figure in voyeuristic situations in which irony, humor, absurdities portray human behavior as a relief from society’s pressure and frustrations.” Lois Allen writes about Warashina in her book Contemporary Art in the Northwest: “From miniature narrative tableaux to monumental single figures, the refined technique and extraordinary vitalism that mark her work bring to mind different but impressive historical precedents: Chinese grave figures; delicate, eighteenth-century European colored figurines, and in a more recent context, California ‘funk’ ceramics… she creates sculptures that are a unique blend of craftsmanship, social relevance, and visual energy.”

Born in Spokane to third-generation Japanese immigrants, Warashina received her MFA degree from the University of Washington in 1964. She studied with sculptors Robert Sperry, Harold Myers, Rudy Autio, Shoji and Shinsaku Hamada, and Ruth Penington. She has received numerous awards, including membership in the American Craft Council of Fellows (New York City), the Governor’s Award of Special Commendation for the Arts (Olympia, WA), the National Endowment for the Arts, and Artist Trust's 2002 Twining Humber Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.  Her art has been in exhibitions and been collected by museums throughout the U.S. and internationally. Warashina’s teaching career spans more than three decades, including more than 25 years at the University of Washington.


June Grant

June Northcroft Grant
Whanau 2

June Northcroft Grant | April 8

Master Maori artist June Northcroft Grant of Rotorua, New Zealand, is artist-in-residence at The Evergreen State College, sponsored by Te Waka Toi, Creative New Zealand, and The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center.  June is a senior artist who works primarily as a painter but is prolific in other art forms as well.  As a breast cancer survivor, she has a particular interest in the healing aspects of the arts.  

"Probably the biggest factor in my decision to continue painting and making artworks is my sense of responsibility to my tribe, both to my ancestors and their art providing much of my inspiration, and to the future generations, my children and grandchildren for whom I continue the art tradition.  All that I value in art terms is encompassed in the art forms manifest in the wharenui (meeting house), the whakairo (carvings), the turapa (woven panels) the raranga (weaving) and the kowhaiwhai (painted panels).  I feel fortunate to be living and working in my own tribal area.  My references and resources are right on my doorstep, not to mention the advantages of wise counsel and encouragement of my Kaumatua and Kuia."

June was born in 1949.  She grew up and was educated in the three New Zealand towns of Wairoa, Wanganui and Rotorua.  She is a descendant of Makereti Papakura, a well known guide of Whakarewarewa Village where thousands of tourists, in days gone by, were escorted through the wondrous scenic attraction of the area.  Makereti has had a strong influence on June's life and work.

In 1989 June graduated from Waiariki Polytechnic with a Diploma in Craft Design Maori. This four year course provided her with a good working knowledge of several art disciplines, printmaking, painting, weaving, bone carving, carving and ceramics. In her final two years June majored in paint and fiber, culminating in a series of work based on the wharenui (meeting houses) in her tribal village, Whakarewarewa.

June and a fellow graduate established in 1991 Pohutu Prints which produces a totally original range of tee-shirts that are designed, printed and wholesaled and sold direct from her workshop on the periphery of Whakarewarewa Village.


Melissa Shiff

Melissa Shiff | February 26

"At this moment in history, it is amazing to find an artist who combines art, politics, and matzo to create such a playful and powerful ends.  More than a relief - it's a miracle." - Jeffrey Feldmen, Professor of Museum Studies at NYU, posted on The Daily Kos

Melissa Shiff is a video, performance, and installation artist who specializes in utilizing Jewish myths, symbols and rituals in the service of social justice and activism as well as engaging with issues of cultural memory.

Based on her previous work, Shiff was commissioned to create the keynote project for the centennial celebration of the Jewish Museum in Prague in 2006. Her ARK is a 4.5-meter high video sculpture which tells the history of the museum and the Prague Jewish community via a 30 minute video projected onto the sculpture, which is shaped like the prow of a ship.

ARK was reviewed by Bruce Jenkins, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in Curator: The Museum Journal.  Jenkins praised Shiff’s ability to delve into culture, history, and spirituality through artistic expression:  “Shiff joins a handful of media artists, including Bill Viola and Mary Lucier, Beryl Korot and Chantal Akerman, who have placed this contemporary form of the moving image arts in the service of probing the past - creating time machines that transport us into historic sites, sacred spaces, and arenas that challenge the limits of sacrifice and faith.”

Shiff received her artistic training at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and holds a BFA degree from Tufts University.  Her art, installations, performances, and videos have shown throughout the U.S. and internationally, and been reviewed in such journals as C Magazine, Afterimage, and The Prague Post.  She has given public lectures about her artwork at The Jewish Museum in New York, NYU, Brandeis University, and the University of Toronto, among others.



Adriene Cruz

Adriene Cruz
Wishful Thinking

Adriene Cruz | February 19

"If you've ever seen Cruz's work, you'll know it's hard to ignore.  She is one of Portland's reigning masters of color and pattern. Adriene's creations remind one of the complexities of jazz.  Her work resonates with intuitive spontaneity that blends nurturing with life's experience insightfully,  while challenging the eye, mind and heart to discover new meanings and relationships." - Randy Gragg's review in the Portland Oregonian

For generations, the women in Adriene Cruz' family have been sewing and designing clothing.  Adriene absorbed their love of creating with fabrics, and when she moved to Portland from Harlem in 1983, her artwork turned increasingly toward creating brilliantly colored and adorned quilts.  She pieces together richly patterned materials in rhythmic arrangements that are stately as well as exuberant, structured as well as improvisational, deeply moving on a spiritual level as well as simply enjoyable for their sheer beauty.

The resonant depths of these works arise from many factors: the relationship of the materials to Adriene’s ancestry; the warmth and comfort they embody; the powers and symbolic qualities of cowrie shells, mirrors, and talismans; the artist's ability to connect viewers to the rhythms, shapes, and patterns of abundant life.

Adriene's gifted use of color and design has also garnered attention for public art in the Portland community.  She has created street banners, painted murals, and designed integrated art for the Killingsworth Light Rail Station using glass concrete and steel.  In addition to museum exhibitions nationwide, Adriene has been featured in numerous books and publications.


Claude Zervas

Claude Zervas, Shuksan, 2007,
CCFL lamps, high-flex wire, inverters, steel
68"h (from floor) x 33"w x 8"d

Claude Zervas | February 12

Claude Zervas' artwork uses technology and a variety of media to explore representation of landscape, social ecology, and memory. He creates 2D, 3D, and time-based work using video or custom computer programs.  He has stated, “I grew up in a rural part of Whatcom County and I have been greatly influenced by the physical landscape, the social topology, and the transformation of this region. I am interested in how the idea of place evokes emotion, the way emotion affects memory and how memory in turn affects perception.”

After attending art school at Western Washington University Zervas fell into a career as a software engineer, eventually returning to art full-time. He leverages many of the skills acquired from his engineering experience to produce his art.

About his recent artwork, Zervas says: “I have been exploring the phenomenology of movement exhibited by primitive marine life. These inquiries have led to my current sculptures, which are built using custom devices that simulate the dynamics of reductive kinetic sequences meant to associatively evoke the perception of simple animal movement. Subtle motion and color sequences are combined to construct a potentiality where an embodied understanding of sensual phenomena, or a sympathetic response, can manifest itself. Embedded in the formal structures are references to simple mathematical concepts that relate to the natural world, such as the Fibonacci series and the golden ratio, which can potentially stimulate the preconscious mind.” 

The recipient of a Fellowship from Artist Trust in 2002, Zervas has shown his artwork nationally and in Canada, and is represented by the James Harris Gallery in Seattle, WA.


Blake Haygood

Blake Haygood
Goodness Gracious, 2006, color drypoint on paper
28" x 20" each component; 56" x 80" overall

Blake Haygood | February 5

Blake Haygood is an artist, curator and co-director of Platform Gallery and has lived in Seattle since 1992. His current paintings and prints involve machinery parts of undeterminable scale floating in space without a horizon and in constant states of decomposition and regeneration. “I think of my art as a way of telling stories. Referencing a combination of organic and mechanical imagery filtered through my imperfect memory, I've imagined a vocabulary of forms to populate a fictional world and to build a kind of contemporary mythology,” says the artist.

In the catalog for Blake’s 2007 one-person show at the Missoula Art Museum, curator Stephen Glueckert wrote:  “Haygood’s machines are organic and evolving.  He depicts their decomposition with a fine, rusty, incised line and refined color.  Each machine seems to fall apart even as it almost functions.  In these works there is a subtle paradox.  On one hand, we experience the refinement of an artist working with a surgeon’s precision; on the other hand, we are exposed to the absurdity of machines operating although damaged and disintegrating.”

In 2006, Blake received an Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship.  Prior to that, he was nominated for the Neddy Artist Fellowship for Printmaking, received a Seattle Arts Commission Sustaining Award, and was a finalist for the Betty Bowen Award (1996).


Artist TrustArtist Trust's Meet the Artist program is an integral component of the annual Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship award. Meet the Artist events bridge our artistic community with the diverse communities in WashingtonState, increasing awareness about the vital roles art and artists play in our culture. Find out more at www.artisttrust.org.

chris Jordan

Chris Jordan
Cell phones #2, Atlanta 2005, 44 x 90"

Chris Jordan | January 29

Chris Jordan is an internationally acclaimed photographic artist and social activist whose work explores the detritus of American mass culture. His newest series, titled Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait” (2006-7), depicts the staggering statistics that define contemporary America, in huge intricately detailed panels as large as thirty feet wide. These compelling works invite the viewer to walk up close and see every detail as a metaphor for the role of the individual in our hypermodern society.

In working on his 2003-5 series, “Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption,” Chris was “exploring around shipping ports and industrial yards, where the accumulated detritus of our consumption is exposed to view like eroded layers in the Grand Canyon.”  He goes on to say, “I am appalled by these scenes, and yet also drawn into them with awe and fascination. The immense scale of our consumption can appear desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful; for me its consistent feature is a staggering complexity. … As an American consumer myself, I am in no position to finger wag; but I do know that when we reflect on a difficult question in the absence of an answer, our attention can turn inward, and in that space may exist the possibility of some evolution of thought or action. So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry.”

Based in Seattle, Chris exhibits his work widely in the US and Europe, and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, weblogs, documentary films and television programs all over the globe. A sought-after speaker on the subject of mass culture, Chris also has appeared on several national television programs recently.


Laura Alpert

Laura Alpert
The Meadow, 2007, marble

Laura Alpert | November 13

Laura Alpert’s marble sculptures are a synthesis of transitory gestures and geometric patterns. They reflect Alpert’s interest in both ephemeral natural phenomena (frost, flowers, water drops), gestural marks and structured forms (lines, planes, trapezoidal solids). The sculptures are subtle, yet they present extreme contrasts. Pushing the structural limits of Colorado Yule marble, Alpert uses a hydraulic diamond chain saw to create translucent layers of stone. She then uses a myriad of hand tools to refine these cuts and explorations. The results are spectacular thin slabs that both reflect and diffuse light.

Alpert is Associate Professor Emeritus of sculpture at the University of Oregon Department of Art, where she has taught since 1979. She has been co-leader of the University of Oregon Stone Carving Workshop for 12 years and a visiting artist/instructor at numerous stone carving symposia. Her sculptures have been widely exhibited across the U.S. and Canada.

More information at: http://davisandcline.com/Artist-Detail.cfm?ArtistsID=361

Sara Bates

Honoring Seven Clans, 1992,
natural materials, 11' dia. (detail)

Sara Bates | October 30

Sara Bates is a Cherokee artist whose work is both traditional and contemporary, personal and universal. It is about where she lives, both the body she inhabits and the sustaining earth. It is about what keeps us anchored in health, sanity, and compassion.

Bates’ Honoring Circle installations are beautiful, complex, symbolic expressions of the oneness of life, place, and spirit. Using feathers, pine cones, shells, seeds, leaves, earth pigment, maize, and stones, Bates creates these installations in the form of a circle containing an equal-armed cross. The artist states, “In Cherokee symbolism, this is the symbol found on water spider’s back … this form symbolizes the Sacred Fire … Life moves in a circle and all creation is related, so the circle offers a kind of universal truth.” While the motifs of her Honoring Circles stem from Cherokee symbolism, the underlying origin of all her symbols is the earth, from which we all derive our understandings and convictions. Bates’ installations, her process of creating them and our experience of viewing them, are all part of a pan-human drive to seek transcendent truths about the world as a whole.

The process of creating an Honoring Circle is a personal rite that Bates undertakes according to a specific pattern of prayer, rediscovery, and physical involvement. It is a way to come “home,” find balance, and restore health, not unlike meditation.

Works from her “Honoring” series have been exhibited widely in the US, and in solo shows in France, Italy, and New Zealand. From 1990 to 1995 Bates was the director of exhibitions and programs and curator for American Indian Contemporary Arts in San Francisco.

Interview with Sara Bates: http://www.britesites.com/native_artist_interviews/sbates.htm

Beverly Naidus

Beverly Naidus

Beverly Naidus | October 16

For almost three decades, Beverly Naidus’ art practice has intertwined the roles of activist, educator, writer and interdisciplinary artist. Her mediums have ranged from interactive, site-specific installations to digitally rendered artist's books. Inspired by lived experience, she has made art about the ecological crisis, healing body hate, cancer and environmental illness, the alienation of consumer culture, the shame and pride of being “other,” the nightmare of nuclear war, the despair of unemployment, ways to breathe through and find hope in the midst of great suffering, and envisioning a sane, just and ecological future. She is the author of two artist’s books, One Size Does Not Fit All and What Kinda Name is That?.

Early recognition in the alternative margins of the NYC and LA art worlds brought her many opportunities to exhibit internationally, publish artist books and articles, and receive reviews in contemporary journals and art books, including books by Suzi Gablik and Lucy R. Lippard. In 2003 Beverly joined the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program’s faculty at the University of Washington in Tacoma where she is co-creating a studio arts program (Arts in Community) with a focus on art for social change and healing.

website: www.artsforchange.org

Joseph Park

Joseph Park
La Belle, 2002 , oil on linen, 52" x 43"

Joseph Park  | October 2

Joseph Park’s paintings are characterized by cinematic spaces and lush landscapes bathed in Technicolor hues. Park creates intimate dramas in glowing rooms, seductive landscapes, and tender portraits.

Park’s canvases ransack art and film histories, as well as contemporary pop culture, making a potent cocktail of both Eastern and Western visuality. One finds in his work oblique references to the spaces and characters of classic Japanese film (the quiet dramas of Mizoguchi or Ozu rather than the samurai epics of Kurosawa), French painting (the romance and languor of Fragonard rather than the heroic ideals of David) and anime (more Princess Mononoke than Ghost in the Shell).

Animals are most often the occupants of Park’s shimmering spaces. His characters are made sensual or wise, cunning or languorous under the artist’s brush. In comic books and cartoons, both Eastern and Western, animals reflect certain psychological traits or stereotypes. In Park’s paintings, animals have their own existential concerns and preoccupations.

Although they take advantage of a rich pool of cross-cultural traffic, Park’s paintings are more than a sum of their appropriated parts. They coalesce to tell stories of their own—quietly charged encounters in which the inner life of each character determines the organization of his or her surroundings.

Joseph Park was born in Ottawa, Canada, and graduated with a B.A. from Cornish College of the Arts and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts. He currently lives and works in Seattle